Ark: Survival Ascended, the upcoming Unreal Engine 5 remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved, has been delayed from the end of August to October, Studio Wildcard has confirmed. The remaster, which was initially expected to be a free upgrade for existing players, has also undergone another price change and content revision, following the negative feedback from the community.
What is Ark: Survival Ascended?
Ark: Survival Ascended is a remastered version of Ark: Survival Evolved, the popular online survival game that lets players tame and ride dinosaurs, craft weapons and structures, and explore a vast open world. The remaster aims to improve the graphics, performance, and modding support of the original game by using Unreal Engine 5, the latest version of the game engine that powers Ark.
The remaster was first announced in May 2023 as a way for Studio Wildcard to familiarize themselves with Unreal Engine 5 development before working on Ark 2, the sequel starring Vin Diesel. The studio said that Ark: Survival Ascended would be a free upgrade for existing players of Ark: Survival Evolved, and that it would include all the expansions and DLCs that have been released for the original game.
However, in June 2023, Studio Wildcard changed its plans and announced that Ark: Survival Ascended would be a separate product that would cost $50 and include Ark 2 as a bonus. The studio also said that it would shut down the official servers and mod support for Ark: Survival Evolved on August 31, 2023, effectively forcing players to migrate to the remaster or lose their progress and content.
This decision sparked a lot of backlash from the fans, who felt betrayed by the studio and accused it of greed and dishonesty. Many players expressed their frustration on social media, forums, and review platforms, calling for a boycott of the remaster and demanding a refund for their original purchase.
Why is Ark: Survival Ascended delayed and discounted?
In response to the criticism, Studio Wildcard revised its plans again and announced another update on July 3, 2023. The studio said that it had encountered some challenges working with Unreal Engine 5.2, especially regarding the cross-platform modding support that it wanted to offer for the remaster. As a result, the studio decided to delay the launch of Ark: Survival Ascended to October 2023 and release it in early access.
The studio also said that it had revised its content plans for the remaster. Instead of including all the expansions and DLCs at launch, the studio said that it would only release The Island map at first, followed by Scorched Earth in December 2023, Ragnarok and Aberration in Q1 2024, and the rest of the maps later in 2024. The studio said that it wanted to ensure that each map was remastered to a high standard and that it needed more time to do so.
To reflect these changes, Studio Wildcard also lowered the price of Ark: Survival Ascended from $60 to $45, with an additional launch discount of $5. The studio said that it wanted to make the remaster more affordable and fair for the players who had supported Ark: Survival Evolved over the years. The studio also extended the shutdown date of Ark: Survival Evolved’s official servers and mod support from August 31 to September 30, 2023.
The studio apologized for the confusion and disappointment caused by its previous announcements and said that it hoped to regain the trust and goodwill of its fans. The studio also said that it planned to show gameplay footage of Ark: Survival Ascended close to its launch date in October 2023.
How have fans reacted to the latest update?
The latest update from Studio Wildcard has not been well received by many fans, who still feel angry and betrayed by the studio’s handling of the remaster. Some fans have accused the studio of lying about its reasons for delaying and discounting the remaster, suggesting that it was only a damage control move after losing sales and reputation. Others have mocked the studio for its poor communication and decision making skills, pointing out its inconsistency and incompetence.
Some fans have also expressed their skepticism about the quality and performance of Ark: Survival Ascended, especially after seeing some comparison screenshots between the original game and the remaster. Many fans have noted that there is little difference between the two versions in terms of graphics and details, while others have questioned whether Unreal Engine 5 would actually improve or worsen the game’s notorious bugs and glitches.
However, some fans have also shown some support and understanding for Studio Wildcard, saying that they appreciate its efforts to improve Ark: Survival Evolved with Unreal Engine 5 and offer more content and features for the remaster. Some fans have also said that they are willing to give the studio another chance and wait for the final product before judging it.
What’s next for Ark: Survival Ascended?
Ark: Survival Ascended is expected to launch in early access in October 2023, with The Island map as the only available content. The studio has not given a specific date or time for the launch, but it has said that it will reveal more information and gameplay footage closer to the release. The studio has also said that it will continue to work on the remaster and release more maps and content throughout 2024.
Meanwhile, Ark: Survival Evolved will remain playable until September 30, 2023, when the official servers and mod support will be shut down. Players who want to keep playing the original game after that date will have to rely on unofficial servers or single-player mode. Alternatively, players can migrate to Ark: Survival Ascended and enjoy the remastered version of the game with Unreal Engine 5.
Ark: Survival Ascended is not the only Ark-related project that Studio Wildcard is working on. The studio is also developing Ark 2, the sequel to Ark: Survival Evolved that will feature Vin Diesel as the main character and executive producer. Ark 2 is expected to release in late 2024, along with an animated series based on the game’s lore and characters.
Ark: Survival Ascended will be released in early access in October 2023, with The Island map as the only available content. The remaster will cost $45, with an additional launch discount of $5. The remaster will also include all the expansions and DLCs that have been released for Ark: Survival Evolved, but they will be released gradually throughout 2024.