Ark: Survival Evolved’s official servers are scheduled to shut down today, marking the end of an era for fans of the popular dino-breeding survival game. The closure is in preparation for the upcoming release of Ark: Survival Ascended, a piecemeal remake that will be available on Steam Early Access in October. While players will have the opportunity to download their saved data from the official servers, it’s important to note that items, dinos, and characters stored in the ARK cloud will not be included in the save. This transition has left many players with mixed feelings as they say goodbye to a game they’ve invested countless hours into.
Ark: Survival Ascended aims to bring a fresh experience to players by porting the game to Unreal Engine 5 and optimizing its codebase. The game will undergo significant graphical upgrades to take advantage of Unreal Engine 5’s advanced water and physics systems. Additionally, players can expect new creatures, structures, and a revamped island layout. However, it’s important to note that much of the content from Survival Evolved’s expansion packs will be absent from the initial release of Survival Ascended.
Studio Wildcard, the developer behind Ark: Survival Evolved, explains that the primary motivation for releasing Survival Ascended is to generate revenue for the development of Ark 2. With the decision to no longer release paid expansion packs, sustaining the studio’s long-term survival has become a challenge. By offering Survival Ascended as a separate game, Studio Wildcard hopes to secure the funds necessary to create Ark 2, which they describe as a Souls-like adventure. They also aim to provide the community with a classic Ark experience that will stand the test of time.
One of the highly anticipated features of Survival Ascended was crossplay, allowing players to connect and play across different platforms. However, Studio Wildcard announced that crossplay would not be available on Steam PC at launch due to the anticipated bugs and issues that come with a new release. The priority will be to quickly patch any problems that arise on the Steam platform before enabling full crossplay. This decision has disappointed many players who were looking forward to enjoying the game with friends on various platforms.
Despite the impending release of Ark: Survival Ascended, Studio Wildcard has yet to share any gameplay footage with the public. While they assure potential players that a trailer and screenshots will be available before the game’s launch, the absence of visual materials raises concerns about the quality and progress of the game. Players want to see what they are investing their money in and whether the remake lives up to their expectations.
The pricing strategy surrounding Survival Ascended has also raised eyebrows. Initially, developers hinted that the game would be a free upgrade for owners of Survival Evolved. However, Studio Wildcard later announced that Ark 2 had been delayed, and to bridge the gap, they would sell Survival Ascended in a bundle with an Ark 2 pre-order for $50. This decision faced backlash from the community, leading to a revision of the offer. The final pricing structure includes a separate purchase for Survival Ascended at $45 (with a launch discount at $40) and expansion remakes sold separately.
The journey from Ark: Survival Evolved to Ark: Survival Ascended has been a convoluted one, leaving players perplexed and uncertain about the future of the franchise. While the original game boasted immense success, with over 30 million copies sold, the decision to create a paid remake in the midst of developing a sequel has left many fans scratching their heads. The concept of paying for an Early Access remake to support the creation of Ark 2, a game that strays from the genre that made the original popular, seems paradoxical.
As the closure of Ark: Survival Evolved’s official servers looms, players are left contemplating whether investing in Ark: Survival Ascended is a wise decision. The lack of transparency, delayed release of Ark 2, and questionable pricing strategy raise concerns about the future of the franchise. Ultimately, players must decide whether they are willing to pay for an Early Access remake of a game they already own to fund a sequel that may not cater to the preferences of the fanbase. The fate of Ark: Survival Ascended hangs in the balance, and only time will reveal if it can live up to its ambitious goals.