Primal Survival development has ceased for ARK: Survival Evolved

    
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ARK: Dead on Arrival

As we approach this year’s E3, it seems like an opportune time to check back in on features and additions that were promised at the prior year’s E3. Remember when ARK: Survival Evolved talked about Primal Survival? It was announced as a total conversion of the game by Instinct Games and was meant to let players jump into the role of the various creatures, hunting, mating, and surviving as a dinosaur instead of a human. That sounds cool just typing it out! So when is it coming?

Never! Because development on it has apparently been cancelled with no further explanation. (It includes a promise that the developers may look at it later, which is usually code for never considering it again.)

Fan reactions are split on the game’s Reddit, with some fans arguing it’s not really Studio Wildcard’s fault and others arguing that the developers have spread themselves too thin to begin with. Regardless, it’s good as a reminder to temper your hype about anything you see announced on the show floor this year, as it may or may not ever seen the light of day.

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ceder

This was just posted in Steam in a thread about the cancellation of Primal Evolved and the concerns people are raising by Jen one of the CM’s for Ark:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/1290691937732024698/?ctp=2

In early access, everyone gets to see the white board of ideas that is usually hidden in a remote office somewhere. Everyone sees what we would LIKE to do, in an ideal world. People sometimes get upset at me for using words like “may” and “could” because they are passive, but often times our to do list is taken as law and not completing things on our to do list is taken as us lying. Sometimes things get scrapped, sometimes we move on to different and better things, all of which are about getting ARK to a good place that we’re happy with. We of course want everyone to be happy with us too, but it is hard to please everyone when everyone has their own ideas about what ARK should be and look like.

At some point you do have to put a bow on something and call it finished, yes. I think it is unrealistic to expect–if you currently do–that there will be massive change between now and release to core content. What I was trying to say with that statement is that we will be focusing on improving existing content (ex. the Araneo got some improvements today along with the Broodmother) and making it the best it can be, but will not be redoing large chunks of content as some people may desire (ex. some people want entire systems redone, which will not happen).

Currently we are wrapping Ascension and the final boss (on top of the fixes that have already been rolling out). While I am obviously biased, I think those are pretty exciting and going to interest a lot of players who are interested in the lore of ARK

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I have to say that this put into conjunction with the rumors concerning Light and Dark trying to finally get released(the current favorite child of Snail games of which Wildcard studios is owned) is starting to make more sense. Both games have been using the same sets of international minor studios to work on animations and assets and if resources are being redirected more to Dark and Light, then its obvious that means Ark is being required to scale back.

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Melissa McDonald

I must be the only person who plays this game as a kind of nature study. I find the AI of the critters to be pretty interesting, how they interact and especially when they battle each other. I don’t really play the game the way it’s intended, but I slink around with my clipboard and feel like Jane Goodall.
It’s also great fun to take massive ANSEL super-resolution pictures, and also 360 VR pictures that put you more inside the game than any flatscreen monitor can.

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Tanek

To give an example of what some people have been talking about when it comes to dino AI, I have seen a suggestion to give carnivores a hunger meter. Right now they eat any prey in sight no matter their state.

The only big change that I have seen made with respect to wild dino combat behavior has been the fleeing mechanic. Which seems to be just a simple “once you reach this state, run away” binary. (I could be very wrong on this, but it is the impression I get from observation.)

I will grant you, though, the game can LOOK really pretty. :)

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ceder

There is a mod if I’m not mistaken that actually improves the AI and other aspects of the dinos(for example not having the rex giga etc constantly attacking and eating everything all the time but having a meter/counter to be less aggressive when full.

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ceder

They went dark for months about Primal evolved when the initial release date had come and gone. They as well seemed to not be planning to attend E3 making it look more and more likely that things aren’t looking good for them.

Given the way the devs have been acting over the last few months and some of the changes they’ve been implementing to ark itself, I can’t help but feel now we’re seeing the game(and potentially the studio) drawing to a close and a rush to just throw it and move on.

Its really a shame but they’ve really mismanaged Ark(and the planned brand they’d lauded for a while).

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Armsbend

It seemed to coincide with the lawsuit that they lost.

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ceder

The lawsuit by Trendy was filed at the start of 2016 and settled out of court by late spring.

So it never went to court so technically not a loss…. though I’m sure that the 40mil settlement was a loss to be sure. They’ve made that back at least double in the time since(after all they launched scorched earth 4 months later and have put both game and se on sale every 2-3 months and hit 100k concurrent record in feb).

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Tobasco da Gama

Well, I definitely agree that the Ark devs are spread too thin, given that they still can’t seem to cross the threshold from Early Access to an official launch…

But, at the same time, if you wanted me to give one of these survival gankboxes the time of day, then letting me play as a dinosaur would be a fine way to do it.

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Melissa McDonald

It’s an interesting enough game as it is, doesn’t really need a whole new mode.

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Tanek

My hope (other than being able to play as a dino) was that work on Primal Survival would lead to improvements in dino AI for the game as a whole.

They just posted, though, that

There will not be any sweeping reworks to existing features (ie do not expect a complete overhaul of anything minus the UI changes that are already happening).

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This pretty much kills most of the improvements I was hoping for in the building, AI, and taming/kibble mechanics. Also probably does not say much for the possibility of that “TLC pass” for the older dinosaurs that are, for the most part, completely overshadowed by the new critters.

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Arktouros

I mean they can buff a Carno and give it 3 times it’s damage but you’re still going to get stunned by a Purlovia/Microraptor on it and potentially killed. They can give Sarco a real AOE finally but we’re still going to get shocked by Eels out in the ocean and it’s going to die every time.

Those CC effects to add danger are what is killing diversity and a dino overhaul isn’t going to suddenly make me get off my Wyvern in favor of an older dino thats’ going to just get perma spiked by a Kentro and killed lol

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ceder

To me a lot of the news Jen has erupted with makes me feel they’re in the process of punting the game and moving on or just shuttering the studio.

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ceder

Jen just stated this on the steam forums:

“There is plenty of work ahead for us with ARK that doesn’t involve “putting a done sticker on it”. That work largely does not involve the overhaul of existing features as we work towards official release, but is more focused on improving what is in place. What happens after release is not included…”

So what to them shall be defined as an “overhaul” versus an “improvement”? Dino AI? Pvp balancing? Dino Stats? etc. To me this is just word games to give them the flexibility to shift as they please, kite what they don’t want to bother wise(indefinitely) and more.

It also goes into contradiction with the “more to come in the near future” on their steam update notes sticky.

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Arktouros

They’re too busy adding annoying ass dinos that fear, stun, shock, immobilize, etc you then wonder why dino diversity is so low when players only use the dinos that are immune to those things.

:thinking: it’s a mystery.

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Koshelkin

Why not just keep it in Early Access a couple of years ? It will grow with time!

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johnwillo

Primal Survival is extinct.

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Loopy

Missed opportunity for an epic title.

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Greaterdivinity

Fan reactions are split on the game’s Reddit, with some fans arguing it’s not really Studio Wildcard’s fault and others arguing that the developers have spread themselves too thin to begin with.

I mean…if not with the devs, then where does the fault lie? I’m still pretty skeptical of the devs overall, not terribly thrilled with how they’ve handled ongoing development for the game.

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Utakata

It was a chupacabra that got into the tech room. Defecated on all the critical engine components for making that feature a reality… >.>

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Hirku

I think you have a bright future in game industry pr…

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Loopy

Somehow it only affected the binaries for this specific feature, and nothing else. Those chupacabras really are elusive creatures..

Also, for any future bugs, probably related to the same chupacabra.

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Utakata

Elusive as it is incontinent I’m afraid. /eww :(