Released earlier this year on Steam, ARK: Survival Evolved has quickly become one of the most talked about games on PC. The action adventure and survival title allows players to take part in all of the usual survival game antics – e.g establishing a base and gathering resources – but the star attraction by far are the game’s dinosaurs with players able to tame and ride them. It’s this killer feature that led ARK: Survival Evolved to sell over 1 million units on Steam and after debuting on Xbox One, it seems that the game is enjoying success on consoles too.
On the Xbox Wire website, Jesse Rapczak, the co-founder and co-creative director at Studio Wildcard (the developer behind the game), reveals that ARK: Survival Evolved had been downloaded over 1 million times in a week and that “Survivors had lasted a combined 200,000 real-life days against the dinosaurs and perils of the island, including other players”. Moreover, Rapczak says that “ARK’s daily Xbox One player count is already bigger than on PC” with Steam’s official stats saying that today, ARK has had a peak player count of 55, 936 and that it’s one of Steam’s (current) most popular games.
However, while Studio Wildcard will be happy with a decent Xbox debut, that popularity may just be chalked down to the fact that on Xbox One the game is just two weeks old whereas the game has been available on PC for over six months now. The real test will be how the game does over the next few months.
Two-player local split-screen will be added to the game in early 2016 along with “gamepad customization, UI improvements, tweaks to current game modes, balancing improvements” and “all the new content that is going into the PC version”, Rapczak notes, so it will be interesting to see whether or not these features have the same sort of draw as the initial ‘conquer the world with dinosaurs’ action that the game launched with.
But, assuming that ARK: Survival Evolved does has some legs in it yet and that this isn’t a fluke, this bodes well for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Preview program. When the service was announced back at E3, some were concerned that it would lead to a plethora of broken and unfinished games flooding the Xbox One but as the popularity of ARK and the interest surrounding first-party Preview titles shows, it could be a handy platform for devs to get their in-development titles some early support.
The full release of ARK: Survival Evolved will hit PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June 2016.
Source: Xbox Wire