Ark: Survival Evolved has officially launched, along with a $45 season pass

While we've seen plenty of survival games enter Steam Early Access over the years, it's not often we see one actually leave. Ark: Survival Evolved, which arrived on Early Access back in 2015, has managed to buck the trend and is now a full release on Steam, at the somewhat controversial price of $60 (twice what it cost for nearly its entire EA run). We'll have a review up soon, in case you're not one of the five million plus people who already own a copy on PC, and in the meantime there's a launch trailer above.

It's been a long road for Ark, filled with lots of drama and several missteps, from a lawsuit that cost Studio Wildcard $40 million to the release of paid DLC while in Early Access to a separate battle royale mode that never found an audience. There was also the time the studio said it was withholding sheep unless it won an award, a stance that was pretty quickly reversed. Never, ever withhold sheep.

Studio Wildcard also introduced a fairly innovative sponsored mod program, wherein it pays modders a monthly salary and provides them support to develop new maps and mods, though in large part we're still waiting to see how that shakes out in terms of new content in the future.

You'll find Ark in the Steam store, along with a $45 (!) season pass for the Scorched Earth DLC and two upcoming and as yet undetailed expansions, one slated for this year and one for 2018.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.