Ark: Survival Evolved will leave Early Access in August

Amidst the hustle, bustle, and blinding chaos of E3, Studio Wildcard has very quietly announced a big bit of Ark: Survival Evolved news: A release date of August 8, worldwide and across all platforms. 

"During the past two years, millions of Ark players have built gigantic bases, captured and trained armies of dinosaurs, crafted armories full of weapons and eaten billions of pounds of Jurassic creature-kabobs. With their help, we’re about to reach the completion of core content for Ark: Survival Evolved and release the full game to the world," studio co-founder and co-creative director Jeremy Stieglitz said. 

"For those players who were excited with every update during Early Access, Ark’s going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch & beyond, as we will continue to have a staggering amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works." 

Studio Wildcard also announced that the modder-made map Ragnarok is being released today on Steam as the game's first official expansion, and also the first mod to be integrated into Ark through the sponsored mod program. The new map will feature: 

  • A 144 sq kilometer map designed to be explored by land, sea or air
  • Tons of harvest-able or gatherable resources
  • Caves of all shapes and sizes, each designed to be built in
  • Distinct variations on former ARK creatures, as well a special brand-new creature unique to Ragnarok
  • Build tree platforms on unique trees/rocks
  • Expansive biomes that were built to reward hardy explorers
  • Some of the most challenging dungeons in ARK will await players
  • An active volcano that while erupting yields a high amount of resources in the form of lava crystal
  • Beautiful vistas and base locations as far as the eye can see
  • Hot springs that while dormant yield a relaxing buff, but when active, become dangerous
  • Ruins to not only explore but that can also be incorporated into base builds
  • A vast ocean with its own ecosystem
  • Upcoming future desert biome to find and tame creatures
  • Upcoming Explorer Notes that hold the key to Ragnarok's secrets and history

The Ragnarok expansion is free on Steam, although Studio Wildcard warned that it "is still in primary development, and so it will continue to expand with updates over time." 

It's great to have finally a release date, although to a large extent (for those of us on PC, anyway) it's symbolic: You can just nip over to Steam and buy the thing right now—still in Early Access, mind—for $30/£23/€28.   

Andy Chalk

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.