Few people realise that December is when we're at greatest risk from pirates, likely to mistake their bloodthirsty cries of "Yo ho!" for the merry "Ho ho ho!" of Father Christmas and run towards them rather than away. Capitalising on this behaviour, the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved tonight announced Atlas, an "open-world survival MMO" full of pirates. Word of Atlas leaked months ago but now it's official - and it's launching next week. It'll have us craft things, build ships and bases, sail, battle ships, fight ludicrous creatures, and murder poor newbies, a bit Ark-y but much larger and on the seas. Have a peek.
Looks like it has more to do than Sea Of Thieves, at least.
Studio Wildcard say that it's intended to support up to 40,000 players, so it's a big'un, and they boast vaguely that its world is "1200 times bigger than Ark." Given how poorly Ark runs with a world 1200 times smaller than Atlas, I'd be so very wary of doing anything before braver souls than I venture forth to expore performance and bugs.
Atlas is coming to Steam Early Access next Thursday, December 13th. It's being made by Instinct Games, one of the four studios which worked on Ark, together with Grapeshot Games. Grapeshot are an offshoot of Studio Wildcard, bringing over the two co-founders who were also Ark's creative directors plus some other Ark folks.
Ark's final planned expansion (as far as we know) launched in November, and was a bit disappointing according to our Ark: Extinction review, but updates are still coming. Look, they posted a dev update about structures and kibble just the other day. Thrilling times.
Tonight's announcement came from The Game Awards, the 'Oscars but video games' marketing-o-rama featuring several anti-vaping videos.