Ark: Survival Evolved Is Receiving A Remaster, But It Won’t Be Free For Existing Owners

The 2023 roadmap for Ark: Survival Evolved was revealed earlier today, confirming that not only is Ark 2 delayed to late 2024, but a remaster of the original game is in the works for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Ark’s remaster will have a slightly different name too, as Studio Wildcard has confirmed the current-gen version will be called Ark: Survival Ascended. The current-gen remaster will reportedly harness the power of Unreal Engine 5, and will be released by the end of August this year. Unfortunately, it won’t be a free update for existing owners of the game.

According to Studio Wildcard, the base game of Ark: Survival Ascended will include The Island, SOTF, and all of the “non-canon” DLC maps, but they will be added in due course. If you plan on purchasing Ark: Survival Ascended on PC or Xbox Series X|S, it will only be available in the Ark Respawned Bundle, which includes both Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2, when it releases, of course. The bundle is priced at $49.99.

The bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August 2023, but – as if it wasn’t complicated enough already – the bundle will only be available for one year. This means that if you’re on Xbox Series X|S or PC, you only have one year to buy the bundle, after which you will need to purchase Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2 separately. It will also include exclusive access to a 1-month closed-beta to Ark 2 in 2024.

As for PlayStation 5 users, Ark: Survival Ascended will be available to purchase as a standalone game for $39.99 at the end of August. All of the expansion packs will be sold separately across all platforms, which includes the following:

  • $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).

Studio Wildcard also provided a full list of new features included in the remaster, which can be viewed below:

  • 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 & 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
    • SOTF 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 SOTF UE5 source content will be released for modders to utilize as they wish within ASA)
      • Scorched Earth SOTF Map
      • 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, QOL improvements, balance, and gameplay changes, including but not limited to:
    • Updated mini-map (pan, zoom, pings, etc – similar to the SOTF mini-map)
    • New structures (display cases, smaller TEK Teleporters) & building QOL 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)