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Ark 2 Delayed to Late 2024, but a Next-Gen Version of Ark: Survival Evolved Is Coming in August


Ark 2 has been delayed until the end of 2024, Studio Wildcard confirmed in a roadmap. The dinosaur survival sequel starring Vin Diesel was originally set for a 2023 release, but has now been postponed because the developers need more time to ‘ensure the betterment of the final product’. The game is still on track for an exclusive launch on Xbox consoles, Xbox Game Pass, and PC, and the reliance on the new Unreal Engine 5 technology has caused them to adjust their workflows. As a consolation, the studio announced a remaster of the original Ark: Survival Evolved, albeit it won’t be a free upgrade for existing owners.

“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,” the blog post reads. “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 developer added that it has no plans of showing new footage or screenshots from Ark 2 this year, but will keep fans informed on any developmental changes by ‘regularly showcasing’ game assets in the coming months, leading up to a reveal next year.

As mentioned before, the company has made the decision to launch a remaster for Ark: Survival Evolved, built on the next-gen Unreal Engine 5. Dubbed Ark: Survival Ascended, the title is set to release by the end of August, across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X, and includes modernised graphics, support for cross-platform modding and multiplayer, and a new ‘account system’ which would inform the team about any changes or feedback to be considered for Ark 2’s development. “Due to the scope of all the technical and QOL changes required for such a next-gen experience, it is not feasible to make this new version of ARK backwards compatible, which led us to conclude that this would need to be a separate product,” the post adds.

However, there is a catch. Once the new remastered version goes live, all official servers for Ark: Survival Evolved will be shut down — essentially killing off their entire player base and forcing them to shell out money for the new version. The final saved data will be uploaded for players to host their own, unofficial servers, in addition to being able to play on single-player and non-dedicated servers.

Those on PC and Xbox Series S/X will be able to get the new remastered version as an ultimate bundle called Ark Respawned Bundle, which includes ownership of both Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2 when it launches. It is priced at $49.99 (about Rs. 4,108), and will be available to buy from the end of August until the following year, after which both games will be sold separately. Owners of the bundle can also expect a one-month exclusive closed beta access to Ark 2 in the year 2024. Meanwhile, PS5 users can get Ark: Survival Ascended as a standalone title for $39.99 (about Rs. 3,286). Any expansion packs will be sold separately across all platforms.

Fans are understandably miffed about this update as Studio Wildcard had previously teased a completely free upgrade for Ark: Survival Evolved on Unreal Engine 5. Even the most recent Steam reviews for the game are negative — with some calling out the developers for forcing players to buy the game a second time. “Im giving a negative review after having 15k hours put into the game for the same reason everyone else is, they are trying to force existing players to pre-purchase Ark2 by ending Ark1’s official servers,” one user said.

Ark 2 will now launch in late 2024 across PC, Xbox Series S/X, and Xbox Game Pass. The remastered Ark: Survival Ascended, meanwhile, is slated to release sometime in August on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.

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