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Ark: Survival Evolved makers offer $100 bounty for exploits

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Ark: Survival Evolved

Snitches get stitches, but it turns out they also get paid. The makers of Ark: Survival Evolved, the Early Access survival game with ridable dinosaurs, are offering bounties of $100 to anyone who can provide them with information on hacks that impact gameplay or server stability. The bounty has actually been on the table for awhile—there's a mention of it in a Steam forum post from last week—but the first reward was handed out yesterday, so I guess people are suddenly taking the bounty a little more seriously.

The cash went to a user by the name of ZeroDay(++), who yesterday afternoon reported "a potential hack/exploit which could force servers to crash unexpectedly, as well as have other unintended side-effects." The exploit was reproduced internally and confirmed, after which the 100 bucks was sent via PayPal.

There are limits to what the developers are willing to pay for: Aimbots won't be credited because they can't be stopped server-side, nor will speedhacks, which will be patched out later. That leaves things like "teleportation, god mode, the ability to take over tribes, remove fall damage, ghost/fly mode, spawning creatures, [and] generating items," developer TheRightHand wrote. All of those features are handled server-side, he added, "and it would positively make me ♥♥♥♥ myself if they can be hacked."

Bounty submissions, if you have one, can be posted in a new thread on the Steam forums, or emailed to info@studiowildcard.com.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.