Studio Wildcard has announced a remaster for the first ARK game in Unreal Engine 5, called ARK: Survival Ascended. ARK: Survival Ascended will take advantage of numerous UE5 features, and will release in August 2023.
What’s really disappointing here, though, is that this remaster will not be free to all existing owners of ARK. Instead, gamers will have to purchase a special bundle for it. According to the devs, this bundle will include both ARK 2 and ARK: Survival Ascended. This bundle will be available to purchase from the end of August for up to 1 year (after which ARK: Survival Ascended and ARK 2 will be sold separately). In other words, the devs will be initially forcing you to purchase ARK 2 in order to gain access to this remaster. What the hell, right?
Needless to say that this set the game’s fanbase ablaze. And, well, we can’t really blame them. After all, Studio Wildcard’s CEO was claiming that this would have been a free upgrade. So yes, a lot of ARK players feel betrayed or cheated. And rightfully so. If you’re not going to offer something for free then you should not be advertising it like that.
To clarify: the UE5 tease a couple weeks back is referring to in-the-works complete free upgrade/remaster of ARK Survival Evolved in UnrealEngine5. Not a cinematic. We havent officially announced the ARK UE5 upgrade yet 'cause there's other major things we wanna show then as well https://t.co/heP331SfS9
— Jeremy Stieglitz (@jeremystieglitz) January 23, 2023
However, Studio Wildcard is not the only company that has done something like that. Who can forget the awful GTA Trilogy Remasters? Or the remasters for Crysis 2 and Crysis 3? Or even Alan Wake Remastered? And what do all of them have in common? Well, all of them are not offered as free upgrades to owners of the original versions.
Anyway, at launch, players will have access to The Island, Scorched Earth. Furthermore, the team will include a new revamped game mode, Survival of the Fittest. And yes, if you don’t purchase the remaster, you won’t be able to play ARK at all. Studio Wildcard will shut down the ARK servers once Survival Ascended comes out. Man, what a clusterf’k.
Lastly, Studio Wildcard has delayed ARK 2. The game will now release at the end of 2024. Studio Wildcard claimed that this delay will give it enough time to polish it. My guess is that the team will use ARK: Survival Ascended as its base for it. After all, the remaster will be using numerous UE5 features. In case you’re wondering, the remaster will be using Nanite, Lumen and RTX Direct Illumination (RTXDI).
Stay tuned for more!