Studio Wildcard Boldly Starts Paying 'ARK: Survival Evolved' Modders

Modders and their creations have been a major part of ARK: Survival Evolved since it first launched to Steam Early Access in July 2015. Studio Wildcard made a bold move Tuesday by announcing it has begun sponsoring some mod makers with a monthly stipend of $4,000 to help them complete their work.

ARK: Survival Evolved has already absorbed two mods, Primitive Plus and The Center, into officially supported mods. However, this came after Studio Wildcard hired the developers as full-time employees. The sponsorship program is something different by giving hobbyists the extra bit of support they need to make their mods shine.

"The hope is that with this kind of stipend, these authors, who really are hobbyists and have day jobs so they can't really afford to spend as much time as they'd like on modding, that this will let them spend more time on modding, and ideally, hopefully, take some of these mods to completion," co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz told PC Gamer in an interview.

Studio Wildcard will choose 15 modders each month and pay them $4,000 to work on their mods. The studio will evaluate the progress of these mods on a month-to-month basis and determine if support will continue of if the money is better spent supporting another modder.

The number of 15 is not a hard and fast rule for Stieglitz, however. He is open to expanding the program to more mods if the need arises.

Interestingly, Studio Wildcard opens with the possibility of these mods being integrated into the official release of ARK: Survival Evolved on not just the PC, but the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. This should provide a healthy variety of playstyles for all platforms and can essentially be looked at as free DLC.

Those concerned about support for mods in the program should know Studio Wildcard has planned for the eventuality that the developers might move on. All sponsored mod source assets will be uploaded to the studio so they can provide bug fixes and ensure the mods will stay compatible with all ARK: Survival Evolved updates.

Here are the first 15 ARK: Survival Evolved mods to be sponsored by Studio Wildcard.

Total Conversion Mods

ARK Moon Survival by DavidBC

The ARK: Moon Survival Mod for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by DavidBC / Studio Wildcard]

A total conversion mod set on the moon. Players will still need to harvest resources, build shelter, and craft items. Except, this time it's in the even harsher atmosphere of space.

Content Mods

Castles, Keeps, and Forts Medieval Architecture by enc | ExileAcid

For ARK: Survival Evolved players who are fans of the middle ages, this mod adds more than 60 new craftable building pieces.

Eco's Decorative and RP Mods by Eco

The ARK RP mod for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Eco / Studio Wildcard]

Even more craftable items. This mod adds a large selection of furniture, market stalls, bushes, flowers, crystals, and more. As its name suggests, the items added with this mod are geared towards role-playing servers.

ARK Steampunk Mod by iSpeZz

Take the sci-fi elements out of ARK and replace them with steampunk. This mod adds plenty of steam powered goodies and even a hot air balloon.

MRRADTOOLS.INC Content Pack by MRRadioactiv

The MRRADTOOLS.INC Content Pack for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by MRRadioactiv / Studio Wildcard]

ARK players unhappy with the default set of walls will want to check out this mod pack. It adds new walls and gates to craft along with new decorative pieces for bases and new weapons.

Structures Plus Mod by orionsun

This overhauls the existing building system in the game.

Platforms Plus Mod by orionsun

Expands the number of structure pieces available for building platform bases on Redwood trees.

Survival Plus by Tao

The ARK: Survival Evolved mod, ARK Survival Plus.
[Image by Tao / Studio Wildcard]

Similar to how Primitive Plus added loads of new craftable items to the Primitive gametype, this mod adds hundreds of new crafting items to the base ARK: Survival Evolved game. The goal is to add more survival aspects to the game by adding more intermediate crafting requirements and a deeper tech tree. There are even different professions and a built-in currency system to barter and trade.

NPC Bush People by Swords

Add human NPC characters to your ARK. This can be used in both online servers or offline servers to give a PVP feel.

Map Mods

Thieves Island by Tkat5200

The Thieves Island mod map for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Tkat5200 / Steam]

The first of two maps inspired by bands from the Rogue Records America label.

Skies of Nazca by Tkat5200

The second map from the Rogue Records America label. This one has floating islands.

Madagascar Evolved by Hey my team rules!

Large map based on the real-world island of Madagascar.

Shigo Islands by ExilogUploader

The Shigo Island map for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by ExilogUploader / Studio Wildcard]

A fantasy style map complete with giant mushrooms.

Roraima by Jeff

Inspired by the real world Roraima tabletop mountain in the Brazil.

Ragnarok by Excited Kangaroo

From the creators of the Valhalla map, comes an even wilder map filled with interesting sights.

Utility Mods

Offline Raid Protection by jslay

The Offline Protection mod for ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by jslay / Studio Wildcard]

Tired of your base getting raided while you are offline? This mod will deter raids while tribes are offline by raising a force field. It does not completely eliminate offline raids, but it is far better than what is offered in the game by default.

ARK Postal Service by jslay

Want to keep in touch with other members of your ARK? This mod will allow you to send mail to others.

Advanced Command Menu by Woeful Macabre

Simply the most complete and easy to use server administration mod available for ARK: Survival Evolved.

[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]