Studio Wildcard has delayed the release of Ark: Survival Ascended.
The game’s launch price has also been reduced from $59.99 because it will arrive with less content than previously planned. It will have an Early Access price point of $44.99, with a launch discount bringing it to $39.99.
“We’ve found it challenging working with Unreal Engine 5.2, but at the same time, it is incredibly exciting,” Studio Wildcard explained. “We’re discovering new ways each day to push the technology to the next level; combined with the work needed to support a fully cross-platform-moddable game ecosystem on consoles and PC, it’s clear that we’ll need a bit more time.
“We’ve also decided to separate the release date of The Island and Scorched Earth. With what we’ve learned about remastering The Island from the ground-up, it wouldn’t be feasible to complete Scorched Earth to a standard we’re happy with.
“So for now, we’re going to plan that Scorched Earth will be coming to ASA in December this year, Ragnarok and Aberration will follow in Q1 2024, and the rest of the maps beyond then.”
It added: “Ark: Survival Ascended will leave Early Access in late 2024 once all the content has finished its next-generation remastering.”
Studio Wildcard previously confirmed that when Survival Ascended is released, the official servers for Survival Evolved will be closed, essentially cutting off access to players who don’t pay for the upgrade.
The servers were scheduled to go offline in August, but following Ascended’s delay, they’ll now be shut down on September 30.
Ascended was announced in March alongside a delay for Ark 2. The Xbox Series X/S and PC sequel, which will star Vin Diesel, had been planned for release this year but is now scheduled to arrive in 2024.
At the time, Studio Wildcard said Xbox and PC players would only be able to get it via the Ark Respawned Bundle, which was priced at $49.99 and included the remaster (but not its expansions) and Ark 2, whereas PS5 players would be able to buy it standalone for $39.99 given the sequel isn’t coming to Sony’s console.
This announcement didn’t go down well with players, leading Studio Wildcard to get rid of the Ark Respawned Bundle and rework its release plans.
“First things first, we are scrapping the ARK Respawned Bundle,” it said about a week after it was first revealed. “Our intention behind this was to provide a package where you essentially got two products for the price of one.
“In hindsight, not the best move. Our bad; we recognize how combining ARK Survival Ascended with ARK 2 and requiring further DLC upgrades wasn’t optimal, especially since you wouldn’t be able to judge ARK 2 as no gameplay or content would be available yet.”