After two years in Early Access, Ark: Survival Evolved is getting an official release. The dinosaur-themed survival game will launch August 29 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as a digital release and at retail.
Ark has become something of a poster child for the Early Access concept, both for positive and negative reasons. Its success showed that gamers are willing to pay for an unfinished game, while its extended time in Early Access drew criticism from some fans (especially as developer Studio Wildcard began to charge for downloadable content like the Scorched Earth expansion). Even before launching as a “finished game,” Ark has sold over 7 million copies.
The base game, which costs $60, will not come with the Scorched Earth expansion. A $100 Explorer’s Edition will include Scorched Earth and future expansions launching through 2018. A $160 collector’s edition also comes with a cloth map of the game’s world, a poster of the development team, a soundtrack, a necklace, and a handcrafted leather-bound Explorer’s Notebook.
“The evolution of Ark has taken a two-year journey through Early Access, and the full version will demonstrate that the extra time in development was put to good use,” said Doug Kennedy, chief executive officer and cofounder of Studio Wildcard, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “We spent the extra time squashing bugs, improving performance, enhancing the single player experience and delivering the end-game content that will reveal the full story of Ark. We’re excited to finally get it into the hands of survivors everywhere!”