ARK: Survival Ascended won't be bundled with ARK II anymore, but will cost more now

ark ii

In late March, Studio Wildcard announced that ARK II, the sequel to its popular survival game ARK: Survival Evolved, would be delayed from a 2023 release date to late 2024. However, it also announced a new Unreal Engine 5 remaster of the original game, ARK: Survival Ascended. Originally, the plan was to offer the remaster of the game and ARK II in a bundle for PC and Xbox players for $49.99, with PlayStation 5 players getting the remaster for $39.99 as a standalone purchase. It would also cost more if you want to get the Survival Evolved expansions.

However, ARK players made complaints in the last week that getting a remastered version of a game they already own as a bundle with an unreleased game was not the best idea. Late on Friday, Studio Wildcard made another post scrapping the Ark: Survival Ascended-ARK II bundle. It stated:

Our bad; we recognize 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.

The new plan is to offer Ark: Survival Ascended on its own for $59.99. That price will include remastered versions of the game's expansion packs, including future DLC content:

  • 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 remastered game will also include the following features, with more promised in the future:

  • Dynamic navigation mesh and creature pathfinding overhaul (AI pathfinding)
  • Photo Mode
  • Nvidia DLSS
  • Dino/Baby Management QOL
  • Wild Babies
  • Snap point improvements (new snaps, logic improvements)
  • Character creation & customization improvements
  • Cross-platform Multiplayer & Full Blueprint Modding (I know we mentioned this before, but we’re serious, it’s happening on PC and Consoles at launch, and we’ve got it working internally with Overwolf technology – this dramatically changes the nature of the console experience).

Studio Wildcard also addressed why the remastered version of the game isn't a free upgrade for players of ARK: Survival Evolved. It said:

Many of the changes we’re making in ARK: Survival Ascended will touch a lot of aspects of the game; it’ll invalidate save data, some mods may not be functional, some things may not play the same way as they did before, and we didn’t want to change that experience for those who prefer it or are unable to upgrade.

Also, while Ark: Survival Evolved will continue to be playable in multiplayer via "unofficial/player-hosted sessions", along with mods and all of its content, the official online network for the game will be shut down on August 31, with the developers stating that after eight years it wanted "to provide that truly long-term and evergreen version of the game through ARK: Survival Ascended." The game will get one final content update in June that will add a new creature, the Rhyniognatha.

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