Ark: Survival Ascended, a remaster of poop-harvesting dinosaur trainer Ark: Survival Evolved in Unreal Engine 5, was first teased as if it was going to be a free upgrade. When it was officially announced as part of a $50 bundle that included a preorder for Ark 2, fans were unimpressed. Studio Wildcard pivoted and then announced that, rather than packaging the remaster with a preorder for the sequel, it would instead come with several DLC upgrades, which it would receive more of after launch as free updates. Also, it would now cost $10 more.
Studio Wildcard was aiming to release the remaster in late August, which it has now pushed back to October. As the studio's latest newsletter explains, "We've found it challenging working with Unreal Engine 5.2, but at the same time, it is incredibly exciting. We're discovering new ways each day to push the technology to the next level; combined with the work needed to support a fully cross-platform-moddable game ecosystem on consoles and PC, it's clear that we'll need a bit more time."
While it will still launch with The Island expansion included, Scorched Earth has had to be moved to a post-launch update, and the extra DLC maps have been pushed back as well. "Scorched Earth will be coming to ASA in December this year," the studio says, "Ragnarok and Aberration will follow in Q1 2024, and the rest of the maps beyond then."
And, once again, the price is changing. Ark: Survival Ascended will now cost $40 with a launch discount, and then be $45 for the rest of its early access period, which is estimated to last until late 2024.
Given the delay, Studio Wildcard's planned shutdown of the original version's official servers on August 31 has also been pushed back. They'll now be online until September 30. Assuming nothing else changes between now and then.
Ark 2, which will star Vin Diesel in case you've forgotten that unlikely detail, is scheduled for release at the end of 2024.