The recent successes of team action game Overwatch and asymmetrical hunt Dead by Daylight preceded this week's alterations to Team Fortress 2 and Evolve.
Released May 24, Overwatch benefited from a well-received series of public testing periods, but also an inordinate amount of polish in the lead-up to its launch by Warcraft and Starcraft powerhouse Blizzard Entertainment.
It powered past 7 million players on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One in its first week, exceeding a headcount of 10 million by June 14.
Not bad for what was not only Blizzard's first wholly new franchise in over 10 years, but also its first ever entry to the first-person shooter genre.
The achievements of PC game Dead by Daylight might not be on quite the same level, but it's enjoyed an enviable amount of success all the same.
Launched June 14, the gruesome multiplayer survival game lifts motifs from horror and slasher movies.
Rather than having two equally-sized teams try to outwit one another, it organizes a lopsided or asymmetric pursuit for up to five participants.
One plays the lurking monstrous killer, the others his potential victims, scrabbling to escape.
It's not the first horror from studio Behavior Interactive, but after 2006's Monster House and 2010 franchise Naughty Bear adapted tropes for teen or pre-teen audiences, it's the first to fully embrace the genre's more terrifying aspects.
This week, two older games with their similarities to Overwatch or Dead by Daylight announced their own significant changes.
Free-to-play Team Fortress 2 is, like the premium Overwatch, a vibrant, team-oriented shooter which allows players to switch characters partway through a match. It's been around since 2007.
On July 6, studio Valve announced that it would at last match players of similar skill levels together and implement a ranking system.
The addition of a competitive mode also means the game is now better geared towards eSports tournaments – closer in line with not only Overwatch but also its own high-rolling stablemates CS:GO and Dota 2.
At the same time, the team behind 2015's well hyped, asymmetrical multiplayer monster-hunting title Evolve announced that the premium action game would be made available for free on PC from July 7.
It's to be supported by optional, incentivized payments, with the intention of doing the same on console in time.
Even before the game's release, both pre-order and post-release plans seemed better suited to free-to-play than traditional top-tier purchases, with this current pathway likely in place well before Dead by Daylight made its entrance.
Nonetheless, for both Evolve and Team Fortress 2, the timing's still good. — AFP Relaxnews