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June 2023

ARK: Survival Ascended

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Studio Wildcard
Release Date: August 2023

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'ARK: Survival Ascended' Is An Unreal 5 Powered Remaster Of 'ARK: Survival Evolved' For PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC

by Rainier on March 31, 2023 @ 3:37 p.m. PDT

ARK: Survival Ascended is a next-generation remaster of the open-world dinosaur survival game ARK: Survival Evolved, harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 5.

In the game survivors wake up stranded, naked, freezing, and starving on a mysterious island where they must hunt, harvest, craft items, grow crops, and build shelters to survive in every biome. Survivors will tame, train, and ride more than 100 stunning dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts, including gargantuan creatures on a scale never before seen in video games! In every available biome -- Jungle, Snow, Swamp, Redwood, and Desert -- you’ll be able to fly an armed Pteranodon squadron over the snow-capped mountains, race through a thick jungle with your pack of trained Raptors, tromp through a fortified enemy base with a convoy of gigantic Brontosaurus, or chase down prey on the back of a raging T-Rex.

Use cunning strategy and tactics to tame and ride the many dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the dynamic, persistent ecosystems across land, sea, air, and even underground. Build your character’s strengths and gain items, skills, and pet creatures using in-depth role-playing systems. Start a tribe with hundreds of other players to survive and dominate competing tribes...and ultimately discover the ARK’s true purpose.

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).

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.

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).

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.

We understand there will be questions regarding LiveOps for the product, so we’ll review some key areas now. 

  • Final Content Update: In June for ARK’s 8th Anniversary, we’ll release ARK: Survival Evolved’s final content update, which includes the fan-voted Rhyniognatha!
  • Cross-platform: It’s important to note that ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK:SE) and ARK: Survival Ascended (ASA) will coexist but will not support crossplay between the two games. ASA will have undergone profound functional changes which prevent it from being compatible with the previous game. 
  • Holiday Events: We plan to develop and release ASA-exclusive holiday content that takes advantage of the next-gen pipeline released in mods, so they’re always available to play!
  • Official Servers: With the launch of ASA at the end of August, we will sunset all Official Servers on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC for ARK: Survival Evolved – at that time, the final save-datas from the ARK: Survival Evolved Official Servers will be uploaded for players to re-host on their own servers or play in singleplayer/non-dedi, as well as slightly earlier snapshots. You will still be able to play on single-player, non-dedicated, player-dedicated, and unofficial servers. 
  • Feature Sunset: With the launch of ASA, we will be ending official support for Primitive+, Split Screen, and Procedurally Generated Maps. These aspects of the game will not be ported to the new Unreal Engine 5 version.
  • We will look into releasing the source files for Primitive+ for those that wish to repurpose aspects of it for mods.
  • ARK: Survival Ascended Updates: The remaster will have regular updates to resolve bugs, introduce new content, balance changes, and quality-of-life improvements for years to come.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved Updates: will be limited to crashes and critical bug fixes. 

ARK: Survival Ascended is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC in August 2023.

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