ARK: Survival Evolved is getting a free-to-play spin-off title based around its Survival of the Fittest game mode, allowing top players to win cash prizes.
Developer Studio Wildcard has revealed its plan for a battle royale game, using ARK: Survival Evolved as a base. The new game will be called ARK: Survival of the Fittest and will be free-to-play.
The dinosaur survival game developers announced the new ARK as a “Multiplayer Online Survival Arena” that is apparently designed “for the burgeoning wild west of eSports.” Studio Wildcard is clearly making an effort to give the game a competitive scene and players will be rewarded for their efforts in-game with real world cash.
According to the studio, the top 10 ranked players each month will be awarded monetary prizes from Wildcard itself. The payout will reportedly be over $50,000 every month, meaning that dedicated players could end up with some serious rewards.
What originally started out as a game mode for ARK: Survival Evolved’s multiplayer has branched out into its own standalone title, containing all the features of the mode as well as several upgrades, including dedicated eSports ranking, matchmaking, reward, and tournament features. According to the developers, Survival of the Fittest was heavily inspired by the popular Hunger Games franchise. Other recent titles such as H1Z1: King of the Kill and The Culling are just two more of today’s modern titles that also took inspiration from the series, leaving little doubt that the format is likely to attract a large fan base.
Up to 72 players on official servers and a tremendous 200 players on non-official servers can play together at once as they struggle to survive and eliminate one another. Not only do players have to worry about each other, they will also need to feed themselves, battle deadly creatures, and adapt to “Evolution Events” that will change the pace of the game. While this new title will likely forgo some of ARK‘s storytelling details, the game’s multiplayer success is bound to make up for it.
Presumably, Survival of the Fittest will allow players to use the split-screen functionality that was introduced in last month’s console update alongside new dinosaurs, but all will become clear once the game officially releases sometime in the future. For now, Xbox One and Steam users can access the game-in-progress using their respective early access systems. The PS4 version of ARK is in development, but will likely only release once the game is in a more finished state.
ARK: Survival of the Fittest is available now, through Xbox One Game Preview and Steam Early Access.