Earlier this month, Studio Wildcard released Scorched Earth, a brand new, paid DLC for ARK: Survival Evolved, a game that’s still in Early Access. As you’d expect, fans weren’t happy, and now the developer has a response.
On the game’s official forums, Studio Wildcard addressed the recent fan outcry which caused the game’s reviews on Steam to go from “Mostly Positive” to “Mostly Negative” as players couldn’t understand why they’re being asked to pay an additional £15 for DLC for a game that’s still in the early stages of development.
It seems the reason for the paid DLC release was to help test a feature which allowed players to move to and from different ARKs.
“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,” the studio wrote. “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,” the studio concluded.
So there you have it. While the option of a paid expansion seems a little odd, the studio seems to have good intentions. Though why they couldn’t just launch the expansion in a similar fashion to their now canned Survival of the Fittest standalone release is beyond me.