What you need to know
- Ark: Survival Ascended is a remaster of Studio Wildcard's multiplayer survival game, Ark: Survival Evolved which was announced in March 2023.
- An official trailer for Survival Ascended was revealed on October 25 as part of the Xbox Partner Preview showcase.
- Studio Wildcard surprisingly released Survival Ascended in the middle of the night of October 26, but only on Steam.
- A blog post from Studio Wildcard blamed "critical issues in the multiplayer version of the game" for the delay in the console release.
Ark: Survival Ascended, the remaster of Ark: Survival Evolved, surprisingly went live on Steam in the middle of the night on October 26. However, the Xbox and PlayStation versions are nowhere to be seen. The missing console launch was an even bigger surprise, as the first look of Survival Ascended was part of the Xbox Partner Preview showcase on October 25. The reveal trailer during the showcase closed with a simple "Coming Soon" in place of an official release date.
Despite the missing release date from Studio Wildcard, there were plenty of indications that the launch would be imminent. Ark: Survival Ascended was intended to launch with full cross-platform mod support powered by CurseForge. An FAQ question on the CurseForge website claimed that Survival Ascended was available on October 25, but the console version would be available in November.
Along with the Steam launch of Ark: Survival Ascended, developers Studio Wildcard posted a blog on the Survive the Ark website explaining the reasoning behind the console delay. According to Studio Wildcard, the team identified "critical issues in the multiplayer version of the game" in ASA while the game was undergoing the internal quality assurance process the night before it was intended to launch. The issues were severe enough to justify delaying the launch for PlayStation and Xbox until an undetermined date in November.
Cross-platform play and support for cross-platform mods have been at the center of the little bit of marketing Ark: Survival Ascended received. A blog post on Xbox Wire written by Studio Wildcard executive producer Jatheish Karunakaran was released along with the trailer to emphasize the cross-platform features. As a result of the critical issues in multiplayer, Studio Wildcard has since decided to disable cross-play between Steam and console ports of the ASA upon its launch.
According to Studio Wildcard, the development team will work on two tracks: One will be to manage the launch of the PC version of ASA, while the other track will prepare a patch for the console version with updates and fixes. The team plans to keep cross-play disabled between PCs and consoles at least until the patch enters the quick certification phase. However, that decision could change depending on the status of the PC release at that time.
The developers attempted to put a positive spin on the delay, claiming that the console launch would go smoother thanks to bugs and "initial fires" being taken care of following the PC launch. The delay will also give PC players a chance to get a head start on creating mods that will also be available to console players when the game is made available to them.
Ark: Survival Ascended's multiplayer component relies on dedicated servers where several players per server are active in a singular open-world environment. Players can form alliances, build massive bases, and battle to be at the top of the food chain. A delayed launch on consoles leaves those players at a significant disadvantage on official servers, where other players will have already advanced technology and built bases to a degree that new players can not catch up before being eliminated. To help console players catch up once the game goes online, Studio Wildcard will release a fresh set of Official Servers with bonus rates for a limited time.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.