ARK: Survival Evolved has Gone Gold, Release Date Announced

After two years in early access, Ark has finally gone gold and is scheduled to release on August 29th. While i don’t get the point of survival games (and wasn’t exactly pleased to see Ark releasing paid DLC before being a finished product), it is good to  see the dev teams hard work has finally paid off. Now the question is: will it matter?

While the game hasn’t been in a finished state, it has been playable for the past two years. I was going to pose the question of “if the player base has dropped, will the game actually being released be enough to bring them back”.  But after doing a bit of digging, i found this:

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This more or less says that, at the time of writing, the game’s player base has been more or less consistent over the last two years. That’s all well and good, but now another question comes to mind: what if everyone who wants the game already has it? As far as i’m aware, survive games are a  rather niche genre, and with a preexisting installed player base it doesn’t look to be a welcoming place for new comers. I could be totally off base here, granted, But i do have to ask: if there isn’t a large player base interested in the game who doesn’t already have it, how do you make any money off it? More DLC? Sure, that could work, but that requires more development time. I guess what i’m trying to figure out is, now that the game is done, how does it benefit from that fact? I’m not trying to say the game should stay in early access or that this isn’t an accomplishment for the dev team, it’s just a question that’s been on my mind.

While not officially released, Ark drops Paid DLC.

“Ark: Survival Evolved” has been in early accesses for over a year now. You would think the development team would have been using this time and the money made from the $30 asking price to finish the game, but it seems they had different plans. Last Thursday the development team released a $20 expansion for the called “Scorched Earth”, but the game has still not left steam early access. So in order to get the full experience of this unfinished game you’ll have to fork over nearly as much cash as a full retail game.

Now, i have an issue with either early access or DLC, but this is bothers me greatly. To me this is the developer using the “early access” label to undermine criticism for what should be a finished game.  I could be wrong, but that’s the only way i can see them thinking this was a good idea. The fact of the matter is, if you are already charging for a game that isn’t finished, your main focus should be on finishing the game and not on getting more money out of an unfinished product.