On June 1st, 2018 “2K Mike” from publisher 2K Games announced via a support page update that servers for Evolve and Evolve Stage 2 will be shut down on September 3rd, 2018. This news comes over a year after 2K halted active development of Evolve and reallocated the game’s developer, Turtle Rock Studios, onto other projects. 2K has maintained the game’s servers ever since but stated in October 2016 that there would be no new content. The announcement follows:
Evolve’s dedicated servers will be shutting down on September 3, 2018. This means several game features will no longer be available, such as Hunt (Ranked), leaderboards, and the in-game store. Stage 2 will no longer be available on PC, and players will have plenty of opportunity to spend their in-game and virtual currency before the store is removed. Peer-to-peer multiplayer will still be available in Legacy Evolve on PC and console, and we’d like to stress that all players will retain all purchased DLC content, such as Hunters, Monsters, and skins.
Here’s a timeline of the planned server shutdown
July 2, 2018: Virtual currency bundles removed from Evolve Stage 2 and will no longer be available for purchase
September 3, 2018: Dedicated servers shut down, Evolve Stage 2 no longer available, in-game store no longer available
The 2K support page includes a helpful FAQ that outlines what modes and features will become unavailable after each date. Unsurprisingly, the ranked “Hunt” mode will be removed, as will player profiles, leaderboards, in-game purchases, the newsfeed, and player badges. I’ll have the dates added to the Watch List calendar and a page ready for the site soon.
For such an often lamented delisting you’d think I would’ve caught word that Mafia returned to Steam (and finally debuted on GOG) late in 2017. Making its first appearance in the early 2000’s, it was a miracle that the game ever made it to Steam in the first place. Sadly, it was delisted just two years later due to its licensed 1920’s era soundtrack, and fans have been mourning the loss ever since.
Seriously, it’s right up there with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game for how often its removal is brought up. 2K Games finally put in the work to bring it back though, and while all of the licensed music has been excised from these 2017 releases, the experience is still intact. Psst! If you dig around the game’s forums you might find a guide on how to restore the music in the DRM-free GOG.com version, if you’re willing to put in the work.
I’ve updated its page on the site with more details but for the record, Mafia made its debut on GOG.com on October 20th, 2017 and returned to Steam on November 21st, 2017. If you’ve been mourning its loss you can even grab it for $7.49 on a GOG.com weekend sale that runs through 10pm UTC on Monday, May 14th. Sorry I didn’t get the news out there sooner!
It’s the beginning of the end for Gearbox Software’s beleaguered multiplayer shooter Battleborn. In a forum post made on September 15th, Gearbox staffer MereAtGBX relayed a message from the game’s Creative Director Randy Varnell who confirmed that no further content will be coming to the game after the Fall update. Varnell is quick to add that the servers will remain active for the foreseeable future but with active development wrapped up and a flagging player base (judging loosely by SteamSpy and SteamDB charts), there’s only so much time left before the game is taken offline. Varnell’s full message follows.
Hello Friends –
It’s been a while since I’ve communicated with you directly, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you as Battleborn rounds another milestone in its life.
As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details of any future changes or news will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.
Never fear! Battleborn is here to stay. Nothing is changing with Battleborn, and the servers will be up and active for the foreseeable future. We announced the Fall Update for the game at PAX including some new skins, themed around some of your favorite Borderlands characters! That update will also include some updated title art (more full bar titles!) for the more significant challenges in the game, as well as some additional Finisher Boosts and Taunts. Also, there are minor balance changes in that patch.
If you’ve been paying attention to recent news from the Gearbox Panel at PAX West, you’ll have heard that many folks at Gearbox are working on a highly anticipated project. Although I’m sad my time on Battleborn is coming to a close, I’m happy to announce that I will play a significant role on this highly anticipated but unannounced game, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing some from me again in the future regarding Gearbox games.
I’ve been working on Battleborn nearly exclusively since 2012, and in some ways, that work stretches back to 2009 for me. It’s been a long labor of love with many of my good friends at Gearbox, and I’m proud to have shared that journey with you, our community. Your spirit and loyalty have been a constant inspiration to the team at Gearbox.
Also, I want to personally thank you for giving Battleborn a chance, and dipping down into a new universe with us. We make games for you. And many of you have shared with us how much Battleborn has meant to you personally.
It’s always a bittersweet time when transitioning from one project to another, but also offers the opportunity to step back and enjoy the game we created. Keep an eye out for me in game!
For now, Commander Jythri is signing off and taking the first transport back to a wonderful box of surprises.
You are awesome.
About the only good news I have to report on Evolve Stage 2 is that the game isn’t being delisted… yet. Posts from 2K and Turtle Rock Studios on October 25th have confirmed that future development of the game has stopped and that 2K will be maintaining its servers for “the foreseeable future”.
Turtle Rock’s post by co-founder Chris Ashton is graceful and sentimental. He explains the decision straight away, stating that “this is the life of AAA game developers who aren’t self-funded and don’t own their own IP. We don’t get to make the call. We all know that going in but we still sign the dotted line because we love what we do. We are happy to have gotten the opportunity to do something risky, something new and innovative.” Fortunately this isn’t the end for Turtle Rock as they are moving on to new, as yet unannounced projects.
2K’s post is much more straightforward with a quick FAQ and confirmation that — while active development has stopped — Evolve’s servers and online functionality will be maintained, for a time. It’s on the Watch List for now but if you’ve ever been interested in the game you may want to check it out soon. 2K is becoming one of the most prolific delisters and I wouldn’t be surprised if “the foreseeable future” quickly becomes a solid date in 2017.
UPDATE September 22nd: Mafia II and its DLC have finally returned to Xbox 360. The page was updated between September 16th and the 22nd. The original post follows.
Original Post from September 5th:
On the eve of my holiday weekend vacation (which is why I’m just now digging in) the official Mafia homepage announced that Mafia II was once again available for digital purchase on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While the game appeared promptly on PlayStation Network alongside the August 30th announcement it has yet to return on Xbox 360 nearly one week later. No explanation has been given by 2K Games but I’ve reached out for a comment.
There are a few more wrinkles to the game’s surprise console return, both good and bad. Achievement hunters were quick to notice that the game’s seven pieces of DLC content have yet to return on consoles. On the upside, Mafia II is playable through Sony’s PlayStation Now service on an array of devices but if it does return to Xbox it most likely won’t be backward compatible on Xbox One.
Coincidentally, I had just gotten around to researching Mafia and Mafia II the week before this announcement, confirming that both games were originally delisted due to specific music licensing deals. Mafia II returned to Steam on June 1st, 2016 missing a handful of songs but with all of the DLC in tow.
I’ll update this post and bump it back to the top if 2K makes an official statement or if I see the game pop up on Xbox 360.