Studio Wildcard scraps ARK 2 and Survival Ascended bundle, new price announced

Earlier this week, Studio Wildcard made a few big announcements regarding the future of the ARK franchise. The company first confirmed that ARK 2 would now be released at the end of 2024, then announced that the official servers for ARK: Survival Evolved would be turned off on August 31st, and also revealed ARK: Survival Ascended. The final game is to be a next gen version of ARK built in Unreal Engine 5.

The news was met with a lot of criticism around what would be included in ARK: Survival Ascended, with many pointing out that rebuying the game would also mean rebuying some of the DLC, and that there was no free upgrade path. Studio Wildcard had also stated that ARK: Survival Ascended would be part of an ARK Respawned bundle that would cost $49.99, and also include ARK 2. However, things have now changed.

Studio Wildcard has announced that the ARK Respawned bundle has been scrapped, and ARK: Survival Ascended will cost $59.99 with all the following content included:

  • The Island (Released at Launch)
  • Survival of the Fittest: The Island & Scorched Earth map variants  (Released at Launch)
  • Scorched Earth Released at Launch)
  • Aberration (Released by Q4 2023)
  • Extinction (Released by Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 1 (Released by Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 2 (Released by Q2 2024)
  • All the community-created maps are also to be released over time in 2024 (Fjordur, Ragnarok, The Center, Lost Island, Valguero, Crystal Isles)

With the scrapping of the bundle, it will mean that players will pay more for ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2. In a statement, Studio Wildcard wrote:

First things first, we are scrapping the ARK Respawned Bundle. Our intention behind this was to provide a package where you essentially got two products for the price of one. In hindsight, not the best move. Our bad; we recognize how combining ARK Survival Ascended with ARK 2 and requiring further DLC upgrades wasn’t optimal, especially since you wouldn’t be able to judge ARK 2 as no gameplay or content would be available yet.

Initially, when we had first considered doing an Unreal 5 upgrade, we planned just to port the Switch version of the game and undo the ‘graphical’ limitations required for that hardware. We weren’t going to maximize the potential of the new technology, we weren’t going to introduce new gameplay changes, and we weren’t going to make critical design changes that would have had an impact on existing save data.

After carefully considering what would be the best outcome for those who enjoy ARK: Survival Evolved and would want to continue to enjoy it in the years to come, we decided that our initial plan would not be sufficient. We want to provide you with an evergreen classic ARK experience, one that can continue to grow over time on a cleaned-up code base, making use of the new technological advancements not only in the industry but also in what we are working on with ARK 2.

We weren’t trying to mislead you with earlier comments; our plans and overall intentions changed. So you’re probably asking, why don’t we make these upgrades to the original ARK: Survival Evolved (ASE)? Frankly, it would not be viable. Many of the changes we’re making in ARK: Survival Ascended will touch a lot of aspects of the game; it’ll invalidate save data, some mods may not be functional, some things may not play the same way as they did before, and we didn’t want to change that experience for those who prefer it or are unable to upgrade.

Studio Wildcard has also announced that ARK Mobile should have revamped relaunch by the end of the year. ARK: The Animated Series also had an update, with the studio confirming all 14 episodes have been animated and voice recorded and are in post production. However, no platform has yet picked up the series to stream it.

Source: Steam

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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.