Deserts & Dragons: Ark’s Scorched Earth Expansion Out

How do you tell the difference between a Bactrian camel and a dromedary? The Bactrian has two humps, which look like a B, while the dro- yeah, they’re different species. Different types of camel. No, they live in entirely different places too. They- no, I just thought you might like to know. I don’t know, maybe it’d be a pub quiz question. I don’t know, maybe you do pub quizzes. The- look, I don’t even know why I brought it up, as the new Ark: Survival Evolved [official site] desert expansion doesn’t even have camels. No, instead desertfolk ride a dinosaur called a Morellatops which – hey, its back does look a bit like a sat-on M! Remember that one for the pub quiz.

Ark may still be in early access, not even properly released yet, but apparently it’s already time for an expansion. Ark: Scorched Earth takes the open-world survival shenanigans to a big new desert land with all manner of nasty biomes. This means little water, of course, along with oodles of new items, buildings, weapons (whips! boomerangs!), and so on to help you survive the heat. As if finding water and shelter weren’t enough, hey, apparently the place is crawling with wyverns, manticores, and something called a ‘Death Worm’. I do like Death Worms.

Characters will be able to travel between the regular Ark island and the desert land, taking items and dinopals with them.

Launching an expansion for an early access game is a little cheeky but I suppose lead developers Studio Wildcard do have a load of other studios pitching in. They’ve been consistent with updates adding new features too. At least Scorched Earth itself isn’t in early access.

Ark’s main problem isn’t really a lack of content, as it does most of those multiplayer sandbox things as much as it ever will, more that it still runs like a dog.

Ark: Scorched Earth is £14.99/$19.99 on Steam and yes, you do need the base game. That’s on sale right now, down to £13.79/16,79€/$17.99.


  1. Sathure says:

    I like Ark, they’ve added a lot to it since it’s launch on EA.

    I’m fine with content like this being released in an Expansion. But how about you finish the core game first? The timing of this just leaves a bad taste.

    • Flappybat says:

      Well, they would have less for artists to do in the past months now ARK has a lot of content but I agree. There’s a lot of systems in Ark that need overhauling, building, god awful UI, terrible lag etc. I can’t imagine this will sell that great to existing players, putting the cart before the horse releasing an expansion before fixing the problems.

    • frightlever says:

      Allegedly it relates to them, “unexpectedly”, having to pay out $40 million dollars after one of the founders violated a non-compete clause with his former employer. Who knows?

      Haven’t been back to Ark for an age, so I can wait until it hits a sale.

  2. Stugle says:

    That opening paragraph was glorious.

  3. w0bbl3r says:

    An expansion for a game not even finished.
    This is almost as bad as Bugbear making another GAME while they have done almost nothing for their current early access game in ages. And their new game is just basically an editor mode for the tech demo part of the early access game, but for £15 or so.

    These early access developers are getting more and more cheeky as time goes on.

  4. aircool says:

    Cheeky alright, but at least they’re not charging £40 to land on a planet (ooooh, am I having a go at Elite: Dangerous II, or No Man’s Sky?)

    I like Ark: Survival even though it does run like a pig.

  5. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    So that’s what that mystery 8.2GB update is all about.

    Can I just say (or add my voice to those saying) that having to download the files whether or not you’re buying the relevant DLC is getting quite tiresome. I’m not made of bandwidth, you know.

    • PaulV says:

      I’m guessing that’s mostly because people can bring items and dinos back to the regular island. You’ll need those assets regardless.

  6. GWOP says:

    That was a good looking trailer.

    How’s the game, though?

  7. fish99 says:

    People excuse the poor optimization by saying the game is still EA, but what does EA even mean when the game has done most of it’s sale, has already been discounted many times and now has a paid expansion? It still has a placeholder UI too.

  8. Generico says:

    Ark: Unethical Business Practices Evolved.

    They haven’t even delivered on the game that people are buying into, and now they’re making everyone who has already paid for their unfinished game download 10gb of content they can’t even play without paying another $20. And they’re letting people who are stupid enough to pay for it bring it into the original game to gain an advantage. Pay to win Evolved.

    And no, this DLC is by definition still early access. If the base game is early access, everything derived from it is also early access. Steam just doesn’t label it as such. But if you expect that this DLC will be anything but the same unpolished, poorly optimized, bug riddled alpha that ARK currently is, you’re an idiot.

    Which leads to the larger question: Just how stupid are gamers? Will they buy literally anything? Could you promise the world, take a dump in a shiny box, sell them that box, and then just claim “it’s early access” for years until people lose interest? Yes. I think you could. This is what Studio Wildcard is doing. They are making shiny visuals with turds under the hood and selling it. And gamers are stupid enough to keep shelling out. Paid DLC for unfinished games will become a trend now.