‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Official Release Coming August, New Free Map Released, And Two Expansions Planned

Studio Wildcard appeared on Twitch’s E3 2017 livestream Monday with a host of announcements for ARK: Survival Evolved for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The big news is the open-world dinosaur survival game finally has a release date and is getting a Collectors Edition. Additionally, a fourth map was just released to the PC version of the game for free, and two more expansions have been confirmed.

Monday’s announcements come on the heels of the Xbox One X support reveal. After two years in development, ARK: Survival Evolved will officially exit Early Access on August 8, 2017, for all platforms. The game is getting a retail release along with a $170 Collectors Edition exclusive to GameStop that comes with the game plus the following in a faux-wooden chest packaging.

  • Season Pass with all 3 Expansion Packs
  • Handcrafted leather-bound Explorer’s Notebook, featuring the Dossiers of every creature you’ll find in ARK: Survival Evolved,
  • Official ARK necklace
  • Cloth map of the ARK island
  • Development team poster

Existing owners of ARK: Survival Evolved don’t have to run out and purchase this Collectors Edition yet. Co-founder Jesse Rapczack explained that Studio Wildcard plans to make the extras available for sale after the initial run of the Collectors Edition sells out.

Work up until the official release

An ice wyvern flys by on the Ragnarok map in ARK: Survival Evolved.
[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The development team will spend the final months ahead of release optimizing and polishing ARK: Survival Evolved for release. The performance of the game, particularly on the consoles, has been a sore point for those playing since it launched. Now that ARK is largely content complete, it will be interesting to see how much performance improvement Studio Wildcard can squeeze out of the demanding title.

The end-game is being held back for launch. The Tek Cave was released just over a month ago and allows players to ascend their Survivor, but the final boss battle and cut-scene are just a placeholder.

Free map available now

Additionally, the Ragnarok map is available to download from Steam for free today and will be available on the PS4 and Xbox One as part of a July 4 update. The map comes via Studio Wildcard’s sponsored mod program which pays select modders $4,000 a month to make content for the game.

Ragnarok was selected to be brought into ARK: Survival Evolved as an official mod like The Center because of the quality of the content. New servers are being spun up to host the new map, and those on cluster servers will be able to transfer items and tamed creatures back and forth on the new map.

The new map also brings the Griffin into the game. This all new creature was co-developed between the Ragnarok developers and Studio Wildcard. It can carry two players on its back along and comes with other unique abilities.

[Image by Studio Wildcard]

The map itself is about 50 percent complete and has a diverse set of biomes along with hot springs, ocean, and an active Volcano that yields valuable lava crystals. A desert biome is also present with plans to add some of the creatures from the Scorched Earth expansion in the future.

Ragnarok also has some unique features like the ability to build in some caves, additional harvestable resources, and the ability to build tree platforms in places other than redwoods.

“It’s part of what we wanted out of the sponsored mod program,” Rapczack said.

Price increase

Console owners may have already noticed ARK: Survival Evolved received a price increase Monday. Studio Wildcard announced the change was coming and bumped the price of the title to $59.99 on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

PC owners should expect a similar price increase in July.

[Featured Image by Studio Wildcard]