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Ark 2 delayed to ‘end of 2024,’ but there’s a remaster of the original Ark coming

Ark: Survival Evolved remaster sounds like a raw deal for customers

A hunter modeled after the actor Vin Diesel stares down a T. Rex in artwork from Ark 2 Image: Studio Wildcard
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Ark 2, the dinosaur survival adventure game starring Vin Diesel, has been delayed to “end of 2024,” developer Studio Wildcard announced late Friday. In an attempt at consolation, the developer also announced a remaster of the original Ark: Survival Evolved, a new version of the game that comes with a major catch.

In Studio Wildcard’s announcement about the delay of the sequel, the developer said, “This extra time allows Ark 2 to be the best game it can be and provide a truly exceptional and rewarding experience for players. [Unreal Engine 5] is incredibly new technology and with Ark 2, this cutting-edge tech will be used to its fullest potential.”

Instead of shipping Ark 2 this year as planned, Studio Wildcard will instead release Ark: Survival Ascended, described as a next-generation remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved, also running on Unreal Engine 5. Ascended will be released on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X in August, and will include The Island, a “revamped” Survival of the Fittest game mode, and all the “non-canon” DLC maps for Survival Evolved.

Ark: Survival Ascended does not appear to be an upgrade for existing owners of Survival Evolved; Studio Wildcard will sell it in different ways, depending on platform. PC and Xbox players can purchase the remaster as part of the $49.99 Ark Respawned Bundle, which includes Ark: Survival Ascended and Ark 2. Players on PS5 can get Ark: Survival Ascended at launch in August for $39.99 as a standalone game.

Studio Wildcard is also selling the game’s expansion packs for Survival Ascended separately. Here’s pricing and the estimated release date for each:

  • $19.99 for Explorer’s Pass, which includes Scorched Earth, Aberration (Q4 2023), and Extinction (Q1 2024)
  • $19.99 for Genesis Pass, which includes Genesis Part 1 (Q1 2024) and Genesis Part 2 (Q2 2024)

What’s more, the developer says it will release the final content update for Ark: Survival Evolved in June, and in August, will shut down all official servers on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC for Ark: Survival Evolved.

“[At] that time, the final save-datas from the Ark: Survival Evolved Official Servers will be uploaded for players to re-host on their own servers or play in singleplayer/non-[dedicated], as well as slightly earlier snapshots,” the studio said. “You will still be able to play on single-player, non-dedicated, player-dedicated, and unofficial servers. Ark: Survival Ascended will have its own fully supported Official Network for all platforms.”

Unsurprisingly, many Ark fans aren’t thrilled at the turn of events that Studio Wildcard has laid, especially since the developer previously teased a “complete free upgrade/remaster of Ark Survival Evolved in Unreal Engine 5.”

While the original game still enjoys a “very positive” overall user review rating (with more than 470,000 reviews) on Steam, recent reviews of Survival Evolved have called out Studio Wildcard’s plan for the original game.

“They are going to kill this game and want us to buy the same game a second time?” says one incredulous negative review from a player with more than 9,000 hours playtime in the game.

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