Studio Wildcard has announced that its upcoming dinosaur survival game Ark 2 has been delayed to 2024, while its 2017 predecessor Ark: Survival Evolved is being partly shuttered in favour of a paid remaster.
The studio explained that Ark 2 needs more time in development because its creators are still getting to grips with Unreal Engine 5. Wildcard added that it does not plan to show any trailers, in-game footage or screenshots from Ark 2 in 2023, though will host a gameplay reveal in 2024.
In addition to the delay, Studio Wildcard revealed an Unreal Engine 5 remake of Ark: Survival Evolved, which will be titled Ark: Survival Ascended. The remake is set to launch “by the end of August 2023” for PC, Xbox Series X|S and PC, and will be priced at $40 (£32) — though regional pricing is yet to be announced.
A $50.00 bundle will offer both the remake and Ark 2, along with access to a month-long beta for Ark 2 in 2024. Two expansion packs – priced at $20 each – have also been announced.
However, Studio Wildcard has announced that when Survival Ascended launches, it will shut down official servers for Survival Evolved, and support will be halted for anything besides critical bug fixes.
Friday’s announcement has been received poorly by fans, partly because lead designer Jeremy Stieglitz said in January that the Unreal Engine 5 remake would be “completely free”.
To clarify: the UE5 tease a couple weeks back is referring to in-the-works complete free upgrade/remaster of ARK Survival Evolved in UnrealEngine5. Not a cinematic. We havent officially announced the ARK UE5 upgrade yet 'cause there's other major things we wanna show then as well https://t.co/heP331SfS9
— Jeremy Stieglitz (@jeremystieglitz) January 23, 2023
Within Ark‘s Reddit community, some players feel that Wildcard is forcing players to purchase Survival Ascended in order to keep playing a supported version of the game with official servers.
It should have all come together at a set price, or free like it was stated, imo
— Zealous Avenger (@ZealousAvenger) April 1, 2023
you can tell us it's a bad April Fool's PR stunt now pic.twitter.com/i0Dtmp1Wsw
— DeshHere (@DeshHere) April 1, 2023
June 2015 – Aug 2023
Already restarted from legacy to official. Now I am expected to re-buy the game & restart again from scratch. No thanks. pic.twitter.com/x9esRAwz8t
— Rhonni 🙂 (@Polish_Ninja) March 31, 2023
NME has reached out to Studio Wildcard for comment.
In other gaming news, Vampire Survivors has revealed its next fantasy-themed expansion.