ARK: Survival Evolved Gets its Nintendo Switch Launch Date

The popular Nintendo Switch console already knew it was some ARK: Survival Evolved, but now we know when. Yes, the ARK: Survival Evolved Nintendo Switch launch date has been officially announced by Studio Wildcard.

ark: survival evolved switch launch date

Fans of survival sandbox gaming and handheld gaming can survive the Ark this coming Friday, November 30th. The game will arrive both in retail and the eShop, and will have the full game’s compliment of 100+ critters from the T-Rex to the Yeti, along with all of the crafting elements from the very bottom to the top of Tek.

There really isn’t much else to discuss regarding this game’s arrival to the system beyond mentioning its price of $49.99 and to direct your eyeballs to a new live-action announcement trailer, which is embedded below.

Our Thoughts

It still surprises us that a game as vast as ARK: Survival Evolved can fit inside of the Nintendo Switch’s hardware, but we also suspect that this version of the game probably takes a hit in visual fidelity, which will likely be a sore point or (worse yet) a balking point for many. Still, we’re always glad to see MMOs and multiplayer games expanding their horizons and wish Nintendo Switch fans a good time once the game goes live.

Source: press release

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ARK: Survival Evolved to Launch PvP Conquest Servers

Sure, dinosaurs are pretty dangerous, but what about the most dangerous creature of all: the PvP’er? That’s the threat that’s being heralded when ARK: Survival Evolved launches its PvP Conquest servers in a few days’ time.

conquest pvp servers

These new official PvP-focused servers will house up to 100 players per world and let those players form tribes as large as 25. The Conquest servers will also feature doubled gain rates for taming, gathering and XP in order to facilitate tribal warfare.

The regular Community Crunch newsletter expanded on the press release we received, noting that there will be 36 total servers within the cluster and all map types will be available. Transfers between servers within the cluster will also be enabled.

These new Conquest servers will go live on Steam this coming Friday, September 28th. PS4 and Xbox One players will also be getting their own Conquest servers, but the announcement didn’t specify a time frame other than Soon™.

Our Thoughts

For those who want to be part of large-scale tribal warfare, these new servers sound like the perfect place to be. Four tribes of 25 players duking it out in the jungles or wastes of ARK sounds like a pretty harrowing time to us and we hope the PvP-minded Survivors have a good time.

Sources: press release, official site

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ARK: Survival Evolved Launches its Third Modding Contest

We’ve said it before, but it definitely bears repeating: game modders are pretty awesome. It’s that same mindset that fuels the third ARK: Survival Evolved mod contest that’s offering intrepid and creative users of the ARK Mod Kit a slice of a cash prize.

ark: survival evolved mod contest

A total of $28,000 in cash is up for grabs in this contest, with the 1st place winner netting themselves a cool $15,000. What’s more, the contest will be running on a regular basis every other month with the exceptions of November and December.

Those looking to submit their creations have a five week entry phase, which is then followed by a two week voting phase. Two separate scores assessing a variety of technical aspects and public vote results will combine to determine who gets the top prize.

All of the information, including scoring, rules and how to enter, can be found here, while the work of previous modders can be seen in the video package below.

Our Thoughts

Honestly, simply just giving players the tools to mod the game is generally motivation enough, but adding a cash prize on top of that could really bring all sorts of interesting things. If that video embed above is any indication, at least. We wish those who enter these contests the best of luck!

Source: press release

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Why Does Ark: Survival Evolved Have So Many Spin-offs?

Back in 2014, the idea of dinosaur survival games was just taking off. There were a few different titles in the works, most of them never made it though. Ark: Survival Evolved was the only success story to come from the dinosaur survival genre. It was quite the success too with several spinoffs. This brings us to the question, why has Ark: Survival Evolved been such a success where others have failed? A question we’re going to dive into as well as taking a look at the other titles in the franchise.

 

Ark: Survival Evolved

Ark: Survival Evolved started its life out as a little indie game that got a whole lot of attention. In the first week the game was in Steam Early Access it had made $10 million in revenue. It sold 400,000 units in that week and boasted over 60,000 concurrent players at its peak. A very good start for an indie game. What we didn’t learn until recently though was that in December of 2015 Ark: Survival Evolved stopped being an indie game. Chinese publisher Snail Games bought the entire studio, along with the now incredibly successful dinosaur survival game that was still in Early Access. How much money was exchanged hasn’t been made clear and it’s unlikely that it ever will be. But, this explains why Snail Games is the one making the other games in the franchise. The news of the studio’s purchase managed to stay out of the public eye until a lawsuit, which actually delayed the game’s launch, brought it to the forefront in 2017. Throughout Ark: Survival Evolved’s lifetime on Steam concurrent player numbers have remained very high, this is something we can watch on Steam Charts. But it doesn’t tell the game’s whole story. Ark: Survival Evolved is playable on 8 different platforms, which is basically all of them.

 

Ark Park

In March of 2017, the virtual reality spinoff Ark Park was announced and put into Early Access. It officially launched on March 22nd. Only a few days ago on June 28, the first DLC became available. The game doesn’t seem to have the success that Ark: Survival Evolved has enjoyed, however. Some of this can be put down to the fact that virtual reality never really took off like it was expected to. It’s high price tag of $39.99 certainly didn’t help matters. Perhaps most damning though are the reviews for the game. Instead of putting out a full VR adaptation of the game that is so popular Snail Games opted to pick out the best parts of the game and mash them together in a way that doesn’t quite work. Steam reviews say that the game is more of an experience than a game and there isn’t a whole lot to it. At the game’s peak on Steam, it has only had 70 players at one time since it released. Once again, this isn’t the whole picture as it is available elsewhere. But it does give us a glimpse at how successful, or not, the game is. Oh, and the new DLC has a fire-breathing dragon in it for… some reason.

 

PixArk

This all brings us to PixArk, the Minecraft like dinosaur survival game. Compared to Ark Park this game is doing incredibly well on Steam. At its peak, it had 14,000 concurrent players and it’s only been around a few months. Reviews on Steam are mixed, though 63% of them are positive, which again, is up from Ark Park who has 51%.

 

Survival of the Fittest

Ark: Survival of the Fittest

You may also remember Survival of the Fittest, which was at one point being advertised as a different thing entirely from Ark: Survival Evolved. It’s an arena game with 72 players on a map. These days it comes packaged with Ark: Survival Evolved, so when you’ve bought one you get the other for free. It does make one wonder how much work it would take to turn Survival of the Fittest into a battle royale game.

 

This brings us to the question of why we’re getting so many Ark based games. To answer that we have to take a look at Snail Games’ history in the West. To date, their most successful game with Western audiences, not taking Ark into account has been Age of Wushu. This game was published by Webzen in Europe, though it closed down about a year ago. Age of Wushu has never been an incredibly popular title for the west, but it doesn’t seem to do too badly either.

They are also the team behind Black Gold Online. If you don’t remember Black Gold here’s a little bit you should know. It was a Steampunk Fantasy game being imported to us from the East and on paper, it sounded amazing. Steampunk is criminally underused in MMOs. It went into beta in June 2014 and people seemed to like it well enough. But son after everyone started talking about the game the business model that they used in China came to light. This model didn’t have a cash shop and there was no subscription. Instead, all your good loot would get saved and you would have to buy your loot for the last few hours. Also, I remember the idea of pay per minute being discussed for the game as well, but I can’t actually find any information online that supports that.

Snail Games is also the team working on turning Dark and Light into a survival sandbox game. It has been in Early Access for a year now with mixed reviews and a peak concurrent player count on par with PixArk. This game doesn’t show any signs of being close to completion though.

 

So all of this brings us back to the Ark games. Snail is using what is their most successful IP in the west and, from where I’m sitting it looks like they’re banking on its popularity and name to try to chase current trends. If they did do a battle royale that would really only further support this theory of mine. At the same time, it would also make a lot of sense to do so. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more Ark games coming soon.

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ARK’s Countdown Leads to Extinction

It was, indeed, a Countdown to Extinction. ARK: Extinction has been revealed at the end of the clock that has been ticking down at around the beginning of the month with an expansion that’s bringing players back to dangerously ravaged Earth.

ark: extinction

While firm details on just what this expansion is bringing are a bit on the slim side, ARK: Extinction does promise veteran players of the survival sandbox what sounds like a significant challenge. Earth is now an Element-infested landscape of organic and technical beasts and roaming Titans, where players are invited to discover the secrets of the past and the keys to salvation.

In the months running up to the arrival of Extinction, players of ARK can look forward to regular updates with Extinction-related Explorer’s Notes. Collecting all of these Notes will unlock new skins and spawn Tek-themed variants of several dinos on the ARKs themselves.

It all leads up to a final release of Tuesday, November 6th worldwide on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. So, y’know, there’s another countdown to extinction. In the meantime turn off the Megadeth and turn on the reveal trailer below.

Our Thoughts

It all certainly sounds intriguing, to be sure, but we’re definitely more curious on just what sort of new gameplay or systems this Extinction expansion will be offering ARK players. We’re sure to get more details as the months slide by.

Source: press release

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ARKaeology Event Brings Fossil Digging and a Robo T-Rex

Now allow me to explain when I write “robo T-Rex”. I don’t mean the T-Rex with some Tek armor on it. I mean, like, a literal full-sized T-Rex that is also a robot. That you can have. This is one of a number of rewards awaiting ARK: Survival Evolved players in the ARKaeology event.

arkaeology event

From now until Sunday, July 15th, players of ARK can go on expeditions around the game world to locate and dig up dinosaur bones. These bones can then be brought to a special cooking pot to cook up some unique items, including the popular skeletal skins from the Fear Evolved event and costumes for players and dinos alike.

Of course, the thing I’m personally invested in is the event’s addition of the Tek Rex. These titanic robotic thunder lizards are available on Arks where normal Rexes are found and can be tamed and leveled up just like their more organic brethren, though they can achieve higher levels than their boring old meatbag counterparts.

Details about this limited-time event can be read here and a trailer for the event is below.

Our Thoughts

Sorry for focusing on the robotic T-Rex, but I couldn’t help it. My inner 10-year-old was a bit too excited. On point, we hope that players of ARK: Survival Evolved enjoy their own robotic rexes or whatever else they go for during this event.

Source: press release

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ARK: Survival Evolved Arrives to Mobile June 14

War Drum Studios and Studio Wildcard have locked down a final ARK: Survival Evolved mobile release date and, to be honest, it’s a lot sooner than I personally expected. This coming Thursday, June 14th will see the dinosaur-loaded survival sandbox arrive to iOS and Android devices.

ark: survival evolved mobile release date

ARK: Survival Evolved will launch with over 80 different dinos to tame or avoid getting eaten by or trod upon. Gameplay offers the same mechanics as the full-on PC and console versions with crafting, gathering, building and exploration, all available solo or in online multiplayer with up to 60 people at once.

The mobile version will also introduce a new material known as Ancient Amber, which lets players build unique structures, resurrect a dead dino, and more. This new currency can be harvested from a variety of different sources, all of which are detailed in this blog post.

The mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved will be arriving as a free-to-play title, but those who want to remove ads can purchase a Primal Pass subscription, which will also provide reserved server slots, free gifts and other benefits for $3.99 a month.

For those who are interested in finding out more about ARK: Survival Evolved on mobile, head here.

Our Thoughts

So first thing’s first: we hope that the monetization of ARK Mobile will be fair, because nothing’s worse than predatory, aggressive and voracious monetization, and mobile gaming seems to be the hottest of hotbeds when it comes to these practices. Beyond that, we hope fans of ARK: Survival Evolved enjoy the mobile edition.

Source: press release

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ARK Celebrates its Third Early Access Birthday with a Retrospective and a Countdown

Even though ARK: Survival Evolved actually, legitimately released on Tuesday, August 8th, the devs have elected to celebrate the ARK third birthday by marking the time it entered early access for reasons that I’m not terribly clear on. Regardless, the game has offered a look back at where it came from and offered an enticing hint at what’s to come.

ark third birthday

A post on the game’s Steam page over the past weekend walks fans through the game’s pre-history to this point, from Ragnarok to Aberration to the release of spinoff titles like ARK Park and PixARK. The devs also provided a little nod in appreciation for fan-created content and some of the game’s mods.

As for what’s next, the game’s official page has a header with an ominous countdown and the words “Life Finds a Way”. The Steam post promises “epic discoveries with new content and challenges” coming soon and teased some big news to be revealed at some point in the middle of this month.

In the meanwhile, a new Community Crunch dev blog post has outlined a variety of changes that are in the more near-term for ARK, including changes to structure decay rules, adjustments to the game’s code of conduct, and the launch of Small Tribe Servers tomorrow. You can read up all the details here.

Our Thoughts

Seriously, why mark a birthday at the time of early access launch? Eh, whatever. We’re more curious about what this countdown and big reveal is leading up to. One certainly assumes some direct tie-in with Jurassic Park considering the quote, but on the other hand maybe it’s referencing dino life surviving some extinction-level event? We’ll just have to wait and see…

Sources: Steam, official site

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ARK: Survival Evolved Confirmed for Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch has a whole lot of games, from indies to gaming staples. What it doesn’t have, however, is a survival sandbox full of bitey dinosaurs. At least that’s the case until the release of ARK: Survival Evolved on Nintendo Switch, which has just been announced as a thing.

ark: survival evolved on nintendo switch

ARK: Switch will be handled by the team at Abstraction Games, the same folks who helped to bring the PS4 edition of ARK to life. The Switch version of the dino-centric survival title will feature all of the same things in the current game, including 100+ creatures from pre-history and fantasy to all of the crafting, gathering, taming and combat already present in other versions.

ARK: Survival Evolved is expected to make its debut on the Switch in the Fall of 2018. The game was first demoed in video form during an Epic Games “State of Unrel” keynote at this year’s Game Developers Conference, which can be seen in the Twitch clip below.

Our Thoughts

Welp, sure didn’t see that coming. Then again, we didn’t really expect a mobile edition either, but these are fascinating times we live in here in video game world. We’re definitely interested in seeing more of ARK on the Nintendo Switch soon!

Source: official site

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ARK: Survival Evolved is Headed to Mobile

Between full-on FPS games, entire MMORPGs, or even a battle royale game, it would appear that the days of mobile gaming being only a place for idle time-wasters is coming to an end. Case in point; the ARK: Survival Evolved mobile version announcement, which seeks to bring the full ARK experience to iOS and Android.

ark: survival evolved mobile

The mobile edition of ARK is promising the full online survival sandbox experience in cellphone form, with over 80 dinosaurs to tame, crafting and building systems like the original, and blueprints and Explorer Notes to uncover across the world, either in single-player or online multiplayer with tens of thousands of others.

ARK mobile is being developed by War Drum Studios, which has already started a limited closed beta test for iOS. Those interested in possibly being added to the test are invited to check out this website and pre-register.

As for the game’s full release, the devs anticipate a global launch for both iOS and Android devices later this Spring as a free-to-play title. A trailer showcasing the game in action can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Yep, didn’t really see this one coming either. As ever, our first concern is how well a game like ARK: Survival Evolved controls on a smaller device like a mobile, but after Madfinger Games managed to pull it off with Shadowgun: Legends, we figure those worries are pretty much irrelevant. We’re looking forward to seeing and learning more!

Source: press release

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