Lost Ark was an undoubted success for Amazon’s publishing arm, bringing the major Korean MMOARPG to the West. But after a wild start with 1.3 million concurrent players on Steam, it soon after plummeted to a low of about 340,000 concurrent players. Still high on Steam’s grand overview, but still a significant loss.
Now? things have changed.
Since hitting that low in early April, Lost Ark has spent the past two and a half months steadily growing its player base to the point where it now stands at nearly 900,000 concurrent players. It’s a massive departure from Amazon’s own MMO New World, which started out strong by itself at 900,000 players but has never stopped falling, and has now hit new simultaneous lows with peaks of around 18,000.
Lost Ark is routinely a top game on Steam, often top two or three, mixed with DOTA 2 and CSGO. So why has it grown so much?
- Lost Ark started out as a kind of slam dunk. He has lived in other regions for years, so he has experienced his growing pains for a long time. The current western version is the result of those years of built-in success, which gives it an advantage over many similar “live” games that are struggling to get started.
- A light release period of several months may have resulted in players returning to it without playing too much else.
- The free model, which does have paid purchases, but there is a massive amount of content to experience for free.
- Many new updates including the addition of new continents, quests and subclasses. It was enough to keep players coming back.
- But ultimately, many claim that thousands, tens of thousands, even possibly hundreds of thousands of these players are bots, so some of those wins may be illegitimate. Amazon has talked about running already widespread bot ban waves with more to come, so we’ll see how that does to player count.
Despite going before the current bot-infested era, I really liked Lost Ark as I felt it scratched my eternal Diablo itch, a gap not filled by Immortal and up until Diablo 4 all rolled into one year is not filled now. My only problem with Lost Ark was time. As an MMO, it commands a all a lot of time even just to manage a single character and keep increasing their power. As a result, I couldn’t keep up with so many other live games that I also have to keep up with. But if I could clone myself, that clone would play and write about Lost Ark regularly right now, although the bots might be too much for him.
There have been some big dips for Lost Ark over the past few days, but mostly due to server issues and maintenance I believe. I really want to see if it goes back above a million as that seems to be the trend right now and how much will fall if these new bot bans actually come through.
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