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Ark 2 has Vin Diesel killing dinosaurs

Plus an animated series

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Ark: Survival Evolved, the genre-defining multiplayer survival game, is getting a sequel. Ark 2 was announced Thursday during The Game Awards with a new trailer starring Vin Diesel. But that’s not all. The game is also getting a spinoff cartoon with a star-studded cast.

First launched in the summer of 2015, the original Ark quickly became one of the most popular — and lucrative — titles on Steam. The blend of multiplayer survival mechanics, crafting, base building, with raids and persistence has grown a devoted following. Since then it’s arrived on just about every major platform, including the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

Not much is known about Ark 2, but you can expect it to have the same kinds of prehistoric creatures and science fiction themes as the original.

the poster for Ark: The Animated Series features a young woman with a bow riding a duck-billed dinosaur. Image: Studio Wildcard

The bigger surprise of the night was the announcement of a cartoon. Titled Ark: The Animated Series, it will include the talents of Madeleine Madden, Michelle Yeoh, Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Wright, David Tennant, Zahn McClarnon, Devery Jacobs, Ragga Ragnars, Elliot Page, Karl Urban, Malcolm McDowell, Deborah Mailman, Russell Crowe, and Vin Diesel.

Update (Dec. 11): In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, Studio Wildcard CEO Doug Kennedy said both the Ark 2 sequel and the animated series would launch sometime in 2022. As for Diesel, he is officially Studio Wildcard’s “president of creative convergence” and an executive producer of both the show and the new game.

Kennedy said the animated series would comprise 14 30-minute episodes, and said Diesel was a dedicated Ark: Survival Evolved fan with more than 1,000 hours logged in the game.

“He understands the game intimately and is providing direct feedback to the development process,” Kennedy said. “With last night’s reveal of the Ark sequel and animated TV series, Vin will be involved with each as we look to expand the Ark franchise even further, now and into the future.”

Update (Dec. 14): On Monday, Microsoft announced that Ark 2 is scheduled for release in 2022, and that it will be an Xbox Series X console launch exclusive.

The original Ark: Survival Evolved launched in August 2017 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Microsoft added Ark to the Xbox Game Pass library in January 2019, and it’s been with the service since then. The original game on Xbox One was optimized for Xbox Series X.

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