Ark: Survival Evolved Devs Offering $5000 A Month To Some Modders

Studio Wildcard has officially launched a new program for modders. Every month, 15 modders will receive a $US4000 ($5211) stipend for their work.

Jeremy Stieglitz, Studio Wildcard's lead designer, lead programmer and co-creative director on Ark: Survival Evolved, told PC Gamer that the program will select 15 modders and pay them a monthly stipend of $US4000 ($5211). He said, "The hope is that with this kind of stipend, these authors, who really are hobbyists and have day jobs so they can't really afford to spend as much time as they'd like on modding, that this will let them spend more time on modding, and ideally, hopefully, take some of these mods to completion."

This isn't the first time studios have attempted to find a way to compensate modders for their work. In 2015, Valve and Bethesda launched a paid mods program for Skyrim, where mods would be available for purchase.

That program ended after less than a week, with Valve employee Aldon Kroll saying, "We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. … But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating."

One of the problems cited during the brief window of time that Skyrim's paid mods were available were that mods were available for sale that reused assets from other modders.

This is a shitty thing to do when mods are free, but when money enters the equation it gets dicier. When asked about the potentiality for those kinds of headaches, Stieglitz said, "if there's some dispute, technically it's up to the modder to deal with that, at that point."

Ark: Survival Evolved will receive an update next week after Studio Wildcard officially announces the program at GDC. This update will introduce a new menu with all 15 featured mods, allowing players to browse and download them. Check out the list of mods and the rest of the conversation with Jeremy Stieglitz over at PC Gamer.


    Thats how much it costs to essentially get a mod dev to finish your game for you. Stopped playing about eight months ago, I regret nothing.

      If you hadda kept playing you'd know how wrong your comment is.

        General consensus is that they never fixed how garbage it runs and that larger dinosaurs still clip through the floor on occasion. I am sorry, but I am never spending three hours on a Trex tame only to have it clip through the floor or get kited to a wall and then stabbed to death. The game was interesting early on, but its fundamentally designed to be horrible to play online as a solo or small group. The game has serious balance issues that I doubt they would be able to fix themselves and that is why they are doing this mod incentive.

          That is of course one theory. Dinosaur clipping through the ground hasn't been a prominent issue in a while thankfully, dinosaurs still clipping through bases however, that's another story! Framerates have been boosting steadily too. I personally have seen a rise in the last six months from the low 40s on ultra to now running consistently in the high 60s to low 70s. The article never mentions theyre trying to fix the game via mods and even the best mods for it dont do that but offer new experiences (Annunaki Genesis for example turns it into WOW lite). By giving the best mod creators funding to actually finish and maintain their mods instead of abandoning them as often happens, which is quite regularly cited by mod creators as due to "a lack of time and or money", this will likely go a long way in fixing that. I'm in no way blind to issues Ark has, but I'm not about to bust out the tinfoil hat and create conspiracy theories where they aren't.

          Last edited 03/03/17 9:17 am

            I still play, and I still find it not even close to being optimised (though my point is void since I'm currently forced to play on a mac... getting in before someone else does).

            If anything mods make this worse not improve on those issues, but they bring so much more in other aspects.

              Yeah completely agree re: mods. When they're overloaded on servers you really see the framerate go to shit. Played on one with 15+ mods the other night, really enjoyed that 40+ framerate again lol. However, that being said, that also happens in most games that use mods to alter their graphics as well, as the mods themselves generally aren't optimised. How do you find the macs performance as such?

                It plays but with PC obviously being the main system each patch is slightly different. Im currently playing with most stuff turned down to have a decent frame rate.

                I tend to find when they had major patches that I need to turn it all down, wait a few patches then i can slowely turn things back up.

                By no means is this an ideal situation but i knew what i was getting into.

                Though switch to bootcamp (which i need to get setup again) and it runs a lot better.

    Hire someone to optimize your shitty game instead. Fuck I just want a stable frame rate.

    Does this mean the blind fans of the game can stop citing the law suit as the reasons behind charging money for DLC before the base game is complete. Seems like they have money to burn

    Can't help but feel it's more about trying to keep players and draw them back rather than a genuine Modder support programme.

    Frankly it would have been a fantastic idea that could've achieved both and more if done some time ago.

    On the subject of the paid mods programme from Valve/Bethesda.
    For me it was the woeful profit share.
    Valve took 30% and Bethesda took 45% leaving a measly 25% for the Modder.
    They both blamed each other, but they both knew what they were asking for at the end of the day, everyone had to shake hands and sign on the dotted line.

    Last edited 02/03/17 8:54 pm

    So how long till these devs pay a modder who was using copyrighted material. Which then results in said owner of copyright suing the shit out of Ark Survival evolved devs

    Great game and all but how are people supposed to enjoy the games when they have a gtx 1080 ti ($700 USD) and can't even get a stable 60fps at 1080p epic settings????
    I really enjoyed this game but the optimization kept me from playing.

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