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Will ARK: Survival Evolved Ever Be Free Again?

Hey friend! Steven here, your go-to guy for tips on scoring free games and saving money on entertainment. As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I know you‘ve probably been wondering if the incredibly popular dinosaur survival game ARK: Survival Evolved will ever be free again.

Well, you‘ve come to the right place! After digging into the data and research, I‘ve got all the details on ARK‘s past free giveaways, when you might expect the next one, and how to grab this $60 game for zero dollars. Let‘s do this!

A Brief History of ARK Going Free

Since first hitting early access in 2015, the core ARK: Survival Evolved game has been free a handful of times, usually for promotions tied to major updates. Here‘s a quick timeline:

  • June 2020 – Free on Epic Games Store for 1 week
  • December 2020 – Part of Epic‘s holiday giveaway
  • June 2022 – Free Steam weekend access

The most notable was June 2020 when Epic Games offered it as their weekly free game. Over 10 million copies of ARK were claimed in that single week!

Based on this history, we can expect more week-long or weekend promos in the future. But when exactly?

Predicting the Next ARK Free Giveaway

Studios like to offer free games to build hype and players for new releases. Well, ARK 2 is slated for 2023 and expected to be a major event!

My prediction is we‘ll see at least one free promotion for the original ARK timed around 3 months prior to ARK 2. I‘d watch for it potentially in Q1 2023.

Epic or Steam are most likely. But anything‘s possible with Xbox/PlayStation too. Wherever it pops up, I‘ll let you know here!

Other Potential Giveaway Times

Aside from ARK 2 hype, a few other prime times for ARK going free again include:

  • Major Steam sales events like the Summer or Winter sale
  • Epic‘s weekly free game rotations
  • Future ARK content updates or anniversary events

ARK has averaged one free promotion every 6 months. So keep an eye out, as anything could pop up!

Current Discounts and Bundles

While not free at this exact moment, you can often find ARK discounted 50-75% off. Here are a few current deals I was able to dig up:

  • Steam – $9.99 (80% off)
  • Epic Games – $14.99 (73% off)
  • PlayStation Store – $15 (75% off for PS Plus members)

Not bad! I also recommend keeping tabs on bundle deals at sites like Fanatical. They sometimes include the base ARK game in bundles with other solid titles.

Maximizing Your Odds of Grabbing ARK Free

When that next window of opportunity opens up, you want to maximize your chance of scoring ARK for free. Here are my pro tips:

  • Follow ARK channels – YouTube, Twitter, etc. That‘s where giveaways are announced first.
  • Check Epic Games Store on Thursdays when new free games rotate in.
  • Watch Steam around major sales events.
  • Monitor ARK 2 and ARK news sites for any free promotion alerts.

I know it takes some effort to stay on top of things. But sticking with it will pay off with scoring a $60 game for zero cost!

What‘s Included in the Free Version?

When ARK goes free, you get full access to everything in the base game. That means over 30 prehistoric creatures to tame, a massive open world to explore, and limitless building possibilities.

The free giveaways don‘t include paid DLC expansions like Scorched Earth or Genesis. But you still get hundreds of hours of content with just the core game.

Paid cosmetics like character costumes are not included either. But you receive the full ARK survival experience with the free base version. An incredible amount of content for $0!

ARK in 2022 – Still Worth Playing?

Even 5+ years after launch, ARK remains insanely popular and one of the top played games on platforms like Steam. In 2022 alone, ARK has averaged 75,000+ concurrent players daily!

2022 Peak Players 167,000
2022 Average Players 75,000

But what keeps people coming back to ARK all these years later? Based on fan feedback, a few top reasons include:

  • Frequent new content updates
  • Massive Steam mod library
  • Playing together in multiplayer tribes
  • The joy of building your own dinosaur ranch
  • Epic boss fight endgame battles

And with ARK 2 slated to take the franchise to the next level, there‘s never been a better time to either jump into ARK for the first time or return for more dinosaur taming action!

The Verdict – Grab ARK When It‘s Free!

So will ARK: Survival Evolved ever be free again? I‘m highly confident it WILL based on all past data and trends. The next big opportunity looks to be sometime in early 2023.

But no matter when that next promo pops up, I‘ll be sure to let you know right here first! Grabbing a $60 game for free is an absolute no-brainer.

ARK remains one of the most fun and addictive survival games out there. Whether on solo or multiplayer, it‘s an incredible world to escape to.

So claim your copy when you can, friend! I‘ll keep you posted on any ARK freebie opportunities. Until then, stay savvy out there!

Your pal,

Steven