monster roars in evolve

March is just around the corner, hiding in the shadows and waiting to pounce. It's appropriate, then, that one of the Xbox Live Games with Gold for the month will be Evolve, the game all about a team of humans hunting a giant monster that, in turn, is stalking them as well. Of course, given the game's history, it's a bit odd to see it in the lineup.

As always, Xbox Wire has gone live with the latest batch of free Games with Gold just in time for a new month to kick off. Gold subscribers are getting the usual collection of four titles to enjoy on the Xbox 360 and/or Xbox One, but one of this month's offerings gave us reason to pause.

Being an online-only game, Evolve seems like the perfect fit for a service like Games with Gold. Unfortunately, we can't help but feel like this is coming really, really late to the party. You see, back in October, Turtle Rock Studios finally cut off support to the game after a brief and, we assume, relatively unsuccessful run. To be clear, the online servers are still alive and well thanks to publisher 2K, but it seems odd that they waited until now to strike a deal with a service like Gold, considering the good it could have done for the online shooter.

Some would argue that Rocket League would not be where it is today had it not been for launching as a PlayStation Plus game. There's no telling how many people would have been willing to give the online-focused driving/sports game a shot if it launched like a normal game, so having it hand-delivered to gamers as part of Plus was a fantastic way to get buzz building.

We're not saying that Evolve should have launched on Gold or Plus, just that it could have potentially benefitted from joining such a lineup much sooner. Imagine if 2K and Turtle Rock had struck a deal with Microsoft or Sony around this time last year, before they had cut off support and killed the PC version's free-to-play model. Again, no guarantees or anything, but we imagine that influx of players could have built more buzz and a more solid community for the title. That could have translated into more sales and given them a reason to keep supporting it. It's a bit of a "what if" scenario, and there's no telling if it was even a possibility, but it's something we can't help but wonder about.

Either way, Evolve is joining Gold in March, which should come as great news for those who are still playing it and wishing for a more active community. It'll be joined by the horror game Layers of Fear on the Xbox One, with the Xbox 360 crowd getting Borderlands 2 and Heavy Weapon. As a reminder, all Xbox 360 Gold games are playable through backwards compatibility, so, if you're gaming on the Xbox One, you can add all four of these games to your collection.

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