Image: Studio Wildcard

When Ark: Survival Evolved was first announced for Nintendo Switch eyebrows were raised, and then when it was actually released eyes rolled. People like to talk as if issues of the Switch struggling to run some games is a recent problem, but back in late 2018 Ark arrived and was a bit of a shambles. It worked, technically, but was extremely rough to play and almost impossible to recommend.

Somewhat strangely, Studio Wildcard has now confirmed the release of Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition in September, at retail and for $49.99USD on the eShop. It'll include the base game and all major expansions (Scorched Earth, Aberration, Extinction, and Genesis Parts 1 & 2), though at launch it'll only have Scorched Earth with the others to follow in two month intervals. Even so, if playable that could be a huge amount of content for the price.

Intriguingly, though, this edition and all existing copies will apparently showcase a 'complete revamp', with a new port specialist supposedly rebuilding the code in Unreal Engine 4. So, presumably, those that already own the game can anticipate a major and hefty update when the Survivor Edition launches, though importantly all progress and save data will be retained:

Additionally in September, everyone who already owns the ARK: Survival Evolved base game on Nintendo Switch will receive this complete revamp of functionality, graphics, and optimization. Studio Wildcard has contracted with a talented third party developer who is rewriting the entire ARK Switch code from the ground-up, developing it on the latest version of Unreal Engine 4. All existing Switch player progress and Save data will be maintained.

Key new features of ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition for the Nintendo Switch include:
- New cinematic story content to further expand the narrative of ARK: Survival Evolved.
- Custom server support powered by Nitrado server networks.
- “Young Explorers” Mode: Journey through the epochs in this new educational mode. Explore ARK island to discover & learn about the amazing prehistoric creatures that inspired the game. Appropriate for even the smallest survivors!

It'll be interesting to see how this update compares to the current build, and whether it will genuinely deliver a significant overhaul to improve the experience.

Let us know what you think - will you be tempted to revisit this after the update, or perhaps take the plunge on the Ultimate Survivor Edition?