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Ark 2 delayed, Survival Evolved official servers to shut down later this year

UPDATE: Studio Wildcard backtracks on plans to release Ark Respawned Bundle.

UPDATE 12/04/23: Studio Wildcard has backtracked on plans to release its Ark Respawned Bundle (which would have included Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2 on its release).

In a new blog update, the developer announced it was "scrapping" this bundle following feedback from players.

"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, before admitting: "Our bad".

"We recognise 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."

Instead of this bundle, Ark: Survival Ascended will now be released as a standalone package across PC (via Windows/Steam), as well as Xbox Series X/S and PS5. This will cost $59.99.

Below is what you can now expect from Ark: Survival Ascended:

  • The Island (Released at Launch)
  • Survival of the Fittest: The Island & Scorched Earth map variants (Released at Launch)
  • Scorched Earth (Released at Launch)
  • Aberration (Released by Q4 2023)
  • Extinction (Released by Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 1 (Released by Q1 2024)
  • Genesis Part 2 (Released by 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)

The original story continues below.

ORIGINAL STORY 03/04/2023: Ark 2, the upcoming Vin Diesel-fronted dinosaur survival game, has been delayed until the "end of 2024". In its stead, we have a remaster of the first game heading our way, with Ark: Survival Evolved's current online servers set to shut down later this year.

In an update over the weekend, developer Studio Wildcard stated it needs more time to work on Ark 2, as the team is still getting to grips with Unreal Engine 5.

"Unreal Engine 5 is incredibly new technology to us (and all developers), and we aim to use this cutting-edge tech to its fullest potential while creating a game with never-before-achieved scope at Studio Wildcard," it wrote.

Vin Diesel in Ark 2.Watch on YouTube

"As we learn more about the engine and develop the sequel, we have adapted our workflows and adjusted our pipelines to accommodate this new next-generation paradigm, and because of everything that involves, we need more time for development."

The studio has said it will not be sharing any "gameplay/screenshots/videos" for its sequel this year. It is, however, releasing a remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved, known as Ark: Survival Ascended.

This remaster is set to release by "the end of August" this year, across Xbox Series X/S, PC (Windows/Steam), and PlayStation 5. Survival Ascended's base game will include The Island, Survival of the Fittest , and all the "Non-Canon" DLC maps (something Studio Wildcard states will be added over time).

Those on PC and Xbox Series X/S will be able to get their hands on an "ultimate-value bundle" known as the ARK Respawned Bundle (which will include Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2 when it releases), and will be priced at $49.99 (no word on UK pricing, as yet). This bundle will also give players access to a closed-beta for Ark 2.

Those on PS5, meanwhile, be able to scoop up Ark: Survival Ascended on its launch for $39.99. As Ark 2 is a Xbox and PC (Windows) exclusive, it will not include Ark 2 for obvious reasons.

Two paid expansion packs have also been announced.

Now, this may all seem fine enough at first glance, but here is the kicker. Studio Wildcard has also announced it will shut down official servers for Survival Evolved, and support will be halted for anything besides critical bug fixes, when Survival Ascended launches later this year.

"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," the developer wrote before stating "Ark: Survival Ascended will have its own fully supported Official Network for all platforms."

Needless to say, many are less than delighted with this news.

"Already restarted from legacy to official. Now I am expected to re-buy the game and restart again from scratch. No thanks," wrote one player.

Another added: "If you truly close official servers and then charge people for the same slightly modded game, you are worthless! That is truly not cool and so many devoted players will not return!"

"It's not too late to delete this and make it free for people who already bought the base game and DLC's," someone else implored, while others hoped it was all a joke or a badly placed April Fool's Day stunt.

I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't look like it from where I'm sitting.

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