Ark: Survival Evolved has been playable since 2015, but it's been in Early Access for that entire time. Today, it finally launches in full on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, and Studio Wildcard is throwing in some new content to mark the occasion.
Alongside its release, Ark is getting a substantial content update. This includes a full orchestral soundtrack, a new storyline, new end-game content, otters and phoenixes, and the Ragnarok DLC pack. Ragnarok is a free expansion that was built by community modders and adds a huge new island.
Ark's full release has been a long time coming; it was originally slated for launch in Summer 2016. Later, it was scheduled for launch on August 8, 2017, but that date was pushed back as well because the certification process took longer than anticipated.
Even excluding the delays, the run-up to launch hasn't been exactly smooth for Studio Wildcard. It sparked controversy among fans when it announced that the price of the game was doubling ahead of release; the Early Access version cost only $30. Further, it previously announced that it would wipe competitive multiplayer servers before the full release, although the developer reversed that decision in July.
If you're interested in reading more about the game's development, GameSpot recently sent community questions to co-creative director Jesse Rapczak. He talks about split-screen, supernatural creatures, and more.