Last week saw the surprise release of Scorched Earth for Studio Wildcard’s ARK: Survival Evolved, the game’s first fully-fledged expansion that introduces a horde of new creatures, items and biomes to explore, but despite the seemingly generous amount of content on offer, fans of the open-world survival game haven’t reacted particularly well to its arrival.
The negative reception stems from the fact that Scorched Earth has been released as a paid-for piece of additional content, which, obviously, is a non-issue in itself, but the base game for which it applies to is still in Early Access, vis-à-vis, it hasn’t been officially released.
Further compounding the issue is the fact that Survival Evolved still suffers from various technical problems as well as delays, so it’s understandable that fans perhaps think Wildcard have spent resources that should have been allocated to fixing the base game on DLC instead.
The studio has come forward to address these criticisms in a blog post, stating that the release was done this way in order to avoid “significant risks” associated with launching such an add-on post-release.
Scorched Earth: 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. 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.
We’re not sure how well that statement is going to go down with fans, especially the suggestion that Wildcard are reluctant to classify ARK: Survival Evolved as being a full release until everything is deemed to be of a certain level of quality, but we’ll see how players react over the coming days.
Are you an avid ARK player? If so, let us know in the comments below your standpoint on the whole debate.