Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has some bad news, but also some good. Let's get the bad out of the way first: The process of prepping the game for retail release took longer than expected, and so the planned launch date of August 8, which the studio announced back in June, has been pushed to August 29.
"We're deeply apologetic for those who were negatively affected by the delay; it sucks, it wasn't what we had wanted, nor planned but where we currently stand," the studio explained in a weekend update. "We wanted to address this sooner but did not want to make any statements until we were completely sure of what was going to happen."
The delay also impacts the release of a planned update for the Ragnarok expansion map, which Studio Wildcard said is actually the upside to the whole thing. "This extended time will allow further development of the map and you guys can expect a gigantic update, even bigger than we initially thought," it explained. "On the date of release, the overground of the world will increase by approximately one quarter, which is near-enough a 'TheIsland-sized' expansion; the update will feature new biomes, a coastal Wyvern canyon, an epic boss encounter, new engrams, and something secret the Ragnarok team are cooking up!"
Beyond that, the studio's focus will be on improving the performance of the game on PC and addressing specific issues like multiplayer bosses ("They're ridiculous, we know why and we're going to fix it"), the "Baby-to-Juvie Stasis issue" that prevents infant creatures from maturing properly, and stopping "jerks" from going under the map and raiding people. A major version update that will "significantly assist with DDoS mitigation, resolve the exploit which has allowed players to dupe, and ... allow players to rent PC-dedicated Console Servers" is also slated for the middle of August.