Studio Wildcard has announced that new player-created map The Center is officially a part of ARK: Survival Evolved. It can be downloaded for free on Steam and Xbox One.

The Center, created by modder Ben Burkhart, is double the size of ARK’s current landmass – about 70 sq. kilometers. The Center is inspired by a rich fantasy setting, including floating islands, lava lakes, and ice caves.

“ARK modders are developing a ton of fun, creative content,” says Jeremy Stieglitz, lead designer and co-founder at Studio Wildcard. “With ‘The Center,’ players are presented with a gorgeous fantasy geography that provides a distinctly different feel and perspective from the traditional ARK island. It is simply stunning in size and imagination.”

The Center is the first map to benefit from Studio Wildcard’s Official Mods Program. In an interview with Kotaku, Stieglitz reveals that they approach a popular mod they’re interested in and offer “a considerable amount of money.” In this case, they were so impressed with Burkhart’s work they offered him a job. This process is in stark contrast to what Valve tried to implement last year with paid mods in The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim.

“We intend to regularly select what we consider to be the most polished Mods,” says Stieglitz. The studio features Mod Contests with cash prizes as an added incentive.

ark: survival evolved

Since its debut via Steam Early Access last Summer, ARK: Survival Evolved has sold millions of copies. The open world, online, dinosaur-riding and crafting adventure has become a popular streaming game. At the time of this post there are over 40,000 players on Steam, ranking it above heavy-hitters like Fallout 4 and Grand Theft Auto V.

The Center’s free DLC also comes with a large update for Xbox One. The update implements many fixes and additions from the PC version, including new dinosaurs, bug fixes, and performance increases. ARK: Survival Evolved is schedule for official release this Holiday.

This article was written by

Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.