Following backlash from the community, Studio Wildcard has discarded plans for a bundled launch and will instead release the game on its own.
Studio Wildcard recently made some major announcements regarding the Ark series, announcing that not only had Ark 2 been delayed to late 2024, but also that this August, it’d be releasing Ark: Survival Ascended, a major Unreal Engine 5 remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved, with the original game set to be sunsetted around the same time. At the time, the studio announced that on Xbox Series X/S and PC, the remaster would be sold through the Ark Respawn Bundle, which would also pack in Ark 2, but after backlash from the community, the developer has walked back on that decision.
Studio Wildcard has now stated in a recently published update that when Ark: Survival Ascended launches this August, it will be available standalone on all platforms for $59.99. At launch, it will include the base game itself, in addition to The Island, Survival of the Fittest, and Scorched Earth, with remasters of Survival Evolved expansions set to be released over the next several months.
Meanwhile, the developer has also explained its decision to release a remaster that won’t be backward compatible with the original game, contrary to what it had originally indicated it would do. Essentially, Ark: Survival Ascended is set to overhaul and redo several parts of the original game, which means plenty of elements of Survival Evolved – such as save files and mods – won’t be compatible with the remaster.
“We weren’t trying to mislead you with earlier comments; our plans and overall intentions changed,” Studio Wildcard wrote. “So you’re probably asking, why don’t we make these upgrades to the original ARK: Survival Evolved (ASE)? Frankly, it would not be viable. 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.”
Ark: Survival Ascended is due out this August for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.