A dinosaur survival game called Ark: Survival Evolved has recently doubled its price before the game is even fully released, a price that will now run players the full $60 cost of a Triple-A game.
If you're wondering why that price jumped so much for Studio Wildcard's game, you're not alone. The game was initially released as an Early Access version back in June 2015 for PC, and though the game has been received well enough, many players balked at the doubling of the price that's been formally announced a month before the game releases in August. This could be seen as a way to reward those players who stuck with it when it was priced for $29.99 in the current Early Access stages if the price increased upon release, but the price has already jumped up, meaning if you didn't get on board earlier, you're out of luck.
A tweet from the game's Twitter account confirmed the news a few days ago, and as expected, some players were less than pleased. While some defended the game and said it was still worth the new price tag, others remarked that they were glad they got the game ahead of time because there's no way they'd buy it for $60. Bugs, patch problems, and graphics issues were a few of the factors that players listed as reasons for avoiding the game, something that should be expected in Early Access, but not for $60 in Early Access.
Ark: Survival Evolved has received a bit of flak in the past for some of the game's business decisions as well when they released a DLC for the game called Scorched Earth. The game has provided several updates with free content being added along the way, but many players weren't too excited about a DLC being offered for a game that was still in Early Access.
Studio Wildcard has said that they've expressed intent to raise the price in the past given that the amount of content in the game has increased so much. Speaking to Polygon, the developers said that the prices of the physical copy couldn't differ from the digital release price, so the price of the game had to be raised throughout all versions.
"As soon as it was made clear to us by the retailers that a digital price adjustment was necessary for the launch, we let the community know through our various communication channels to provide a final opportunity to get the game at the original Early Access price," community manager and associate producer Jatheish Karunakaran said in an email to Polygon. "As relatively few large games have transitioned from Early Access into a full retail launch, we wish there was a smoother process for how to do it, but I think everyone — us and the industry itself — is still figuring some of this stuff out."
Ark: Survival Evolved is set to be released for the full $60 on Aug. 8 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.