By | February 27, 2023

Ark survival developed hummed with mostly good until, just like that, the open-ended survival game was thrown into chaos with delays, server shutdowns, and an incredibly confusing “next-gen” upgrade pack. Now fans basically have to buy the game again if they want to stay up to date with its development and continue playing on official servers.

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Developer Studio Wildcard released the surprise news late last week in a March 31 community update that raised as many questions as it answered. It started with announcing it Sheet 2, a sequel to the online prehistoric base-building sim l, was not coming this year as previously planned. Instead, the upcoming Game Pass launch starring Vin Diesel was delayed until late 2024, with Wildcard citing a learning curve in getting used to Unreal Engine 5.

“As we learn more about the engine and develop the sequel, we’ve adapted our workflows and tweaked our pipelines to fit this new next-gen paradigm, and because of all that entails, we need more time for development,” the studio wrote. Although it was disappointing for the players, it was one of the easiest delays of the year to see coming.

Ark: Survival Ascended is a paid “next generation” upgrade

In the meantime, however, Wildcard will also launch an upgraded version of Ark survival developed for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. And this is where things start to get really weird. “Next generation remaster” is called Ark: Survival Ascended and will see the game ported to Unreal Engine 5 by the end of August. But it will cost players, and the official servers of the old version will be shut down.

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“Xbox Series S/X and PC players will only be able to get it via an ultimate value bundle called the ARK Respawned Bundle,” the studio revealed. “This package includes ownership of both ARK: Survival Ascended AND SHEET 2 and will cost $49.99.” On PS5, the game will only cost $40, not including the sequel, which won’t even release gameplay until 2024. There will also be two DLC expansion packs each priced at $20.

At the end of August, the original version of the game then stops. “With the launch of the ASA at the end of August, we will be taking down all official servers on Xbox, PlayStation and PC for Ark survival developed – at that time, the final save data from Ark survival developed Official servers will be uploaded so players can host on their own servers or play in singleplayer/non-dedi, as well as some previous snapshots,” the studio announced. Ascent however, will continue to receive new content and eventually live alongside Sheet 2 as separate ongoing live service games, and many players feel like they’re basically being forced to buy back into a game they’ve already put thousands of hours into since it launched in 2015.

Official Sheet erver’s suspension in August

The community is already being updated has over 400 commentsand a tweet announcing the upcoming Sheet the flight plan was relationship too. Some players were so confused that they wondered if it was an early April Fool’s joke. Others threatened to sever their relationship with the game entirely. Some just wanted a follow-up announcement from the studio to try to explain the sudden change, or at least make the DLC part of the next-gen package to soften the blow. Wildcard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ark: Survivallike No Man’s Sky and Minecraft, is a game about finding community and building memories together as much as it is about whatever the mechanics have you doing—in this case, riding dinosaurs and shooting monsters. In light of the news, many newspapers are trying to come to terms with leaving it behind.

“I’ve been playing for a year on official pve and it hurts to lose just a year of work, but I’ve met some great people along the way and seen a lot of cool creations,” one player wrote in the comments. “It’s years of our effort,” wrote another. “Our successes, failures, memories attached to them. Years of contacts as well – sure, I’ve never interacted much with other players, but even I have some close ones whose bases I’m happy to fly and see that they’re still standing, which means their owners are still there.”

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