Ark: Survival Evolved has been on Steam Early Access since June, garnering mostly positive reviews from the community. Recently, co-creative director Jesse Rapczak spoke to Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the benefits of the system and how a similar system could be used for the game's first expansion.
“Our pace of updates will slow down a lot as we get towards release, as we don’t want to be iterating on new stuff as we try to polish the game. And we are also starting soon on our expansion content, which is lots of extra gameplay hours and story extensions on top of the main game. We’re going to be developing that, starting soon, so that a few months after release we have a first expansion of Ark to go out and people have a big chunk of new content.”
“We may iterate with that content in an early access-type way, with the community before we launch it,” says Rapczak. “That’s something that we talk about; having an early access for DLC rather than just the game, because we get so much out of that with the back and forth with the community.
“But to answer your question, we’ll see a slowdown. We have a target around the beginning of next year to start locking down and doing a formal alpha and beta period with the game, so that we can ship and really open up our options for release. We don’t want it to be one day we release, and we just turn a switch and people are like, ‘Wait a minute!’ We want there to be a definite exit to early access and then release a very polished game.”
Ark: Survival Evolved is currently going through a free weekend so, if Early Access has done you wrong in the past, you can take the game for a test drive. Ark: Survival Evolved is predicted to leave the Early Access program in June 2016.