Worthplaying | ‘ARK II’ Comes to Xbox Series X|S And PC, Early Access 2023, Animated Series Gets Star-Studded Voice Cast

ARK II thrusts players into a brutal new world of primitive survival against both beast and man, facing down the ever-present threats of hyper-realistic intelligent dinosaurs, aggressive alien fauna, and the exotic environments of an unearthly planet.

Survivors will continue ARK‘s dramatic eons-spanning story of humankind’s evolution, in this next-generation sandbox survival experience!

Wildcard team also made headlines with the reveal that Vin Diesel will join the Studio Wildcard production team as the President of Creative Convergence where he will act as an executive producer of ARK II, star as a fully rendered hero protagonist (Santiago), as well as EP of the newly announced “ARK: The Animated Series,” where his character will cross over from the video game.

Starring the talents of Vin Diesel (Fast Franchise) as the hero protagonist Santiago and announcing Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) as the voice of Santiago’s daughter Meeka, Studio Wildcard is using Unreal Engine 5’s photorealistic real-time lighting technology for this reimagined, next-generation survival experience.

ARK 2 will launch in 2023, simultaneously on Steam Early Access and as a console launch exclusive for Xbox Series X|S and with Xbox and PC Game Pass on Game Preview.

Studio Wildcard has teamed-up with Grove Street Games to co-develop ARK 2 and for Grove Street to rewrite the ARK Nintendo Switch code with a full revamp of gameplay functionality, graphics, and optimization. Furthermore, Thomas Williamson, Director of Grove Street, will be Development Director and Technical Director of ARK 2 with cross sections of the Grove Street Games team also joining ARK 2’s production in a development partnership. Co-founders of Studio Wildcard, Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak, will balance time between games and the transmedia expansion of the ARK franchise, with Stieglitz focusing creative efforts on the TV series and other initiatives, whilst continuing to serve as Executive Producer of ARK 2. Rapczak will continue as Creative Director of ARK 2 and co-creator of the TV series.

“Thomas Williamson is one of the greatest designer-programmers and technical visionaries working in the games industry today. I am beyond-thrilled that he and the incredibly talented team at Grove Street Games have opted to go all-in on partnering up to build the next iterations of the ARK franchise. By combining Grove Street’s amazing capabilities with the brilliant creators at Studio Wildcard, ARK 2 is going to be a mind-blowing experience.” – Jeremy Stieglitz, Co-Creator of ARK and Co-Founder of Studio Wildcard.

“The team at Studio Wildcard includes many of the most passionate game developers in the world. At Grove Street Games, we’re thrilled. We get to work with a group of excellent people that care so much about their fans, franchise, and moving the industry forward. Together, we will combine the unrivaled ARK universe with the best possible game technology, and construct the ultimate survival experience.” – said Thomas Williamson, Director of Grove Street Games.

ARK 2 features revealed today include:

  • BEST IN CLASS, THIRD-PERSON GAMEPLAY – Advanced character traversal mechanics include mantling, free-climbing, parkour, sliding, and swinging!
  • REVOLUTIONARY CROSS-PLATFORM MODDING – Fully stackable, user-created Mods for new creatures, items and gameplay features, with maps distributed across all platforms – including onto Xbox – and support for modded servers enabled through official mod support by mod.io
  • SOULS-LIKE MELEE COMBAT – Target-lock, blocks, dodges, combos, staggers and special attacks all emphasize player-skill based action.
  • MASSIVE, NEW ALIEN ENVIRONMENT – Explore a mysterious, chaotic world where native flora and fauna are being overrun by invasive primeval creatures, from an extinct Earth.
  • COMPONENT-BASED ITEM CRAFTING – Construct weapons and tools from a range of distinct modules to customize their look and functionality — millions of possible combinations enable players to craft their own unique gear! Specific materials will further affect the appearance of items, with multiple resource options in unique regions of the world.
  • DYNAMIC WORLD EVENTS – Natural and unnatural occurrences are always happening across the game world, independent of your presence! Your choices in deciding whether to interact with these events will yield rewards or challenges.
  • OPPOSING PVE FORCE – Hostile ‘Aratai’ hunt & attack you while riding their own tamed creatures, as they seek to drive human interlopers from their world.

ARK: The Animated Series chronicles the story of a mysterious primeval land populated by dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, where people from throughout human history have been resurrected. When 21st century Australian paleontologist Helena Walker awakens on the ARK after tragedy, she must learn to survive and find new allies, or die again at the hands of ruthless warlords — all while trying to uncover the true nature of their strange new world.

The original TV series based on the hit game franchise, “ARK: The Animated Series” now has fourteen 30-minute episodes in post-production! To celebrate this milestone, Studio Wildcard has released the first poster images of key characters from the show.


Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) has taken on the role of Executive Producer, Director, and Co-Showrunner, alongside ARK franchise creators Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak, with the series being produced at Glendale-based Lex+Otis animation studio. Monica Bellucci (The Matrix Reloaded) and Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Bad Batch) have also joined the series’ talented cast.

ARK: The Animated Series” features an extraordinary voice cast, including Gerard Butler (300), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Madeleine Madden (The Wheel of Time), Devery Jacobs (American Gods), Deborah Mailman (Total Control), Zahn McClarnon (Doctor Sleep), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Elliot Page (The Umbrella Academy), Ragga Ragnars (Vikings), David Tennant (Good Omens), Alan Tudyk (Rogue One), Karl Urban (The Boys), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), Ron Yuan (Mulan), with Russell Crowe (Gladiator) and Vin Diesel reprising his role as franchise hero, Santiago.

ARK II is coming to Xbox Series X|S and PC.

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