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Ark: Survival Evolved program will pay 15 modders $4k a month

Selection will be evaluated and refreshed each month, with best modders paid until their content is finished

Studio Wildcard will introduce a new initiative for the Ark: Survival Evolved community, paying the 15 best modders $4,000 a month to create content for the game.

The initiative will be officially unveiled this week, but Studio Wildcard's co-creative director Jeremy Stieglitz has given PC Gamer some advance details. Each month, the company will select 15 modders who will be paid $4,000 each to further develop the content for that period of time. The mods will be assessed at the end of the month, with some modders paid to keep going and others replaced.

According to Stieglitz, the number of modders could grow beyond 15 based on the success of the initiative and the quality of the content produced. "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 is an evolution of an idea that Wildcard has been working with since May last year, when Stieglitz said the company was prepared to spend a "considerable amount of money" to enable its modding community. At that point, WIldcard was already paying certain modders for their content, but this introduces a more formal and transparent process.

One of those modders, Cedric Burkes, will be in charge of selecting who makes it into the group of 15 each month. Burkes created a mod called Primitive+, which was released as official Ark DLC in July last year. Stieglitz said that, in time, the community may become involved in the selection process, though still under Burke's supervision.

More details of the initiative will be revealed this week, but Wildcard will require selected modders to upload their source assets to ensure it remains compatible with future versions of the game, should they be unable to do so themselves.

The initial 15 mods and their creators are listed below.

  • NPC Bush People by Swords
  • Scorched Earth Decor, RP Decor, eco In Wonderland, and ecoTrees by eco
  • Ragnarok by Excited Kangaroo
  • Structures Plus, Platforms Anywhere, Platforms Plus by orionsun
  • Steampunk Mod by iSpeZz
  • Roraima by Jeff
  • Castles, Keeps, and Forts Architecture by enc | ExileAcid
  • Survival Plus by Tao
  • Ark Moon Survival by DavidBC
  • Shigo Islands by ExilogUploader
  • Madagascar Evolved by Hey my team rules!
  • Thieves Island and Skies of Nazca by Tkat5200
  • MRRadTools.Inc by MRRadioactiv
  • Ark Postal Service and Offline Raid Protection by jslay
  • Advanced Admin Command Menu by Woeful Macabre
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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.