ARK: Survival Ascended announced for PS5, Xbox Series, and PC; ARK: Survival Evolved servers to shut down in August

1 year ago 129

An Unreal Engine 5 remaster of ARK: Survival Evolved.

Studio Wildcard has announced ARK: Survival Ascended, an Unreal Engine 5-based remaster of ARK: Survival Evolved, for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, and PC. It will launch in August.

When ARK: Survival Ascended launches, servers for the original ARK: Survival Evolved will shut down.

Get all the details below.

The ARK: Survival Ascended base game will include “The Island,” “Survival of the Fittest,” and all the “Non-Canon” downloadable content maps (which will be added to ARK: Survival Ascended over time).

Xbox Series and PC Pricing

Xbox Series X|S and PC players will only be able to get it via an ultimate-value bundle known as the “ARK Respawned Bundle.” This bundle includes ownership of both ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK II and will be priced at $49.99. This bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to one year (after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK II will be sold separately). Additionally, the bundle will provide players access to an exclusive one-month closed-beta to ARK II in 2024 before the rest of the general public can play ARK II.

PlayStation 5 Pricing

PlayStation 5 users will be able to get their hands on ARK: Survival Ascended as a standalone next-gen game at launch in August 2023 for $39.99.

Expansion Packs Pricing

All the 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).

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.”

Improvements and Enhancements

In addition to many other new features, ARK: Survival Ascended will feature the following improvements and enhancements:

  • Unreal Engine 5 Overhaul with Nanite, Lumen and RTXDI
  • Dynamic Water
  • Interactive Foliage
  • Unreal Engine 5 performance gains: instanced-rendering (large-bases etc.), threaded server networking, and native physics engine.
  • Cross-Platform Multiplayer
    • This includes cross-platform accounts and cross-progression, cross-voice chat and friends, etc. No matter what platform you start playing on, you can access your account, character, dinos, and items on a different platform for the ultimate cross-platform experience.
  • Cross-Platform Modding
    • We recognize the power of giving players the tools and capability to define their survival experience, so we want to take cross-platform one step further by working with Overwolf 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.
    • The modding capability will include FULL blueprinting support ;), stacked mods, and maps. Everything that is currently possible on the Steam version of ARK: Survival Evolved and more will be possible on the new system and be available for end-users to play on consoles in all modes.
    • Premium Mods: Reviewed by Overwolf and Wildcard for quality control and value, Mod authors will optionally be able to specify price points for their Mods (with 50% of the price point going to the Mod author). This is necessary to pay for the custom infrastructure required for Overwolf to support, administrate, and deliver Mods to the console.
    • We plan on streamlining the process of upgrading legacy ARK: Survival Evolved mods to the next-generation platform. We plan to reach out to current/former sponsored modders in preparation for the launch of ASA with the tools they need to get their mods ready before the launch.
  • Cross-Platform Anti-Cheat
  • Survival of the Fittest
    • “Survival of the Fittest” will be integrated into the main product as a new fully-supported game mode. It will have a dedicated team that will continue to work on more gameplay changes, mechanical improvements, quality of life, maps, and balance adjustments. The initial mode will be revamped with an exclusive ARK: Survival Ascended update, including:
      • Upgraded to Unreal Engine 5 with complete cross-platform and cross-modding support (the “Survival of the Fittest” Unreal Engine 5 source content will be released for modders to utilize as they wish within ARK: Survival Ascended).
      • “Survival of the Fittest” map – “Scorched Earth.”
      • Matchmaking queue.
      • Character and creature customization with cosmetics.
      • Local Lobby where you can group up with your friends, configure the look of your survivor and dinos, and queue up for lobbies together.
      • Lots of bug-fixes and balance and functionality improvements.
  • Art Assets are being upgraded throughout the entire game.
  • Newly-designed holiday events take advantage of the next-gen pipeline, released as mods, so they’re always available to play!
  • New content, quality-of-life improvements, balance, and gameplay changes, including but not limited to:
    • Updated mini-map (pan, zoom, pings, etc.—similar to the “Survival of the Fittest” mini-map).
    • New structures (display cases, smaller TEK Teleporters) and building quality-of-life improvements (snap fixes, increased foundation support, foundation height adjustments, and more).
    • Queueing system.
    • New third-person camera (with the option to opt out).
    • Directional sprinting and walking.
    • Ping system.
    • Gamepad cursor.
    • Chibi slot and skins tab.
    • Balance passes (e.g. cave entrances, MEKs, aberration creatures, more breedable creatures, etc.).
    • …and more! (Seriously, a lot more, this list isn’t exhaustive, but it’ll get super long if we list everything, and there’s more we’ll decide to do between now and launch too.)

Live Operations

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 and ARK: Survival Ascended will coexist but will not support cross-play between the two games. ARK: Survival Ascended will have undergone profound functional changes which prevent it from being compatible with the previous game.
  • Holiday Events – We plan to develop and release ARK: Survival Ascended-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 ARK: Survival Ascended 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 single-player/non-dedicated, 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 ARK: Survival Ascended, 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.
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