I’m going to take a not-so-enormous flier here and guess that more than a few of you have probably given ARK: Survival Evolved a go. It’s almost becoming a full-time career playing the various open-world survival craft-a-thon simulators that get released on Steam, but not all of them managed to sell more than 400,000 copies during Steam’s Summer Sale.
ARK’s final sales figure, in case you’re wondering, ended up being 445,857 copies over the course of the fortnight. That’s more than 74,000 more players who owned the game before the sales begun, which is a pretty staggering figure for a game that launched at the start of June.
But according to an interview at PC Gamer, ARK has now sold over a million copies. That’s a staggering feat, meaning that the title has broken the 1 million mark faster than DayZ ever did. “[With] the timing of Jurassic World, dinosaurs are really big right now, so that [release timing] was kind of intentional,” ARK co-creative director and Studio Wildcard co-founder Jesse Rapczak said.
“A lot of people have been streaming the game during this time, it seems like it’s a very streamable game. People have a lot of fun, they’re doing all sorts of stuff in the game, and I think that’s kept it at the top of people’s playlists. They see a lot of their friends doing fun stuff in the game when they’re playing together,” he added.
So it’s pretty popular. Apparently being built in Unreal Engine 4 and having dinosaurs you can punch works well on Steam, and the latest update should strengthen the word of mouth since it adds Mac and Linux support, with cross-play across all platforms.
“ARK survivors can dive into the dynamic ecosystem where they craft weapons and tools, build multi-story houses, commune with other tribes, as well as tame, train and ride a huge variety of dinosaurs from the terrifying T-Rex to the monstrous Spinosaurus and the soaring Pteranodons,” the Steam announcement says.
The update also adds “seamless online cross-play” between all of the platforms, something that every game should endeavour to have as far as I’m concerned. (Even if it’s wholly unrealistic.) The patch means that ARK is, according to Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efecto Studios and Virtual Basement – no really, those are all the teams listed as being developers on the game – the first major Unreal Engine 4 game to be playable on Mac and Linux.
Not a bad feather to have in your cap, I suppose. If you haven’t picked ARK up yet, it’s available for US$24.89. That’s a discount of 17%, bringing the game down to the same price it was during the Steam sales. Is it really a discount if its been at the same price almost every day since launching on Early Access?
Either way, the game has sold more than 1 million copies. Or just over 900,000 players according to the Steam Spy figures. I wonder what the reasoning for the discrepancy is. It’s clearly a successful strategy, so why change what works?