Ark: Survival Evolved launches first paid DLC from Early Access

Ark: Survival Evolved still currently resides in Steam’s Early Access programme, however that hasn’t stopped the dino-bashing survival sim from launching its first premium expansion: Scorched Earth. 

It’s a questionable move from an as yet unreleased game, however Ark is certainly on the more accomplished end of the game-in-progress scale. The latest addition drops players into an “extremely hot” location where dehydration is as much of a threat as the beasts that lurk within. It also promises a “completely new and different” experience from Survival Evolved’s standard Island setting and looks a wee bit like this: 

Comprising seven desert-themed biomes—Dunes, High Desert, Mountains, Canyons, Badlands, Oasis, and Dragon Trench—Scorched Earth is littered with ruins and ancient cave systems, the latter of which sounds ideal for hiding from the heat and its new threats. I'm looking at you, Death Worms.  

Naturally, water is in short supply thus players will combat the heat by crafting heat-resistant outfits and structures via the add-ons 50+ new items—all of which can be handily transferred to the main game.  

“Scorched Earth utilizes a new feature called The Gateway, a cross-server ARK transfer,” reads a Steam community update. “Survivors who manage to survive the harsh arid conditions can travel back and forth from the Scorched Earth map to the ARK: Survival Evolved main game, taking with them newly collected tools, weapons, and their newly tamed creatures to impress their friends and dazzle their combatants.” 

Scorched Earth requires Ark: Survival Evolved to play, and costs £14.99/$19.99 on Steam. Until September 8, the main game is on sale with a 40 percent discount. What do you think about games receiving paid expansions while they are still being worked on in Early Access?