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Studio Wildcard, the development studio behind Ark: Survival Evolved, the science fiction survival game featuring everyone’s favorite dinosaurs, has started a new program where 15 of the best modders for their game will be paid the hefty sum of $4000 a month to continue creating their content for Ark: Survival Evolved. 

Today we are proud and excited to announce the launch of the ARK Sponsored Mod Program. ARK has always viewed modding and the ARK Dev Kit as a very important aspect of our game. We want to look into ways to help our modders take their projects to the next step, be it through more robust capabilities in the Dev Kit, hosting competitions with large prize-pools, incorporating them into the game, or just generally working and partnering up with modders and their projects.

Studio Wildcard believes that this program will go a long way in ensuring that new, creative content keeps getting made for the popular survival game while providing selected modders with a monthly stipend. Modders who have been selected will work closely with Studio Wildcard, who will monitor their progress and will ensure that modders resolve bug reports submitted by players. Perform well, and you’ll see Studio Wildcard extend your eligibility. If you don’t show much progress over the course of the month, you’ll be dropped from the program and your spot will go to someone else. While the program initially only has space for 15 modders, this number might rise if the program proves to be successful.

The hope is that with this kind of stipend, these authors, who really are hobbyists and have day jobs so they can’t really afford to spend as much time as they’d like on modding, that this will let them spend more time on modding, and ideally, hopefully, take some of these mods to completion.

Jeremy Stieglitz, Studio Wildcard Co-Create Director.

This program has no strings attached for partaking modders. Once you’re out of the program, you’re free to do whatever you want to do. Studio Wildcard does, however, have an insurance policy: once you’re in the program you have to upload your files to the Ark team. This is because Studio Wildcard wants to be able to retroactively update created mods so they keep working with future patches and updates. This allows Studio Wildcard to maintain mods without needing the original modder if he or she is not available to update their mod themselves.

Selected mods might end up in the game as official DLC, giving hopeful creators the chance of having their names attached to Ark: Survival Evolved, which has a player base of 52,000 players on average.

A possible complication could stem from the fact that wherever people collaborate, there are some people that try to profit off other people’s work. An interview with Stieglitz with PC Gamer notes that it’s up to the modders to resolve these issues if and when they come up.

We ultimately feel that at the end of the day the modders that enter this program are kind of, you might say they’re making a commitment, I guess, to handle that, to some extent,” said Stieglitz. “When they sign up for this we do have them represent that they have the rights to all the work. They don’t have to be closed source, but they have at least open source rights to the work. So, if there’s some dispute, technically it’s up to the modder to deal with that, at that point.

The first patch of mods have already been chosen. If you like, you can check out a full list by going here. Among the mods chosen are mods that add more objects to the crafting feature, a mod adding over 60 new building parts for you to use in your base, a total conversion where you’ll have to survive on the barren wasteland of a distant moon, and a mod that gives Ark: Survival Evolved a Steampunk look and feel.

What do you think of the Sponsored Mods program? Let us know in the comment section down below!

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Chris Anderson

Staff Writer

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.


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