ARK: Survival Ascended, the contentious Unreal Engine 5-powered remaster of the original ARK: Survival Evolved, has been handed a delay along with some further reshuffling of plans for its release. The game has been the subject of some criticism among ARK fans after it was announced as a complete replacement for the original version, meaning existing players would have to buy the remaster to continue playing on official servers. Not only that, but at first reveal it was planned that the only way to purchase the remaster was bundled with the upcoming full-fledged sequel, ARK 2.
Since then, developed Studio Wildcard saw fit to change some of those plans, un-bundling ARK: Survival Ascended from the sequel (but making it slightly more expensive in the process). Now though, it’s gone a step further and rethought how it packages in the original game’s expansions, leading the remaster to be delayed from its August release window to now October, minus the Scorched Earth expansion content and at a cheaper “Early Access” price point. Yep, I was confused about seeing the worlds Early Access on a remaster too, but here we are. Also just confused about all the rest of it, honestly. But here’s what Wildcard had to say:
“Survivors. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to delay the launch of ARK: Survival Ascended to later this year and ship the title on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC in October 2023.
We’ve found it challenging working with Unreal Engine 5.2, but at the same time, it is incredibly exciting. We’re discovering new ways each day to push the technology to the next level; combined with the work needed to support a fully cross-platform-moddable game ecosystem on consoles and PC, it’s clear that we’ll need a bit more time.
We’ve also decided to separate the release date of The Island and Scorched Earth. With what we’ve learned about remastering The Island from the ground-up, it wouldn’t be feasible to complete Scorched Earth to a standard we’re happy with. So for now, we’re going to plan that Scorched Earth will be coming to ASA in December this year, Ragnarok and Aberration will follow in Q1 2024, and the rest of the maps beyond then.”
Following these changes, Studio Wildcard also announced that it’ll delay the sunsetting of the original Ark: Survival Evolved servers to September 30th. Server Transfer also won’t be available for the new version until the Scorched Earth content arrives in December. The “Early Access” period will supposedly run until late 2024.