When ARK: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard announced an Unreal Engine 5 remaster that would ultimately close the game’s official servers (unless they copied original server data for private games or played in others’ private servers) and require players to re-buy the game, many people didn’t react kindly; most people didn’t like how buying Ascended also came with the purchase of an incomplete and unreleased ARK 2, others were not keen on having to re-buy the whole game and related expansion packs, and others were wondering why this UE5 upgrade didn’t just apply to the base game.
These points were elaborated on in the latest newsletter, which first admits that Ascended bundle pricing was not a smart decision. Instead, the remaster will be sold for $60 for every platform and will bundle in Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, Genesis parts 1 and 2, and community-built maps like Fjordur, Ragnarok, and Lost Island all for one price.
“Our intention behind [the original bundle] was to provide a package where you essentially got two products for the price of one. In hindsight, not the best move,” the post admits. “Our bad; we recognize how combining ARK Survival Ascended with ARK 2 and requiring further DLC upgrades wasn’t optimal.”
As for the matter of why a UE5 upgrade meant Evolved official servers have to go dark, the post explains that this isn’t just a matter of a shiny coat of visual paint, as the engine switch also applies “critical design changes” that would not be recognized by existing save data, invalidate mods, or change the game wholesale, which in turn would ruin the game. Furthermore, the studio wants to make Ascended the “evergreen” version of the survivalbox and explains that keeping the original version up to date requires too many resources to do.
“Despite ASE Officials representing the minority of players on ARK, it’s an invested and passionate group with attachments to their bases, tames, and characters, and seeing that go away can’t be easy,” acknowledges the newsletter. “While we know it’s not the same, we hope making the saves available for unofficial use helps diminish the loss.”
🥚An Eggcellent Easter is live until Monday April 24th!
🎨Don't miss out on 3x rates and over 50 event-colored creatures that replace all the standard wild creature colors!
⬇️ Check below for the details pic.twitter.com/MSnq6kjASE
— ARK: Survival Evolved (@survivetheark) April 7, 2023