Ark: Survival Evolved Devs Backtrack On Free Upgrade Claim, Charge Exorbitant Price For It
Studio Wildcard, the developer behind Ark: Survival Evolved, has backtracked on the previously promised free upgrade, instead opting to charge an exorbitant price for it.
Earlier this year in January, the co-founder of Studio Wildcard and the lead designer/programmer & co-creative director of ARK: Survival Evolved, Jeremy Stieglitz, had suggested that existing owners would receive a “complete free upgrade” for the remastered version of the game, which has been developed in UnrealEngine 5.
Recently, however, the studio has revealed via its latest Community Crunch blog post that existing owners of Ark: Survival Evolved will not receive a free upgrade for ARK: Survival Ascended, the next-generation remaster that will harness the power of Unreal Engine 5. According to the developer, it will be released on Xbox Series S/X, PC (Windows/Steam), and PlayStation 5 by the end of August 2023. Xbox Series S/X and PC players will only be able to gain access to ARK: Survival Ascended via an ultimate-value bundle known as the ARK Respawned Bundle. This bundle will include ownership of both ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2, and will sell for $49.99.
The base game will include The Island, SOTF, and all the “Non-Canon” DLC maps will be added over time. All the expansion packs will be sold separately on all platforms. The $19.99 Explorer’s Pass will include access to Scorched Earth, Aberration (Q4 2023), and Extinction (Q1 2024), while the $19.99 Genesis Pass will include access to Genesis Part 1 (Q1 2024) and Genesis Part 2 (Q2 2024).
The ultimate-value bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to one year, after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 will be sold separately. Additionally, the bundle will give players access to an exclusive 1-month closed beta to ARK 2 in 2024 before the general public is granted access.
It’s unclear as to why the messaging was different back in January, but the change in plans is likely to disappoint all those who were hoping for a free upgrade after the Studio Wildcard co-founder had suggested it. Additionally, it was also revealed that official servers for Ark: Survival Evolved will be taken down on all platforms. That said, it is stated that the final save data from the ARK: Survival Evolved official servers will be uploaded for players to re-host on private servers.