Ark Dev Responds Concerns About "Finished" Expansion

"We understand that this isn't everyone's cup of tea..."


Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard has responded to the criticisms of Scorched Earth, the dinosaur game's first paid expansion. Studio Wildcard announced this add-on last week, stating it was a "completely finished, polished" expansion for Ark, which itself is an unfinished game. Not everyone was happy with the fact that Studio Wildcard was putting out "finished" content for an unfinished game.

In the wake of this, Ark's reviews on Steam took a hit. While the overall user review rating is "mostly positive," the recent review tab shows a "mostly negative" score.

In a statement posted on the game's website, Studio Wildcard explained why it's launching an expansion pack before Ark is even finished.

"Our original vision for Ark always included the creation of expansion Arks, along with the infrastructure and technical systems to transfer data dynamically between live Arks," the developer said. "We determined that it is more sound to iterate on these systems during Early Access than after retail launch, given the significant risks involved if we didn't 'get it right.'

"While that meant unveiling the first expansion early, it also means an easier time integrating further post-launch Expansions into the Ark network. We understand that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, and we appreciate the enjoyment people seem to be getting out of this initial view of how Expansion Arks can work. Now that we have the systems in place to support them, we can ensure minimal integration issues with subsequent releases after Ark: Survival Evolved itself has launched."

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Ark launched for PC on Steam Early Access in June 2015 and later came to the Xbox One's Game Preview program. The full game is planned for release on PlayStation 4, but since Sony does not allow in-development games on its platform, it hasn't been released there yet.

The game is now available for 40 percent off on PC and Xbox One, though this deal ends soon. The Scorched Earth expansion launched last Thursday, September 1, and can be purchased for $20.

Scorched Earth's new map features seven desert-themed biomes, including dunes, high desert, mountains, canyons, badlands, oasis, and a dragon trench. Each region as its own unique resources and ecosystems, too.

There are more than 50 new items included with Scorched Earth, including new outfits and structures, as well as new shelter in the form of tents. Also new to the game are whips, boomerangs, and flamethrowers, among other things.

As for the new creatures, Scorched Earth has all manner of beasts, including the camel-like Morellatops and the aforementioned Wyvern. There is also what's called a Death Worm featured in the expansion. Some of the new creatures can be tamed and ridden.

Scorched Earth also adds a new boss creature in the form of a deadly Manticore. Additionally, players will need to survive electrical storms and sand storms, and must also avoid heatstroke.

Additionally, the Xbox One version was updated recently to include, among other things, a graphical improvement that saw the native resolution boosted to 720p. The UI rose to 1080p. This update also adds the player-made Primitive+ mod, which itself has more than 100 new items. Additionally, the patch introduces two creatures, the Pelagornis and the Allosaurus, while it also brings fishing to the game with a fishing mechanic and a rod.

Despite not even being finished yet, Ark has sold more than 5.5 million copies across PC and Xbox One.

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