ARK: Survival Evolved Is Launching In China On January 1st As A Free-To-Play Game
When Snail Games was announced to be publishing ARK: Survival Evolved in China, I was a bit confused. "Won't this interfere with the launch of their other survival game with dinosaurs, Dark and Light?" I wondered. Today's announcement isn't making me any less confused. You see, ARK: Survival Evolved will be launching in China on January 1st as "ARK: Survival Evolved Online." The distinction is important because ARK: Survival Evolved Online will be free-to-play.
There are a few key differences between the Chinese free-to-play version of ARK and the buy-to-play version that we've all become accustomed to. Rather than let players host their own servers, there will be 200 servers available at launch. Experience gains, material collection rates, and the chance to tame have all been raised significantly and the time required to breed animals has been decreased to somewhere between one half and one third of the buy-to-play version's rates. Additionally, features like private chat and a mail system have been added to the Chinese version.
Perhaps most surprising, however, is the fact that several previously-removed features will be making a return in the Chinese version. The example given is that ARK: Survival Evolved Online will once again allow players to place automatic turrets on platform saddles.
You can read more about ARK: Survival Evolved Online on the official website.