2K gives in to fans, turns servers back on for abandoned “4v1” online games

2K gives in to fans, turns servers back on for abandoned “4v1” online games

<em>Evolve</em>s unique 4v1 match is now back online – and while access is limited, we still count this as a victory for the preservation of gaming history.”/><figcaption class=
Magnify / Developits unique 4v1 match is now back online – and while access is limited, we still count this as a victory for the preservation of gaming history.

2K Games / Turtle Rock

From a conservation standpoint, the modern shift to “always online” video games has been a disaster. We’ve seen it time and time again: A developer stops “supporting” an online game, and then the rug is pulled from fans who might be trying to hack into playing the game among friends, leaving all access in tatters.

In the case of four-on-one online shooters Developbut the opposite has been true – and in a surprising twist, this 2K-published, Turtle Rock-developed game has come to life more this week than it has in the four years since support ended.

Step 2… part 2

Before I explain, I should clarify the worst news. This previously free-to-play game is now almost impossible to access if you didn’t previously own or claim it, and there’s no clear way to play it due to the game being removed from online stores in September 2018 .Apparently, download “keys” for the game’s free-to-play (F2P) version, which was published in 2016, may still be floating around.

When the game was removed, 2K Games clarified that it would continue to support “Legacy Evolve,” an older version of the game with fewer available characters and options via a barebones peer-to-peer (P2P) matchmaking service built into the game. Between this support and custom lobby options, fans of the original on both PC and console could continue to play a game that Ars Technica didn’t like very much when it launched in 2015.

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The tenuous peace was broken earlier this year when 2K pulled the plug on the game’s P2P server infrastructure without any formal announcement of a shutdown timeline (as opposed to the months-in-advance notices we tend to see, such as a massive game delisting notice issued by Ubisoft last month ). DevelopThe remaining dedicated fanbase did not appear to be staging any noticeable backlash campaign, which meant that Legacy EvolveThe month of downtime, and follow-up fix with 2K to the relevant servers, came and went with little fanfare.

Weeks later, however, fans noticed something: the game’s final official version, better known as Develop step 2, seemed to work again on PC. Perhaps the switch had been flipped as far back as June 8; 2K Games never made an announcement about Legacy Evolve server is being turned back on, and the game’s official support site has been dormant for nearly four years. (Reps from 2K Games did not immediately respond to Ars Technica’s requests for comment.) Anyway, Develop step 2its built-in P2P matchmaking system on PC is back up and running – and even supports some, but not all, of the “progression” systems added when the game got its F2P update in 2016. (One of the more fun response to the news came from an earlier Develop dev, who chimed in on a Reddit thread about the update: “Omg, I’m so happy. Downloading it now.”)

Get a new monster hunting deal via Discord

All in-game purchases have been shut down, and the game’s messages about official 2K servers must be bypassed or ignored to access a barebones “arcade” matchmaking queue. Still, Ars Technica downloaded the 60GB game on Windows PC and confirmed that its unique “one monster versus four hunters” online combat is fully functional.

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In the years since the game’s demise, I’d argue that the concept and execution have benefited from more Western exposure for an obvious comparison: Capcom’s Monster hunter series. When Develop initially launched, it struggled on a public perception level, with players trying to pick each match’s single, overpowered monster, instead of enjoying the strategic fun that the weaker hunters had access to. That description happens to be correct Monster hunteris fun, and that series’ hugely successful Nintendo Switch version opened more American eyes to the genre’s possibilities. It’s not hard to get through some battles Monster Hunter Rise and then ask your favorite co-op group, “What if we could play this game, but with a human deal with the oversized monster?”

Admittedly, Develop step 2 has lingering issues that could have been polished by another round of content updates and bug fixes. It is unlikely that the original developers at Turtle Rock Studios, who moved on to Back 4 Bloodand the publishing team at 2K Games may reconnect at any time to update Develop, so it will probably forever remain as an arguably unfinished fulfillment of the original promise. But as a preserved piece of unique online co-op gaming history, Develop step 2 remains an easily recommended curiosity for anyone who didn’t miss their shot in 2018 to claim a copy – and has warmed to its potential thanks to Capcom’s success in the genre.

For information on how to get either Legacy Evolve or Develop step 2 works – and workarounds for both versions to work in case 2K’s servers change in the future – your best bet is to read the community posts, FAQs and updates at Developits largest existing Discord community.

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