As an early access survival game, Ark: Survival Evolved has done very well for itself. While the devs continue to add more to the game, they have announced both some good and bad news for fans.
Developers Studio Wildcard announced that Ark: Survival Evolved has sold 5.5 million copies. They further broke it down to say that the Steam version has sold 4 million, with the Xbox One version selling the other 1.5 million. In a quick talk with MCV, Studio Wildcard co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz had this to say:
“[Our first year] has gone very well,” Stieglitz told us. “The launch was an unexpected success, but that’s also a double edged sword because when it succeeds at that level, it kind of raises expectations about how ambitious the game is going to be, and how large of a scope it is going to have when it is finished"
At the same time, Studio Wildcard has decided to change how Ark: Survival of the Fittest works. A competitive multiplayer arena survival spin-off game, Ark: Survival of the Fittest sees up to 72 players dropped into an arena and they must craft tools, recruit dinosaurs, and kill the other players to win. Originally it was a special total conversion mod of the main game specifically for events before Studio Wildcard spun it off as a free to play title that did not require you to own Ark: Survival Evolved, and it was taken care of by a smaller team focused entirely on it. Now Studio Wildcard has decided to combine it with the main game, and roll the team into the main team so it can be worked on alongside with it.
In a Steam forum post, the developers explain why they're making the change. The biggest is that they wanted to release the development kit and do it in a way that modders can take things from Survival Evolved. This way they have access to all the content from the main game to mess with. The development kit has already been released so modders can jump right into things. Furthermore, they admit that running Survival of the Fittest completely free has been a bit of a hassle. They didn't like the idea of having to make microtransactions to support the game, so now they can just bundle it with the main game meaning they don't have to worry about that.
Studio Wildcard noted that any players who have downloaded and played Survival of the Fittest will be able to still do so without purchasing the main game. They also noted that this means Survival of the Fittest will no longer be coming to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 as a standalone game. Originally Survival of the Fittest was supposed to come to the PlayStation 4 while Survival Evolved was on the Xbox One, then both would get launched on both consoles once out of early access.
Ark: Survival Evolved is currently available on Steam and Xbox One, with a PlayStation 4 version on the way.