Ark: Survival Ascended will now be sold separately but will be more expensive. Last week, developers of the dinosaur survival game confirmed that Ark 2 was getting delayed into late 2024 — not surprising, considering we have yet to see any footage from it. At the same time, the studio announced a standalone Unreal Engine 5 remaster, which would be available this August as a $49.99 (about Rs. 4,098) bundle, alongside access to Ark 2. However, following fan backlash from last week, the team has now decided to sell the remastered version separately for $59.99 (about Rs. 4,198), across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. All the expansions that were originally planned to be sold separately, will now be included in the package.
Previously, it was assumed that Studio Wildcard would be providing the Ark remaster as a free upgrade. “Initially, when we had first considered doing an Unreal 5 upgrade, we planned just to port the Nintendo Switch version of the game and undo the ‘graphical’ limitations required for that hardware,” the blog post reads. “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 careful consideration, the developers have decided this is the ‘best outcome,’ and elaborated on why the upgrade simply couldn’t be implemented on the existing Ark game.
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Studio Wildcard claimed that the changes they have in store for us just wouldn’t be viable — it would invalidate the save data, render some mods unfunctional, and cause some gameplay imperfections. This is also one of the reasons the team plans to sunset the ASE Official Network — servers — offline on August 31, essentially killing the existing player base, as they’re forced to buy the new remaster. Saves will be made available for use on unofficial servers and player-hosted sessions, in addition to single-player functionality.
Since Ark 2 is only aiming for a PC, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox Game Pass release, the PS5 version of Ark: Survival Ascended was originally priced at $39.99 (about Rs. 3,278). (The bundle did not include access to Ark 2.) But now, the game will be priced equally across all platforms, bringing modernised graphics, a photo mode, support for Nvidia DLSS, improvements to character creation and customisation, cross-platform multiplayer, and more. With that said, here’s the entire list of ‘built-in’ content to be expected from Ark: Survival Ascended, alongside their launch windows:
- The Island (Out on Launch)
- Survival of the Fittest: The Island & Scorched Earth map variants (Out on Launch)
- Scorched Earth (Out on 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)
Ark: Survival Ascended will be out sometime in August, across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. Meanwhile, Ark 2 will be released separately in late 2024 on PC, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox Game Pass.