ARK: Survival Evolved’s “Free” Unreal Engine 5 Update Now Starts at $39.99 for PS5, $49.99 for Xbox Series X|S and PC

Image: Studio Wildcard

Studio Wildcard has announced that ARK: Survival Ascended, a next-generation remaster of ARK: Survival Evolved (2015) that harnesses the power of Unreal Engine 5, will be released by the end of August 2023. Xbox Series S/X and PC players will be able to get ARK: Survival Ascended via the ARK Respawned Bundle, an “ultimate-value” bundle that adds the Vin Diesel-starring ARK 2 for $49.99, while PS5 owners will be able to get the upgrade as a standalone game for $39.99. Many ARK fans have reacted negatively to the news, as one of the developers claimed in January that this would be a “free” update, implying it could be downloaded at no extra charge upon release. Studio Wildcard is also being criticized for a couple of other reasons, including ARK 2’s delay to late 2024, as well as its plan to shut down and wipe ARK: Survival Evolved’s servers in August—something that critics say is being done to push players onto the paid remaster of the game. It also looks like Ark players will have to rebuy those expansion packs all over again.

From a Jeremy Stieglitz tweet dated 1/22/23:

To clarify: the UE5 tease a couple weeks back is referring to in-the-works complete free upgrade/remaster of ARK Survival Evolved in UnrealEngine5. Not a cinematic. We havent officially announced the ARK UE5 upgrade yet ’cause there’s other major things we wanna show then as well

From an ARK community post:

ARK: Survival Ascended is a next-generation remaster of our beloved ARK: Survival Evolved, harnessing the power of Unreal Engine 5. It will be released on Xbox Series S/X, PC (Windows/Steam), and PlayStation 5 by the end of August 2023. The base game will include The Island, SOTF, and all the “Non-Canon” DLC maps (which will be added to ASA over time). 

Xbox Series S/X 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 2 and will be priced at $49.99. This bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to 1 year (after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 will be sold separately). Additionally, the bundle will provide players access to an exclusive 1-month closed-beta to ARK 2 in 2024 before the rest of the general public can play ARK 2.

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.

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.

Official Servers: With the launch of ASA at the end of August, we will be taking down 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 singleplayer/non-dedi, as well as slightly earlier snapshots. You will still be able to play on single-player, non-dedicated, player-dedicated, and unofficial servers. ARK: Survival Ascended will have its own fully supported Official Network for all platforms.

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