Just as, if you can see a raptor jaw clamped around your arm, you can probably deduce the number of fingers you now have, there were some heavy hints that ARK was selling incredibly well. There was the constant presence near the top of Steam’s most played list, for one thing. The 29,675 and counting positive user reviews another.
As it turns out, the missing figure in the middle is two million in sales, leaving ARK the most played open world Early Access game on Steam. If you see the implication for a certain other game in which players also wake up on a beach with nothing.
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More players step into Studio Wildcard’s Jurassic world every day, and they respond in kind with very regular updates - making at least one new addition to ARK’s toothy fauna every week. Two weeks ago, Wildcard introduced new biomes - snow and swamp - which have had knock-on effects in AI behaviour and shelter construction.
It’s the competitive aspect that surprises most. Wildcard are currently running a Survival of the Fittest mode tournament with $60,000 in prizes, fought between 230 players.
The studio are resolute that the game will launch out of Early Access in June 2016 - and given their current punctuality, I’m inclined to believe them. Here’s the full story of how ARK blindsided the industry to gain more Steam players than GTA.