In the middle of August, ARK: Survival Ascended called attention to a partnership with Nitrado that would guarantee the option for players to rent private servers for the upcoming survival sandbox, with the announcement talking up how Nitrado’s “know-how and funding” would be leveraged to player benefit. As it turns out, that referenced funding is pretty substantial and has a few more layers beneath the prose of the announcement.
An SEC filing from July shows how the agreement between ARK publisher Snail Games and Nitrado owner Marbis GmbH came to be, confirming that Marbis would effectively provide a loan of over $4M to Snail as part of the companies’ partnership, which includes a deduction of over $1M in outstanding debt accrued and as yet unsettled by Snail between March and June of this year. A few days later, the terms of the agreement were inked and confirmed.
The agreement terms caused forum-goers to allege this is a server-hosting “monopoly,” adding to similar complaints from players at the time of the initial announcement, though fans do point out that after three years of exclusivity, Snail can open up private server hosting agreements with up to three other companies. Others are worried that not only is Snail effectively indebted to Marbis, the targeted launch of October is bewildering and possibly even unlikely given how little information and gameplay footage had been shared by Studio Wildcard thus far.
What has been shared by ARK has been another community creature winner, along with word of the next community creation contest, the ability for players to save their ASE saves, and the beginning of Classic PvP Season 7.