ARK’s Official Release: Looking Back and Forward

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ARK: Survival Evolved has been out in the gaming community long enough for it to have a dedicated player base and significant changes. In fact, how the game looks and plays today is no longer like anything it used to be back in day one. When someone says that the game was released August 29, it’s hardly something to sing about since it’s been playable since June 2015. Nevertheless, the official release deserves a round of applause.

The Not-So Mysterious ARK

In case you’re one of those gamers who doesn’t know titles that aren’t from big studios, ARK: Survival Evolved is an online survival-shooter. Players are trapped in a lush open world full of dangerous creatures (mostly dinosaurs), plain big beasts, such as the ARK Quetzal (sometimes), and fellow survivors. The creatures are out to get you, while the Quetzal could come for you, depending on the person and mood. The golden rule: don’t trust anybody.

To get by in this treacherous quasi-prehistoric realm, players must wield the best weapons possible, gather the necessary resources to build tools and structures for one’s base. Also, players need to protect said base from other raiding survivors, tame creatures if given a chance, or do the raiding themselves. It’s part Far Cry, Monster Hunter, Clash of Clans and Battle Royale.

Progress Before Release

Developed by Studio Wildcard and with the help of Instinct Games, Efecto Studios, and Virtual Basement, the game has been in Early Access since 2015. In that span of two years, lots of things happened. There was the Survival of the Fittest game mode, a free standalone version of the game that didn’t feature any micro transactions. Later on, however, it merged back to the main game.

Another big pre-release, which must be paid to have access, is the Scorched Earth DLC. The DLC added a new desert map, various desert-themed resources with items, and ten new creatures, including the ARK Wyvern. However, adding new content, paid or free, might be a good thing, fans weren’t happy about it, which resulted in negative reviews on Steam.

Other than spinoffs and in-game content, Ark: Survival Evolved came out for different platforms other than Windows before the official release:

  • Linux and OSX (July 1, 2015)
  • Xbox One (December 16, 2015)
  • PlayStation 4 (December 6, 2016)

Delayed and Double

All those developments happened during the Early Access phase because the official release date kept getting pushed back. The game was supposed to achieve official release status by late summer 2016 but was postponed to August 8, 2017, because of the developer’s loftier goals. Once again, however, the launch was once again pushed back to August 29 this year. With the official release comes the doubling of the game’s price tag. You’ll have to cough up $60. It may seem like a chunk for a game that was late, but the substance of content makes it worth the purchase.

ARK: Survival Evolved has finally grown its wings. What’s next for this the game done right? Well, the world of ARK is big and can only get bigger, so there’s no telling. For now, let’s just be happy that the game’s finally through its unorthodox development.