ARK: Survival of the Fittest was supposed to launch on the PlayStation 4 yesterday. Studio Wildcard announced a change in plans Wednesday. The console release of the Hunger Games-style spin-off of ARK: Survival Evolved is being delayed in favor of bringing the main dinosaur survival title to Sony’s console earlier.
Studio Wildcard originally announced ARK: Survival of the Fittest for the PS4 in April of this year. The developer then attended a couple of conventions, including E3 in June, with nary a mention of the status of the console release of the free-to-play game. This culminated into a delay announcement via an update to the original PlayStation Blog announcement instead of its own separate post.
“Hey ARK fans, Studio Wildcard is putting the PS4 version of ARK: Survival of the Fittest on hold in order to focus on preparing ARK: Survival Evolved for PS4 release. While this means ARK: Survival of the Fittest won’t be releasing on PS4 in July 2016, we’re working towards an earlier release of ARK: Survival Evolved,” the developer explained.
Community Manager Jat provided some extra color to the delay announcement via a Twitlonger post. However, the Studio Wildcard representative could only repeat the announcement and promise more details in the future.
“As many of you saw from the Sony Blog, we are indeed delaying Survival of the Fittest for console in order to focus our efforts on upcoming Survival Evolved and PC SotF development,” the Community Manager wrote. “We will have a more detailed update on the status of the SotF projects shortly as well, and you can expect to see that later this month. We are sorry about the delay, and appreciate + thank you for your patience regarding SotF. The upcoming announcement will clear up a lot more.”
ARK: Survival Evolved launched as a Steam Early Access title in July 2015 and was followed by an Xbox One launch in December via the Xbox Preview Program. Survival of the Fittest started out as a mod for the game to provide a Hunger Games-style competitive survival experience for players. Studio Wildcard brought it in house and turned it into a stand-alone free-to-play title complete with monthly cash prizes.
The game has received mixed reviews from Steam users where the negative marks mostly come from laggy and unbalanced gameplay plus high-end PC requirements for it to run well enough for players to be competitive. This may be part of the reason for the delay of ARK: Survival of the Fittest.
Studio Wildcard originally explained it thought releasing ARK: Survival Evolved and Survival of the Fittest on different console platforms was the “most effective and efficient development process” for the studio. Lead Developer Jeremy Stieglitz also stated releasing Survival of the Fittest gave them the chance to publicly test and optimize the shared codebase in advance of a wider release.
The good news is it appears ARK: Survival Evolved will now hit the PlayStation 4 much sooner. The game is currently scheduled for a winter release, which technically ends on March 20, 2017. It was thought the main survival game would not hit Sony’s console until that time. It now appears the game could be launched this year instead. This should be the first step towards mollifying fans of the game constantly asking Studio Wildcard when Survival Evolved is coming to the console.
This also gives ARK: Survival of the Fittest more development time on the PC before it hits consoles. It is currently targeting a fourth quarter 2017 release on Steam. Presumably, it will hit both the PS4 and Xbox One in some form of early release beforehand.
What do you think of ARK: Survival Evolved coming to the PS4 sooner while Survival of the Fittest is delayed? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Studio Wildcard]