License fees paid to include the games on PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass were confirmed last month in an SEC filing by Snail Games, the owner of the Ark franchise’s developer and publisher, Studio Wildcard.
Ark: Survival Evolved Announcement Trailer
The company already had a three-year license agreement with Microsoft for the game to be on Xbox Game Pass, which had been scheduled to end in 2021 before being extended.
And in 2020 it was confirmed that Microsoft had signed the game’s Vin Diesel-starring sequel, Ark 2, as an Xbox exclusive.
“The agreement was subsequently amended in June 2020 to extend the ARK 1 Game Pass perpetually effective January 1, 2022 and to put Ark 2 on Game Pass for three years”, according to Snail’s SEC filing.
It added: “The Company recognized $2.5 million in revenue related to ARK 1 perpetual license for the six months ended June 30, 2022 and deferred $2.3 million related to Ark 2 that is included in the long-term portion of deferred revenue.”
Platform holders like Sony and Microsoft are traditionally secretive about the amount of the money they pay to secure games for their subscription services, so these figures are somewhat eye-opening.
In a regulatory filing earlier this year, Polish developer Big Cheese Studio also revealed that it was paid $600,000 by Microsoft to bring Cooking Game Simulator to Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft reportedly generated around $2.9 billion in revenue from Xbox Game Pass subscriptions on console in 2021.