Latest ARK News and Updates

In February, Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard unveiled a sponsored programme that would pay mod creators on a monthly basis for their work. Offering a stipend of $4,000 per month, each individual's work would be evaluated, and it would thereafter be determined if those modders would continue to be paid for the next month.  With the dino hunter's August 8 PC release looming, however, not much has been said about the programme since—its Ragnarok map has been received well, however we don't know much about what happens next. To this end, I spoke to the developer's Jesse Stieglitz about how he and his team plan to grow the initiative post-launch.  "We've not dedicated all that much time to promoting it, maybe not as much as we'd have liked to, however that's probably because we've been focused on shaping things up for our retail launch," says Stieglitz. "But we recently put out our next official mod called Ragnarok with a mod team that's now officially supported and we'll continue to have servers up for it and we'll have updates and more polished applied.  "They basically get not only money from us but

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"Ark: Survival of the Fittest was for us an experiment," says Studio Wildcard's co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz. "It started as a mod and it was pretty cool and pretty fun. I lot of these games that are very successful—like PUBG, like, you know, Counter-Strike or DotA—originate as mods and can switch over to standalone titles." Having begun life as a mod, Ark: Survival of the Fittest became a free-to-play standalone game in early 2016. As a promising battle royale-type venture—in a world prior to the likes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds—it failed to take off and was later "reintegrated" into the main Survival Evolved game.   According to Steam Spy's data, less than 300 people played Ark: Survival of the Fittest concurrently yesterday—whereas over 350,000 took to the wargrounds of PUBG simultaneously. Given the unexpected, astronomical success of Brendan Greene's similarly styled battle royale game, I asked Stieglitz where he thinks SotF went wrong, and whether or not Studio Wildcard will revisit it down

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Yesterday, I spoke to Studio Wildcard's co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz—who is also Ark: Survival Evolved's lead designer, lead programmer, and development director. The conversation was scheduled ahead of a pretty significant announcement he and his team had planned for today: that the open world survival 'em up planned to wipe its servers, a "mass extinction" as a pre-prepared statement suggested, ahead of its August 8 PC launch.  This morning, I was informed this was no longer the case, that Stieglitz and Studio Wildcard had made an equally significant 180-degree turn and that Ark would no longer undergo the proposed server wipe. A recent "rash of cheating and hacking" within the game had been billed as grounds for the move, however by rolling out a "fresh cluster network of servers running new code and infrastructure" will prevent similar issues occurring down the line. Earlier today, I caught up with Stieglitz again to clarify the reversal. Stieglitz answered fully and, given the confusion tied to the relatively dramatic 180-turn, I've opted to publish his responses in full. PC Gamer: So, in less than 24-hours Studio Wildcard has made a pretty explicit 180 regarding its decision, or lack thereof, to wipe its servers. Jeremy Stieglitz:

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Hey, Survivors!

We’ve got important and exciting news to share! First of all, we’ve finally completed our game for the console disc retail submission! It was a very long and arduous process, our boss fight or so to say, and your feedback throughout this process has been highly valuable. It was a very tight deadline to make the ship date, and the team has been intensively grinding through singleplayer-oriented refinements for the posterity of the disc-based version. All that aside, we were able to resolve many issues, as well as considerably improve the game through various changes and implementation of new techniques and it’s now time to move onto refocus our development efforts on the live game, as well as address some key topics within the community:

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Will


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For some, Ark: Survival Evolved's recent controversial pre-full release price hike highlights the trouble with pricing Early Access games. For others, most specifically DayZ creator Dean Hall, it's "****ing OUTRAGEOUS." But wherever you stand with the issue, the open world dino hunter's Jeremy Stieglitz has explained the premature increase is tied to the game's physical launch.  "Admittedly, my intent, our intent, was to have the price hit the full retail price when the full retail launch occurred," Stieglitz, the game's lead designer, lead programmer and co-creative director, tells me. "That would have been at the retail launch, not prior to that. The reality turned out to be, and we didn't realise this until we got to the final phase of getting the game into retail channels, was that: in order to get the game into retailers—that is not digital retailers but physical ones, both for the physical disc PC version and the console version—the retailers and distributors wouldn't take it if the digital versions was cheaper than the retail version.

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"Shh. Their vision is based on price movement..." Game pricing is a thorny question that we’ve taken a crack at before , but this week we’re dealing with two considerably thornier questions: how much should an Early Access game cost, and should that cost increase when it officially launches? Last week, Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard announced that its dinosaur survival game was getting a price increase on Steam from $30 to $60 (or £23 to £50) “to ensure retail parity” (match the price of the console versions) ahead of the game’s August launch. Many are less than pleased with the price hike.  Some Ark fans suggest that, given ongoing bugs and server issues, the game isn’t worth $60. Some who’ve held off on purchasing the game are unwilling to pay double the Early Access price. DayZ creator and Ark fan Dean Hall called the increase “greed—pure and simple” in a series

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