A quick glance at Steam’s stats shows more than 60,000 people playing ARK: Survival Evolved. ARK: Survival Evolved is a perfect example of taking a wildly popular genre (open-world survival), a criminally under-utilized setting (dinosaurs), a fantastic release date (right before Jurassic World) and turning it into a huge success.

Thanks to SteamSpy we can get a good idea of how successful ARK: Survival Evolved has become since its June 2 release date. Today, there are 802,594 (±21,860) owners. More than half of these sales came during Steam’s June sale and generated more than $10.7 million in revenue, according to SteamSpy (sort by revenue).

ARK: Survival Evolved is a fantastic early access game; provided your PC can run it. The biggest complaint against ARK is how unoptimized it is. But hey, that’s what early access means. The developers know it’s unoptimized and continuously updates the game to address that and other issues gamers find.

Let’s take a closer look at ARK’s launch

The game’s release came at the perfect time. Summer months have been notorious for being void of AAA game releases in recent years. That started to change with Watch Dogs last year and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight and others this year. Still, it’s an empty part of the year compared to Sept-Dec.

Plus, everyone was hyped for dinosaurs. Jurassic World was less than ten days from releasing and all of a sudden we are greeted with an Early Access dinosaur game with this trailer?

Yeah, I bought it as soon as the trailer ended. Now, if the developer can just get the game to run as good as the trailer.

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This brings me to another point. Where the hell are all the dinosaur games? It’s crazy how over-looked the setting is. Or was. Jurassic World’s insane box office numbers combined with the success of ARK: Survival Evolved must have publishers doing the Johnny Manziel money sign.

ARK: Survival Evolved Raptors

The Rise and Staying Power of Open-World Survival

I can’t get enough of open-world survival games. There isn’t another genre that is more fun with a group of friends. I’ve played H1Z1 for 261 hours and will play it for hundreds more. Hell, it’s the reason my backlog of games is so absurd.

Steam’s top 100 played games shows I’m not alone. ARK: Survival Evolved, H1Z1, Rust and DayZ all consistently have more than 10,000 players and sit in Steam’s top 30 most played games.

ARK: Survival Evolved is taking the open-world genre to another level thanks to its feature-rich game and unique setting. Can ARK continue with its success? If the optimization issues get sorted out it will.

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