Officially released in 2017, many Ark: Survival Evolved players have been with the game since it hit early access in 2015, gradually discovering an overarching story thread for the bizarre, dinosaur-laden world.
Now, with stacks of free DLC updates, additions to the dossier, and five paid DLC expansions, the saga of Ark has come to a close, according to a post from the developers.
With Genesis Part 2’s release on 3 June 2021, some 15 months after Part 1, the team can now focus on the upcoming Ark II.
The Ark saga concludes with Genesis Part 2
From its earliest early access days, there was an air of mystery about the story behind Ark: Survival Evolved, with you waking up on a beach, scratching a bizarre gem implanted in your arm.
Next, it was all about survival, building shelter, finding food, and trying not to get killed by any of the prehistoric wildlife sharing the island with you – at least, that is, until you learned what was required to tame the beasts.
The other hints at an overarching story were the colossal pillars of energy, which you’d eventually figure out housed mighty bosses for you and your horde of tamed creatures or team of survivalists to battle.
As the lore-driven DLC expansions were added to the game, the story progressed, gradually revealing the cataclysmic events that led to the game’s universe being forged, explaining the purpose of the ARKs and the Genesis Simulation.
Moving on to Ark II
By all accounts, the Ark: Survival Evolved saga is coming to an end to begin a new era with Ark II. As shown above, “Santiago’s story is just beginning,” which is the name displayed in the Ark II reveal trailer from December 2020.
The Genesis Part 2 trailer ends with what seems to be Santiago stumbling out of a pod. So, the ‘Arrival’ event alluded to in the game appears to be what the next story centres around, especially as there’s been mention of vast storage units holding sleeping humans from across time.
In the Ark II reveal trailer, everything appears to be much more rudimentary again, with a band of people using stone weaponry and attire crafted from basic materials. Opposing the tribe led by Vin Diesel’s character is a species of grey-skinned humanoids, which are potentially from a stock of humans from a different time period.
At the time of writing, nothing has officially been revealed about the Ark II story outside of what was shown in the reveal trailer – so this is all just conjecture. Still, the sandbox survival game looks to have more of a baked-in story from the start, and potentially more NPCs to interact with in the new ARK.
A winning formula for Studio Wildcard
Ark: Survival Evolved is a good example of a live service game getting it right. Not only does it include a viable single-player mode throughout, but the online play improved significantly over the years, there were plenty of events, and massive free DLC expansions complemented the even larger, paid, lore-building ones.
All of the additional content over the years has helped to keep players coming back to Ark, cultivating a strong following. Since mid-2015, Ark has been in the top-15 for its player count in the Steam rankings, per GitHyp, being in the top-10 for most months during that spell.
So far, we know that the Ark II release date is presently set for 2022. We’ve also seen that it’ll feature the motion capture and voice acting of Vin Diesel – who’s logged thousands of hours on the first game and will be the sequel’s executive producer, as detailed by Destructoid.
Given the success and continued draw of Ark: Survival Evolved, it’d make sense for Studio Wildcard to run a similar formula with Ark II, but starting with a full release rather than an early access one.
As the Ark: Survival Evolved saga has now concluded, with the exception of some possible patch updates, fans can look forward to the next chapter with Ark II.