Studio Wildcard has announced that it will be scrapping the Ark: Survival Ascended bundle following backlash from fans.
“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,” the studio wrote. “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.”
Because of the fan feedback Studio Wildcard received regarding that issue, it is now making Ark: Survival Ascended a standalone game, with the DLC content gradually built in instead of being sold on digital storefronts, for $59.99. The content and their release windows include:
- The Island (released at launch)
- Survival of the Fittest: The Island & Scorched Earth map variants (released at launch)
- Scorched Earth (released at launch)
- Aberration (Q4 2023)
- Extinction (Q1 2024)
- Genesis Part 1 (Q1 2024)
- Genesis Part 2 (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 2 – Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
The studio also reiterated it would be sunsetting Ark: Survival Evolved on August 31 in order to prepare for the launch of Survival Ascended. However, it will update the game one last time on its 8th anniversary in June by introducing Rhyniognatha, a new creature that won a community election.
The initial announcement of the Ark Respawned Bundle caused confusion among fans because they were upset about Survival Evolved getting shut down and having to pay for the Unreal Engine 5 upgrade, had previously been teased as a free upgrade. Studio Wildcard explained that its original plan had been to port the Switch version of the game with no upgrades for free, but came to the conclusion that such an upgrade would “not be sufficient” and opted to create an “evergreen classic Ark experience” that can “continue to grow over time.” However, such a thorough update to the original Ark would apparently invalidate save data and render some mods useless, and could make the gameplay experience unbearable for some players.
However, the original Survival Evolved will still be available for unofficial/player-hosted sessions:
“ASE will still be available to play for those who choose to; that includes multiplayer through unofficial/player-hosted sessions, the endless amount of mods on the Steam workshop, and all the game content as you currently know it. All of that is going to remain, but after 8 years of development, we have to make the difficult decision of sunsetting ASE and the Official Network in order to provide that truly long-term and evergreen version of the game through ARK: Survival Ascended.”
Ark: Survival Ascended will release in August 2023 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.