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Ark: Survival Ascended will get cross-platform mod support from Overwolf



Ark: Survival Ascended debuted on Steam on the PC on October 25, and it will be getting cross-platform support from modders thanks to Overwolf as the console launches approach in November.

Studio Wildcard, the maker of Ark: Survival Evolved, showed off the gameplay of Ark: Survival Ascended during Microsoft’s Xbox Partner Preview livestream. The game is a next-generation remake of the beloved Ark: Survival Evolved, a dinosaur survival experience which debuted in 2015.

Built with Unreal Engine 5, it features upgraded graphics for players as well as the ability to play mods with friends across platforms, said Uri Marchand, CEO of Overwolf in an interview with GamesBeat.

Ark: Survival Ascended uses cool graphics features from Unreal Engine 5.

Ark: Survival Ascended was developed in partnership with Grove Street Games and Instinct Games, and it’s now available on Steam, with releases on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation5 scheduled for November.

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The entire codebase of Ark has been rewritten, and the artwork has been meticulously recreated to harness the full potential of Unreal Engine 5, said Doug Kennedy, cofounder of Studio Wildcard, in an interview with GamesBeat.

“While the team is moving on to Ark II, the mod support will give” something for the players of the original Ark to play in the meantime, Marchand said. Kennedy said that creates the best of both worlds for the studio and its players.

Players can expect stunning visuals and high-end graphics features, such as fully dynamic Global Illumination, which provides realistic lighting effects by bouncing light off hundreds of millions of triangles.

Ark: Survival Ascended is embracing the mod community from the start.

While the upcoming Ark II is taking a Souls-like approach, Ark: Survival Ascended ensures that the original Ark experience thrives in next-gen quality with continued developer support and the exciting growth from user-generated content (UGC) creators.

“We will see some of those mods in the coming weeks,” Marchand said.

Some of the developers have been working on their mods for some time while others will be able to start work now.

The gameplay of Ark: Survival Ascended spans across various worlds, including Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, Ark Genesis Part 1, and Ark Genesis Part 2. At launch, players can explore The Island, with subsequent expansion worlds to be added regularly. Ark: Survival Ascended will feature its own content roadmap, including gameplay and quality-of-life improvements, new downloadable content (DLC), seasonal events, and more.

One of the most significant additions to ASA is the cross-platform modding support facilitated by Overwolf and CurseForge, Marchand said. For the first time, PC-crafted ARK mods will be compatible with consoles, extending the reach of modders and enriching the gaming experience for players across different platforms.

Ark: Survival Ascended promises dinosaur action.

“That’s possible thanks to Unreal Engine 5,” Marchand said.

Mod authors are already creating exciting new content, such as dinosaurs, structures, and weapons, while game studios like Blue Isle Studios and Skymap Games are developing premium mods akin to DLC-level content, Marchand said.

In addition to the extensive gameplay enhancements, ARK: Survival Ascended introduces the Ascended Physics System, which incorporates advanced physics features such as dynamic water and interactive physical foliage.

Players will witness realistic interactions as creatures move through fluids, causing waves, ripples, splashes, and bubbles. The environment will respond dynamically to character actions, including the demolition of buildings, with debris interacting with grass and water as it falls.

The game also boasts extensive quality-of-life improvements, including redesigned user interfaces, intelligent creature pathfinding, Wild Babies, Photo Mode, new camera systems, a new Map system, Tracking System, new Structures and Items, new Creatures, and more.

ARK: Survival Ascended supports various multiplayer options, including public online multiplayer for up to 70 players, private-session multiplayer for up to 8 players, and local split-screen for 2 to 4 players.

Players can also form online tribes across different gaming platforms, allowing for cross-platform multiplayer experiences. Console and Windows PC players will have this capability at launch, with Steam PC players joining the cross-platform battle in December 2023.

To celebrate the release of Ark: Survival Ascended, Overwolf and Studio Wildcard will host an official modding competition. The competition will feature two tracks: one for DLC-level, premium mods created by game studios and another for modders. A total prize pool of $350,000 will be awarded to the most creative cross-platform mods that transform the Ark: Survival Ascended experience, Marchand said.

Pretty colors in Ark: Survival Ascended.

“Ark: Survival Ascended provides an evergreen adventure that re-energizes the classic-ARK experience, one that will continue to grow and leverages the latest tech advancements with UE5, as well as what we’ve been working on with the ARK Franchise as a whole,” said Jeremy Stieglitz, co-creative director at Studio Wildcard, in a statement. “With ARK 2’s direction as a Souls-like adventure, we realize our community still wants and loves the original ARK. ASA enables that original ARK experience to thrive in next-gen quality with continued developer support as well as the exciting growth from UGC creators.”

ARK: Survival Ascended is now available on Steam for a limited time price of $40.49 (MSRP $44.99), with the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions set to launch in November.

“In Ark the creative community has developed and shared a wide range of impressive mods that PC players enjoy,” said Thomas Williamson, CEO and technical director at Grove Street Games, in a statement. “We’re excited to bring these to the console players as well, so now all Survivors have access to the brilliant mods that enhance and evolve the ARK experience.”

Grove Street Games has been around since 2007 and it is based in Gainsville, Florida. Instinct Games is based in Egypt and it was founded in 2011.

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