2K Games have announced that they are shutting down the servers for Turtle Rock Studios' Evolve. The first-person shooter's dedicated servers are set to go down on September 3, 2018 on both consoles and PC. This will also mean the end for several features including the ranked online play, leaderboards, and the in-game store (so those with in-game currency will want to spend it before that date).
The cooperative shooter released in February of 2015 with lofty expectations due to the developer's previous work on the Left 4 Dead series. However, the five-player asymmetrical multiplayer title (which had four players working together to take down a player-controlled monster) never managed to find a huge audience. Publisher 2K eventually tried to reconfigure the game in mid-2015 into a free-to-play title called Evolve Stage 2, which will be shutdown alongside the dedicated servers in September and will be no longer available to download past July 2, but it wound up being too little, too late.
While dedicated servers are going away forever, that doesn't mean that the online portion of Evolve will be totally unplayable. The multiplayer will instead rely on peer-to-peer matchmaking, which will use the connections of the five players in order to play online. Through quick play Evolve owners will be able to play many of the game's various modes (Hunt, Nest, Rescue, Defend, Arena), and both custom games and its main Evacuation mode will be playable. Of course, the single-player offerings (that allow players to play with and against AI players) will still work as it did previously. 2K has also confirmed that players will retain all of their purchased DLC content (such as monsters, hunters, and character skins).
It's always disappointing to see a game's servers get shut down, but at least Evolve isn't entirely going the way of the dodo. Peer-to-peer matchmaking has its downsides and isn't as reliable as dedicated servers, but it's better to have the game playable than not at all. However, it is a bit surprising to see that the free-to-play version of the game never made its way to console, as that could've been one last ditch attempt at saving it.
It's also hard to fault 2K for cutting their losses with Evolve. The multiplayer shooter never found the success that the publisher expected, and only a few die-hard players were still playing it in 2018. Most people who purchased it bounced off to other multiplayer games and are spending their time in active shooters like Fortnite or Overwatch.