Studio Wildcard makes the surprising announcement that the ARK: Survival Evolved spin-off game ARK: Survival of the Fittest will be console exclusive to the PS4.
Even a multi-million dollar settlement over ARK: Survival Evolved can’t keep developer Studio Wildcard down. A little over a week removed from its legal drama, Studio Wildcard has announced its next big move, as the company has revealed that the Hunger Games-style ARK spin-off ARK: Survival of the Fittest will be releasing as a console exclusive to PlayStation 4 this summer.
This news may come as a shock to some dedicated ARK players, as ARK: Survival Evolved is very popular on Xbox One. The core online multiplayer dinosaur survival game has proven to be a major early access success on that platform, and so Studio Wildcard bringing the spin-off to PlayStation 4 over Xbox is a bit puzzling.
Regardless, ARK: Survival of the Fittest on PS4 will pit up to 72 players against each other in a brutal fight to the death. Players will able to tame some of ARK‘s signature creatures and partake in a variety of different match types, including free-for-all and variations on team deathmatch. Furthermore, ARK: Survival of the Fittest will have a focus on eSports, with monthly cash prizes for those that play the game at the professional level.
PS4 ARK: Survival of the Fittest players can look forward to an exclusive offline practice mode not found in the PC version of the game. Better yet, just as ARK: Survival Evolved on Xbox One has offline split-screen support, ARK: Survival of the Fittest‘s offline practice mode will also have split-screen. However, it’s unclear at this time if ARK: Survival of the Fittest will take it a step further and also provide support for split-screen online functionality as well.
If split-screen online play isn’t available at launch, it’s possible that it could be added to ARK: Survival of the Fittest in a future update. After all, Studio Wildcard has promised to provide regular content updates to ARK: Survival of the Fittest once it launches, and if the frequent ARK: Survival Evolved updates are any indication, it won’t disappoint in that area.
With the PlayStation 4 outselling the Xbox One, it makes sense for Studio Wildcard to support the platform. However, the company has already built a fan base on Xbox thanks to ARK‘s early access release, and making ARK: Survival of the Fittest a console-exclusive to PS4 could alienate those fans. With ARK: Survival of the Fittest set to release around the same time as the full release of the core game this summer, we’ll see soon enough if the PS4 becomes the dominant console for the ARK franchise.
ARK: Survival of the Fittest is available now on PC and will come exclusively to PS4 on July 19th, 2016.