Ark: Survival Evolved is Playable Alone on Your Own Server, Devs “Very Much Against” In-Game Monetization

May 12, 2015 Written by Jason Dunning

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Making a big splash when it debuted yesterday, a ton of questions about Ark: Survival Evolved popped up following the announcement, and Studio Wildcard Founder and Technical Art Director Jesse Rapczak answered a few of them on the PS Blog.

Being a large-scale, multiplayer, first-person survival game, many people wondered if there would be a single player component. Rapczak confirmed you’ll be able to play on your own hosted server:

Primarily multiplayer-focused, although it’s possible to play the game alone on your own hosted server. Ark isn’t just about survival, we are injecting a lot of mystery and exploration into the game to allow you to unravel the backstory and the end game at your own pace!

Sticking with multiplayer, he talked about their target for players on a server at once, adding that Ark isn’t exactly an MMO:

Not quite an MMO, although your character, your progress in the world and stats/items are persistent on the server you choose to play on. We are currently aiming for a large (greater than 64) number of simultaneous players logged in to a server at one time.

Also with multiplayer, he said Ark is “first and foremost an online multiplayer game” and, depending on the other players, “you will find yourself in a variety of Co-Op (PvE) and PvP situations at any given time.”

Supporting Project Morpheus when it launches on PlayStation 4 next year, Ark is mostly a first-person game:

Ark is primarily first person, as we have found third person games don’t make for very good VR experiences. That being said, there is an optional third person mode for dinosaur riding when you are not playing with a HMD like Morpheus.

To wrap up, Rapczak said there are plans for vehicles when it goes to Steam Early Access next month, it’s possible we’ll get a console beta closer to launch next year, and he “worked at Microsoft on HoloLens for 2.5 years designing all sorts of prototype experiences in VR and MR, and I am very familiar with the challenges and pitfalls of HMDs.”

Although many of the answers surround the PC version and Early Access, a lengthy FAQ for Ark is available on Steam.

Perhaps the most interesting answer on the FAQ surrounds their thoughts on Pay to Win and monetization:

There will never, ever be any monetization of this game whatsoever other than possible entirely new Expansion ARK’s (whole new worlds as expansion pack).

There will never be any pay items, not even cosmetics — there WILL be tons of cosmetic “item skins” but they will all be earnable in-game rewards and time-limited free events to encourage gameplay, nothing ever to spend any $$$ on.

The term Loot Crate simply was employed to denote high-value item cache 😉

To be clear, we at Studio Wildcard are very much against any in-game monetization whatsoever. We’ve seen it distort too many otherwise good games.

Are you putting Ark on your games to buy list for 2016?

[Source: PS Blog, Steam]