Ark: Survival Evolved Reaches 5.5M Players, Free Version Going Away on PC

The dino game has been an "unexpected success," dev says.

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Major developments in the world of dinosaur game Ark: Survival Evolved have been announced in the areas of sales and ongoing support.

First, Studio Wildcard co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz tells MCV that the game, which is still in early access, has sold 5.5 million copies; it sold 1.5 million on Xbox One and 4 million on PC.

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"[Our first year] has gone very well," Stieglitz said. "The launch [in June 2015] 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.

"We have especially blown the doors open on what we had originally planned in terms of number of creatures, features, and technical complexity," he added. "When we launched we didn't even plan on having modding support, which has become a huge aspect of the game's appeal and life cycle on PC."

A free version of Ark called Survival of the Fittest was released on PC earlier this year, but just this week, Studio Wildcard announced it was being removed as a standalone game and re-bundled with Survival Evolved.

"As we look to the future of SotF, we came to a decision: Survival of the Fittest will be brought back internally as part of the Ark: Survival Evolved package," Studio Wildcard said in a Steam forum post. "For technical functionality it will still exist as its own application, and everyone who has thus-far played the game will continue to be able to play it without having to own Ark: Survival Evolved, but going forward it will be considered part of the Ark: Survival Evolved product group."

You can read the full form post to find out why, in great detail, Studio Wildcard is making this change.

Survival of the Fittest was planned for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well, though it sounds like that's no longer the case. Survival Evolved is coming to PS4, but a release date has not been announced.

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