Some time ago, Wildcard announced that it was working on ARK: Survival Ascended, a remastered version of ARK: Survival Evolved. However, players did not take the news well, mainly due to the high price of the upgrade and the shutdown of official servers associated with its release of ASE.
The developers recently shared new information about ARK: Survival Ascended, which would seem to be a reaction to the negative reviews of ARK: Survival Evolved, which flooded Steam following the announcement of the remaster. Apparently, however, Wildcard is ignoring the fan boycott, because the changes to ASA double down on the previous plan.
What were the initial plans for the remaster?
Developed on Unreal Engine 5, ARK: Survival Ascended was to be sold at various price points. Xbox Series X/S console and PC owners could purchase the remaster exclusively in a bundle, dubbed ARK Respawned Bundle, costing $49.99. It would include the refreshed ARK and its follow up. The price of ASA on the PS5 would be $39.99, but it would not be possible to purchase the more expensive bundle on this platform.
ARK Respawned Bundle would not include two DLCs (Explorer's Pass and Genesis Pass) - each would have to be purchased separately.
ARK: Survival Ascended - announced changes
Wildcard has issued a new announcement regarding ARK: Survival Ascended. From it we know that eventually:
- The remaster will not offer access to ARK 2;
- on all platforms its price is expected to be $59.99;
- all owners of ASA will receive access to refreshed versions of the DLCs: Scorched Earth (available at launch), Aberration (available in the fourth quarter of 2023), Extinction (in the first quarter of 2024), Genesis Season Pass (Part 1 in the first quarter of 2024, Part 2 in the second quarter of 2024);
- There has been no change in the decision to shut down the official servers of ARK: Survival Evolvedwhich will take place on August 31. After that day, playing with friends will still be possible on unofficial servers;
- save game data from ARK: Survival Evolved will not be transferrable to ARK: Survival Ascended;
- the last update introducing new content to ASE will take place in June - it will add a creature called Rhyniognatha. The game is expected to receive only bug-fixing patches after that.
Fans are still annoyed
Some of the changes mentioned above seem quite reasonable - not everyone would want to buy ARK 2 bundled with a remaster of the first part, especially since the release of the sequel would most likely take place in the form of early access.
Nevertheless, players are still not satisfied with the upcoming ARK: Survival Ascended, and many see the upgrade as a cash grab (mainly due to a $10 price increase). This is all the more frustrating because in January Jeremy Stieglitz, lead designer of ARK: Survival Evolved, claimed that the remaster would be a completely free upgrade that would carry over save data from the original.
"I'm still not going to pay $60 for content and maps that I've played on many times," wrote user Qwen in a comment under the new announcement.
"This crap is nothing just a cash grab. At this point I am fed up with Wildcard," wrote user Dalinar917.
It seems that the developers are even forcing a switch to the remaster - owners of ARK: Survival Evolved will not receive new content, after all. ARK: Survival Ascended on the other hand is expected to be supported for a long time.
- ARK - official website