It was just this week that Studio Wildcard announced that it would be wiping Ark: Survival Evolved's player vs. player servers ahead of the game's official release. Today, though, the developer completely changed course, saying that it would preserve those servers after all.
According to Eurogamer, Studio Wildcard defended the decision to wipe the servers earlier this week by saying that an item duplication bug had caused the competitive multiplayer mode to become essentially broken. Lead designer Jeremy Stieglitz stated that a wipe was essential to making sure that the game was ready for launch. "We feel if we're going to have a competitive environment that is fair to old players and new players, we can't have that kind of legacy craziness in there," he told Eurogamer.
However, in a press release sent out today, Studio Wildcard reversed its position and promised that no reset will occur. Players will be able to keep their characters after all. "Studio Wildcard reconfirmed its commitment to no server wipe--despite a recent rash of cheating and hacking within the game," the developer wrote. "In addition to continuing to operate the legacy servers, on launch date the studio will roll out a fresh cluster network of servers running new code and infrastructure explicitly designed to prevent such issues from occurring in the future."
This is a pretty unusual change of course for a high-profile game like Ark, especially in such a short time span. But Studio Wildcard doesn't have much time left before the game launches. Although it has been in Early Access for quite a while, Ark will be officially released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on August 8.
Early access players were able to pick Ark up for only $30 on PC, but it's now a $60 game across all platforms. PS4 and Xbox One players can also buy the $100 Explorer's Edition, which comes with a season pass. There's also the $160 Limited Collector's Edition, which includes the season pass, a leather-bound Explorer's notebook, an Ark necklace, a cloth map of the game's island, a poster of the development team, and a copy of the official soundtrack.