The team behind Ark: Survival Evolved unveiled their new project named Atlas. It's a pirate-themed open-world survival MMO and it will release through Steam's Early Access next Thursday, 13 December 2018 and on Xbox Game Preview in 2019.
Studio Wildcard founded a new team called Grapeshot Games to work on Atlas, a new MMO revealed on The Games Awards show last night. Atlas is a pirate-themed open-world survival game that will have players fighting big sea battles, attacking forts as well as capturing and governing islands.
The developer says that Atlas will support up to 40,000 players in a world that is 1200 times bigger than Ark's. These are some big statements though and it remains to be seen how Atlas copes with such a huge task, given that Ark, which is much smaller, is having all sorts of performance issues.
The game will employ Nvidia's WaveWorks technology, which should ensure realistic water physics. Being a game that is heavily focused on sea battles, getting water right is a must and besides, Sea of Thieves has set the bar quite high in that respect.
As for gameplay mechanics, players will man cannons, patch holes in their ships and control sails. On bigger ships, your crew will have to be well coordinated and work together just to navigate the ship on the sea. You will also be able to hire NPCs to help around.
Team management plays an important role in Atlas. You'll have to keep your crew happy, well fed and paid, while sailing the open seas and searching for hidden treasures on different islands.
Atlas will be coming to Steam Early Access next week, 13 December 2018 to be more precise and it will cost $30. Studio Wildcard said that the plan is to run the game in Early Access for at least two years and they don't have any plans for paid DLC. According to Jeremy Stieglitz, the studio's co-founder, the plan is to grow Atlas over time and make it available to everyone.
Xbox One users will also get a chance to have a go at Atlas via its Xbox Game Preview release in 2019, although we're yet to learn the exact date.