In a perfect world, we would turn on the television on Sundays to watch teams of humans and dinosaurs competing alongside one another. But while reality has denied us this, gaming is picking up the slack.
Studio Wildcard is bringing the esports spinoff of its Ark: Survival Evolved game to PlayStation 4 this summer. Ark: Survival of the Fittest debuts July 19 on Sony’s system, and it will bring its massively multiplayer competitive action along with it. In this version of Ark (the standard survival sim is out now for Xbox One and PC), up to 72 people battle over resources and strategic positioning in an ever-shrinking circular arena until only one team remains. As players get their hands on more upgrades, they can build tools and weapons that make it easier to take on their opponents or to tame wild dinosaurs like a T-rex. It is an absurd and amazing spin on games like the multiplayer arena battler League of Legends. Ark: Survival of the Fittest will remain in development as part of Sony’s beta program, which means it joins Dungeon Defenders 2 and H1Z1 as unfinished games — often referred to as “early access” — on the PS4.
Wildcard will use this as a way to introduce a whole new audience to Ark while simultaneously growing its competitive community. The studio wants to get people playing casually and professionally, and it is planning to hold monthly cash tournaments for the top players.
The company is also trying to offer a path to PS4 players who are not as familiar with Ark as people who play primarily on PC.
“PlayStation gamers will now get the raw emotional sense of competitive satisfaction that PC gamers have been experiencing, as they wage war to survive and thrive,” Studio Wildcard co-creative director Jesse Rapczak said in a statement. “The simple addition of the practice mode means a lot, as PS4 gamers can hone their skills before jumping into the competitive wilds to form tribes, tame T-rexes, and use everything in the Ark sandbox to fight it out.”