Popular Steam Game Offers $100 To Anyone Who Finds An Exploit

Illustration for article titled Popular Steam Game Offers $100 To Anyone Who Finds An Exploit

Have you encountered a bug, glitch, or hack while playing Steam’s hottest new dinosaur game? You might be sitting on $100.

ARK: Survival Evolved, a dinosaur survival game that’s been tearing up the top-selling charts for almost a month now, is trying something pretty unique for an Early Access game. One of the developers took to the Steam forums yesterday to announce a new scheme where players will be rewarded for finding exploits:

We offer $100 bounties for anyone who can provide us with hacks of any kind (which are NOT aimbots/esp/speedhacks) that can have an impact on gameplay or server stability on our official, online servers. Feel free to reach out to info@studiowildcard.com with details.

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Already, one player has received cash through PayPal—the developers say the entire reporting process took about two hours before the player was compensated. I’m guessing that once reports start flooding in, the process might take a little longer.

Considering that ARK is in Early Access, and therefore is not done, it comes across as a bold move—surely, there are a number of things floating around, waiting to be reported. Cynically, one could view this as crowdsourcing quality assurance...but considering people are getting paid for their efforts, it’s hard for me to side-eye this. It reminds me of Google’s “Chrome Reward Program,” where they offer up to $50,000 to anyone that can find vulnerability in Chrome. That is to say: it’s a pretty cool system, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.

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DISCUSSION

This is a pretty cool gimmick from a company that is really doing early access properly - I’ve only ever enjoyed and fully supported 2 early access games this, and Prison Architecht, which has monthly content updates. It’s pretty unusual to hop on ARK and play the same build you were playing the day before as they update very frequently and it’s not unusual to see multiple updates in a single day - It seems like a lot of the updates over the last week were really geared towards making unofficial servers as customizable as possible, which is super cool.

I play on an unofficial server run by a friend with about 10 guys and it’s very cooperative, your mileage may vary as I’ve heard ganking is a HUGE thing on the official servers.

Anyone on the fence about ARK should jump in - Even if it isn’t your cup of tea in the end it’s these types of developers we need to support so future developers see good examples of how to do things right.