Ark Survival Evolved’s First Expansion Will Be Ready “A Few Months After” Its June 2016 Release

Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] has only been in Steam Early Access since June, but has already announced its intended release date of June 2016. I spoke to co-creative director Jesse Rapczak at Gamescom 2015 about the merits of early access development, and he mentioned that they may use a similar process for post-release DLC – and that they hope the first expansion will arrive just a few months after the release of v1.0.

Often the frequency of updates are one of the reasons why early access games remain popular, and declaring something “finished” is often simply an invitation for players to be frustrated that a bug their experiencing hasn’t yet been fixed. In that case, I asked Rapczak whether they intended to keep updating the game at the same pace, post-release.

“There’s definitely a finish point,” he says. “Our pace of updates will slow down a lot as we get towards release, as we don’t want to be iterating on new stuff as we try to polish the game. And we are also starting soon on our expansion content, which is lots of extra gameplay hours and story extensions on top of the main game. We’re going to be developing that, starting soon, so that a few months after release we have a first expansion of Ark to go out and people have a big chunk of new content.”

He also said that they may use an early access-style process for the release of any additional content too, after the main game has been fully released. “We may iterate with that content in an early access-type way, with the community before we launch it,” says Rapczak. “That’s something that we talk about; having an early access for DLC rather than just the game, because we get so much out of that with the back and forth with the community.

“But to answer your question, we’ll see a slowdown. We have a target around the beginning of next year to start locking down and doing a formal alpha and beta period with the game, so that we can ship and really open up our options for release. We don’t want it to be one day we release, and we just turn a switch and people are like, ‘Wait a minute!’ We want there to be a definite exit to early access and then release a very polished game.”

Interested in Ark? Watch our Let’s Play series below.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Matchstick says:

    Completely off-topic, but there is something about that Squid image that reminds me of Kevin O’Neill’s work on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

  2. Premium User Badge

    Arnvidr says:

    I am kind of interested in this game, it looks like a lot of fun. Unsure of how much time is needed to put into it to avoid always logging on freshly robbed or something though. I regularly just have a week where I don’t have time to play at all.

    • TormDK says:

      There is a free weekend on Steam, so now is a good time to try it out :)

    • TheMailSquirrel says:

      I had fun for the first 4 hours, after it got repetitive :/ plus you really got to check what your pc specs are since the game is horribly optimized, my rig can run at merely 20 fps on low :/

  3. mechabuddha says:

    So maybe I’m just terrible at this game, but I tried it out as it’s a free weekend. Upon creating my first character, I am immediately notified that I am freezing. I wonder around a bit, finally figure out how to pick up stones and fiber, and realize I can’t craft anything worthwhile. I eventually level up from picking stuff up and eating berries, and then royally mess up the leveling up process. Unable to craft anything, I start swimming out to a glowing pillar of light. A megaladon eats me. I am completely confused by survival games.

  4. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    As this is probably a more relevant place to post it, apparently it’s free to try this weekend.

  5. Distec says:

    Eh, guess I’ll give it a whirl.

    More for the dinosaurs. Less the survival aspect.

  6. Cik says:

    With how complete, solid, extremely well-polished this game is at this stage, and with the breadth and depth of launch-quality game-play mechanics and content it has at its’ current alpha stage. . .I’m amazed that most multi-player survival game enthusiasts don’t already own Ark.

    • TheMailSquirrel says:

      In what world is Ark complete,solid polished? Game play mechanics are ass, I don’t understand how its 32$, The company instead of trying to fix what bugs there are, how horribly optimized it is, they just keep adding new dinosaurs, if they add patches while adding it please send me the update log, at this point if the company is going to focus on DLC for the launch, they lost my 32$, we are a PAYING customer, you don’t respect your customers, the less customers you have, the less customers you have the less $$ you roll in (which is what they are obviously focusing on). Developers please wake up.

      • WovenWar says:

        You must have the intelligence of a squirrel as well. This game is in PRE ALPHA. Do you understand what that means? Obviously not, what am i saying? This is the time that they load the game with content of all kinds, and then when they feel there is enough content to keep the game interesting for a long time. THEN they polish it in whats called BETA. Educate yourself before you let your mouth spew shit.