Ark, Studio Wildcard’s unique survival game, has lived … longer than the developer expected though it has no loot box or microtransaction.
When releasing the survival game Ark: Survival Evolved, Studio Wildcard only intended to make three expansion copies for the game, and then move on to other projects. Indeed, after completing the third expansion pack called Extinction, they launched Atlas, an MMO game based on the pirate theme (and considered too similar to Ark) developed by the “sister” studio. Grapeshot Games. However, in August, Studio Wildcard suddenly announced … two new expansion packs for Ark in the Season Pass package called Genesis, which will be released in December 2019 and the end of 2020.
The arrival of these two new DLCs shows one thing: Ark is very successful and is bringing big revenue for Studio Wildcard, although they do not sell virtual money or loot boxes in the game. The studio leadership itself was surprised by its success, as evidenced by the co-founder Jesse Rapczak: “We could not have imagined it would (be so) successful. That’s why we made a new expansion pack, because it’s clear that gamers still love the game, still enjoy it and still want to add new content. ”
The two upcoming Genesis expansion packs will follow the “money” structure that Studio Wildcard has discovered over the years: one or two large free DLCs for gamers, then a collectible expansion pack. The fee is released at the end of the year to increase revenue for the game. This method of selling DLC helped Studio Wildcard sell more than 16 million copies on both PCs and consoles, plus 10 million mobile installs, and is one of the most played games on the Xbox Game Pass. With this model, Mr. Jesse proudly said that they had discovered a way to make a stable and long-term profit from Ark without having to rely on “unpleasant” methods like loot boxes or microtransaction.
“We don’t sell skins, we don’t sell packages, but Ark is an online game with an official server and a lot of operating costs. Therefore, it is very important for us to constantly attract new players, and one way to do so is to create new content for old gamers to entice new people, ” said Jesse. The co-founder also expressed pride that Ark did not sell skins or microtransasction measures, though it did not rule out the possibility of finding other sources of revenue in the future by saying “until now, make A major expansion each year has given the game the profits it needs to keep growing. If we stop rolling out the new expansion pack, we won’t have any stable sources of revenue … Then, maybe we’ll have to look for a new profit model. ”
Ark: Survival Evolved – The logbook of survival on the dinosaur island It can be said that Ark: Survival Evolved is not a great game, but it is a great suggestion to continue growing into something bigger. .
As you know, Ark’s life cycle has far exceeded Studio Wildcard’s original expectations. What will happen in the future of Ark depends on the success of the two upcoming Genesis expansion packs, and depending on the reception of gamers, the development team will make a decision for the future of the Ark. game. So far, everything has been very promising: “It’s great that whenever we announce new paid content, gamers are excited about it. I’m happy that gamers want to pay for what we have created instead of feeling like they are making money bit by bit, which I think will happen when the game has loot boxes and microtransactions. a game they paid for , ” said Jesse.
Of course, releasing too many DLC can also harm the experience of novice gamers, making them feel too slow and unable to catch up with those who have played before. Studio Wildcard knows this, so they try to avoid creating overwhelming feelings for gamers by separating the plot from the gameplay. “You don’t need to care too much about why this is here or what happens in the previous update,” Jesse explained. “You can jump in and play with your friends at any time on Ark’s timeline. I think this helps relieve the fatigue of having too much content, when you think you have to play everything to catch up. ”
There is an interesting detail that you may want to know: by realizing that gamers still prefer Ark, Studio Wildcard has pushed back the development of Ark 2 to focus on creating Genesis for the current version. They changed their plans, reorganized the development team to ensure that millions of Ark gamers still had fresh content, while Ark 2 gradually took shape. Jesse shared that although Ark is an open world game with an open ending, he believes that Ark 2 will be a relatively linear plot in terms of storyline, while giving gamers the freedom. Explore and indulge in a vast and strange open world.
“With Ark 2, we need to give gamers something new that they don’t get from Ark. We still don’t know what it is, we are not ready to talk about it, but we want to get rid of the framework of Ark, ” said co-founder of Studio Wildcard. “We will come up with an interesting idea about the next step after Ark, or the next step for the survival category. We don’t want to release Ark 2 until we address these issues and let people see the clear difference between Ark 1 and Ark 2. Probably within a few years. Then we will see. ”