ARK Survival Ascended PS5 PlayStation 5 1

Update: A Studio Wildcard spokesperson has confirmed to us there'll be no upgrade path for existing owners of ARK: Survival Evolved to ARK: Survival Ascended. "ARK: Survival Ascended is designed for next-generation consoles and does not have an upgrade path available," we were informed.

Original Article: ARK: Survival Evolved will be shutdown in August on PS4, and support will transition to a remastered PS5 version named ARK: Survival Ascended, all as part of a complicated roadmap for the dino survival series. The re-release will run on Unreal Engine 5, and will include content like The Island and Survival of the Fittest, but bizarrely it doesn’t look like there’ll be an upgrade path for existing owners. It means the new version will set you back $39.99, even if you’re a long-time player of the original.

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In fact, the whole pricing model is a bit of a mess. As you may already be aware, sequel ARK II looks like it’s going to be a console exclusive on Xbox Series X|S, so developer Studio Wildcard is offering a bundle on Microsoft’s machine which includes both ARK: Survival Ascended and its sequel for $49.99. While PS5 owners will pay $10 less overall, it’s probably a better deal to get the sequel included as well. Although that’s been delayed now, until 2024.

Expansion packs will also be sold separately for the remastered version, so the Explorer’s Pass including Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Extinction will cost $19.99. You’ll then need to pod out another $19.99 for the Genesis Pass, including both parts of the Genesis storyline. Again, there’s absolutely no word on these being offered at a reduced rate for people who already bought them on the PS4. We’ll check with the developer.

To its credit, the remaster is promising some pretty meat improvements, like dynamic weather, interactive foliage, and cross-platform mulitplayer. The studio’s also bundling in a bunch of gameplay and user interface improvements as well. It sounds good, but we’re struggling with the idea of the developer shutting down the original version of the game and then asking fans to rebuy it for a new console. That doesn’t sit right with us at all!