Studio Wildcard announces an Ark 2 delay, meaning that we won’t see Vin Diesel take up his spear in the next iteration of the hugely popular dinosaur survival game until “the end of 2024” on Steam and PC Game Pass. Instead, the team says players can look forward to a remaster of the first game titled Ark: Survival Ascended – although the decision to make the update paid, despite past suggestions it might be free, and shut down official servers for the original after the remake’s launch leaves many scratching their heads.
“Unreal Engine 5 is incredibly new technology to us,” the team explains in an Ark roadmap blog post. As such, the changes involved in working with the new technology means development on the sequel will take longer than originally intended. However, it continues, “Our desire to push the boundaries of what Ark 2 is has led us to the decision to create an intermediary Unreal Engine 5 Ark product, allowing us to further our mastery of the new engine and ultimately battle-test some of our riskier technical advancements.”
The result is Ark: Survival Ascended – a “next-generation remaster of our beloved Ark: Survival Evolved” set to release in August. It will include The Island, Survival of the Fittest, and all the ‘non-canon’ DLC maps as a base product, but the expansion packs that came out over the original game’s lifespan are being re-bundled into two distinct packages, each of which will retail separately and must be bought on top of the base cost of Ark: Survival Ascended.
While there is an option to buy a bundle including both this new remaster and Ark 2 together, Studio Wildcard also says that official servers for the original Ark: Survival Evolved will be shut down when Survival Ascended launches in August. You’ll still have the option to play in singleplayer or on player-hosted servers, but with no crossplay support between the two versions. The new game also includes support for cross-platform modding tools, with an option for mod creators to charge for their mods if they choose.
“This is the best April Fools joke I’ve heard in a while,” one user on the Ark Reddit remarks, although the announcement arrived on March 31 and appears to very much be real. While a next-gen overhaul of the first game that helps pave the way for the sequel is a nice idea, the decision to charge for both the remake and then again for its expansions has some players querying why they should pay again to continue playing the game on official servers.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to speed on the Ark 2 release date. In the meantime, take a look through the best Ark mods in 2023 and our guide to taming Ark dinosaurs so that you’ll be set for success when the remaster arrives.