The saga of ARK: Survival Evolved and its sequel continues! With news regarding the much anticipated and delayed ARK 2 being few and far between these days, we expected Studio Wildcard would have to provide fans with an update in the somewhat near future. And for better or for worse, here it is. Ark 2 has been officially pushed back to late 2024, and instead we’ll get a proper next-generation ARK remaster in the form of ARK: Survival Ascended for the PS5, Xbox Series X and PC.
ARK: Survival Ascended is being ported over to Unreal Engine 5 and will hit appropriate platforms in August 2023 for around $39.99 (for the base game). ASA will include plenty of updates and quality of life improvements, some new and revamped content, and additional story packs. Xbox Series X/PC players will be able to pick up a ARK Respawned Bundle which will contain ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 for a limited time, which will also provide 1 month advance access to the ARK 2 closed beta.
ARK 2 is still launching as an Xbox console exclusive and will be headed to Xbox Game Pass and PC/Steam.
Anyway… read on for all those confusing details below and stay tuned for more.
Introducing ARK: Survival Ascended?
ARK: Survival Ascended (ASA) is a next-generation remaster of the beloved ARK: Survival Evolved, harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). It will be released on Xbox Series S/X, PC (Windows/Steam), and PlayStation 5 in August 2023. The base game will include The Island, a revamped Survival of the Fittest, and all the ?Non-Canon? DLC maps (which will be added over time).
Xbox Series S/X and PC players will be able to purchase via an ultimate-value bundle known as the ARK Respawned Bundle. This bundle includes ownership of both ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 priced at $49.99. This bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to 1 year (after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 will be sold separately). Additionally, the bundle will provide players access to an exclusive 1-month closed-beta to ARK 2 before the rest of the general public.
PlayStation 5 users will be able to get their hands on ARK: Survival Ascended at launch in August 2023 for $39.99 as a standalone next-gen game.
Additional Story Expansion Packs will be sold separately on all platforms:
- $19.99 for Explorer?s Pass, which includes Scorched Earth, Aberration (Q4 2023), and Extinction (Q1 2024).
- $19.99 for Genesis Pass, which includes Genesis Part 1 (Q1 2024) and Genesis Part 2 (Q2 2024).
At ARK: Survival Ascended?s launch, players will have access to The Island, Scorched Earth, and the new revamped game mode, Survival of the Fittest.
ARK: Survival Ascended will also feature the following improvements and enhancements:
- Unreal Engine 5 Overhaul with Nanite, Lumen, and RTXDI
- Dynamic Water and Interactive Foliage
- Cross-platform Multiplayer
- This includes cross-platform accounts and cross-progression, cross-voice chat & friends, etc. No matter what platform ASA is started on, access is available to each account, character, dinos, and items on a different platform.
- Cross-platform Modding
- Studio Wildcard has chosen to partner with Overwolf, the modding platform leader, to introduce an industry-first cross-platform modding experience where mods created on PC are delivered directly to end-users? consoles from a custom modding backend.
- Premium Modding Market: Mod creators will optionally be able to specify price points for their Mods (with 50% of the price point going to the Mod author). All mods will be reviewed by Overwolf and Studio Wildcard for quality control and value. The remainder pays for the custom infrastructure required for Overwolf to support, administrate, and deliver Mods to the console.
- Survival of the Fittest
- SOTF will be integrated into ASA as a new fully-supported game mode. It will have a dedicated development team that will continue to work on gameplay changes, mechanical improvements, quality of life, maps, and balance adjustments. The mode will be revamped with an exclusive ARK: Survival Ascended update, including:
- Upgraded to UE5 with complete cross-platform and cross-modding support
- Scorched Earth SOTF map
- Matchmaking queue
- Character and creature customization with cosmetics
- Lots of bug-fixes and balance and functionality improvements
- Upgraded art assets throughout the entire game.
- Newly-designed holiday events released as mods so they?re always available to play!
- New content, QoL improvements, balance, and gameplay changes.
In addition, a new canonical-story expansion pack for ARK: Survival Ascended that will be available in Q4 2023. This DLC will feature four new creatures with more details to be revealed later this year.
After much careful thought and consideration, ARK 2 is delayed until the end of 2024, when it will launch exclusively on Xbox, Game Pass, and Windows distribution platforms (Steam/PC). This extra time allows ARK 2 to be the best game it can be and provide a truly exceptional and rewarding experience for players. UE5 is incredibly new technology and with ARK 2, this cutting-edge tech will be used to its fullest potential. As the team learns more about the engine through ASA and develops the sequel, adapted workflows and adjusted pipelines are being created to accommodate this next-generation paradigm. Because of everything that involves, more time is needed. For more details, please see our latest dev blog HERE.
Nintendo Switch Update from GSG
ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition has been off to a great start on Nintendo Switch – Digital Foundry called it “one of the most radical improvements in game quality (they’ve) ever seen.”
To date Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Ragnarok, have launched with Extinction releasing on April 11th. The current estimated release dates for upcoming DLC are:
- April 11, 2023 – Extinction
- May 2023 – Small Tribes servers
- June 2023 – Genesis Part 1
- October 2023 – Genesis Part 2
- Winter 2023 into 2024 – Remaining community maps
Revamp of ARK: Survival Evolved on Mobile
At the year’s end, a relaunch of ARK: Survival Evolved on Mobile is anticipated as a completely revamped product. It will be a graphically improved version of the Switch codebase due to the increased power generally available with mobile devices and include new Switch features and content and mobile-specific changes. All the expansion packs and non-cannon maps will be added over time into this revamped version, and from that point onwards, ARK: Survival Evolved on Mobile will have its product lifecycle and roadmap.
ARK: The Animated Series
All 14 initial episodes have completed the animation and cast recordings, which are currently in post-production (VFX, sound mix, etc.). It’s an epic melodramatic love letter to dinosaurs, fantasy/sci-fi, and, of course, ARK itself. More news in the coming months.