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ARK: Survival Ascended Server Hosting Exclusivity Agreement is a Massive Step Backward for Players

Posted on by brandon
(Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes) 
Updated on 10/30
Here at BisectHosting, we aim to offer players access to hosting their own servers with the best tech around and with a proficient customer support staff available at all hours to help. By offering this gold standard for server hosting, we ensure our competitors have to step up as well. It is this competition that is at the heart and soul of evolving the efficacy of video game server hosting across the board.  Recently, a new announcement revealed that Studio Wildcard, the developers of the upcoming sequel ARK: Survival Ascended, have signed an exclusivity agreement with Nitrado for all ARK: Survival Ascended server hosting services. So, what does this mean for players? 

Breaking Down ARK: Survival Ascended Sever Hosting Exclusivity and Why it Hurts Players

An exclusive deal with Nitrado means that there is no competition by which customers can ensure quality and consistency from ARK: Survival Ascended servers. This means that there is less incentive for growth, and no standard to protect customers who simply can’t go anywhere else. Over time, this lack of competition breeds a lower standard of quality services and value with pricing entirely out of the market’s hands. It also means that customers have far fewer options for the many variables that make up different game server hosts, whether it be server locations, control panel capabilities, the standard of customer support assistance, or overall quality of service. Simply put your only option for ARK ASA server hosting will be whatever Nitrado offers at whatever price it’s set to. As a result, this agreement is a massive step backward for the gaming community and threatens server performance and quality in the long run. It also threatens to limit the growth of ARK: Survival Ascended, stymying the game's progress in comparison to ARK: Survival Evolved which has a thriving server ecosystem across many providers. Beyond the principle of this exclusivity agreement being a major concern, PE Fund, a major stakeholder in Nitrado, has also recently acquired both McProHosting and Apex Hosting, two major game server hosts. This trend could eventually form something of a monopoly over player choice when it comes to hosting video game servers, much like the exclusivity agreement allows for ARK: Survival Ascended server hosting. We seek to add our voices to the many calling out against Studio Wildcard’s decision and the potential impact it can have on the industry and state of game server hosting, as it stands to damage them both in ways that hurt players first and foremost. We support the ARK community and the competition that protects the many tools used to enjoy the series we all love.

*LATEST* ARK: Survival Ascended Hosting Petition Brings Changes, But It's Not Enough

ARK: Survival Ascended officially launched on Wednesday, October 25th. In the leadup to the launch, and in the days since, the ARK community has voiced its frustrations with the Nitrado exclusivity agreement for ARK ASA server hosting, including a change.org petition joining together many of the game's sub-communities, and many less than happy reviews on the company's Trustpilot page. As a result of the outcry, Nitrado has removed some restrictions from its exclusive hosting arrangement, allowing players to host their own dedicated servers. This, however, isn't without restrictions entirely. As it stands, ARK ASA server hosting is only extended in specific circumstances, and commercial use of ARK: Survival Ascended servers is limited only to Nitrado. That means that while ARK: Survival Ascended players can now finally host their own private dedicated servers, those looking to utilize server hosting services can only go with one option, which means one pricing scheme, and one level of service (with no competition to incentivize improvement). And as we well know, one size doesn't fit all in server hosting. So, despite some progress, ARK: Survival Ascended's exclusive server hosting agreement with Nitrado remains a massive detriment to the series and could result in a dangerous and damaging precedent for the future of games like it. With that, we continue to add our voices to the many opposing this agreement and its impact on the community, and the circumstances around this next evolution of ARK.
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