As indie survival games go, Ark: Survival Evolved has done pretty well for itself, especially since it's still an Early Access game. Co-Creative Director Jesse Rapczak told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that he attributes much of its success to Studio Wildcard's aggressive approach to updates, saying, "We're always adding new content and the community always has new stuff to do." But he also warned that the frequency of updates will be reduced as the game approaches a full release.
"Our pace of updates will slow down a lot as we get towards release, as we don’t want to be iterating on new stuff as we try to polish the game," Rapczak said. "We’ll see a slowdown. We have a target around the beginning of next year to start locking down and doing a formal alpha and beta period with the game, so that we can ship and really open up our options for release. We don’t want it to be one day we release, and we just turn a switch and people are like, ‘Wait a minute!’ We want there to be a definite exit to early access and then release a very polished game."
He also said that Studio Wildcard will soon begin work on a full expansion with "lots of extra gameplay hours and story extensions," which it hopes to have ready a few months after Ark launches. The studio may try an Early Access release of the expansion as well, "because we get so much out of that with the back and forth with the community."
Ark: Survival Evolved doesn't have a proper release date yet, but it does have weaponized monkeys that throw poop.