May 26, 2022

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Missing cracks break a new milestone – the potential for a long-range strike

Lost Ark breaks into 20 million players worldwide. The direction to the west is clear. Source: Amazon Games / Smilegate RPG

Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG have announced that the free online multiplayer role-playing game Lost Ark has reached more than 20 million users. In the first three days after its launch in the West, more than 4.7 million users joined the community of players. Lost Ark currently has more than ten million players in Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.

These numbers are from the latest press release issued by officials. There, Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG are spreading high optimism about a good start in the West, which no one really expected in this dimension.

Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games says:

“Public enthusiasm for Lost Ark is picking up speed around the world. Together with Smilegate, we want to support the growing community with a robust roadmap that showcases updates for the next few years.”

This roadmap, mentioned by Hartmann, seems easy to implement compared to other titles, because the content currently offered by Lost Ark in the West has not yet reached the level of the Asian version of the MMOARPG. For example, a total of seven character classes are still missing, which should also be added here at intervals of a few months.

Lost Ark continues to enjoy global success, with a score of 83 on OpenCritic and 81 on Metacritic. Critics especially like the game’s large open world, quests, detailed combat system and excellent graphics, explains today’s announcement further. Lost Ark peaked at 1.32 million concurrent players, the second highest number on Steam ever. Only PUBG can boast of more endings of the game at any point in time.

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Wongil Chi, CEO of Smilegate RPG says:

“Lost Ark has been very well received by experts thanks to the high quality of development and gameplay, and the number of players continues to grow.”

Player numbers are dropping – but not too much

With all the euphoria about the huge popularity of Lost Ark in the context of the release in the West, some relative words must be found. As more and more people are already looking into the genre mix, the initial orgasm gradually fades away. This is perfectly normal, but it also leads to the critical moment when it is decided whether the game is going to “die” or become a long-term hit.

To illustrate this point or period, here we compare Lost Ark with Amazon Games’ second MMORPG – New World. If you remember that. This was only released six months ago, and it was also with a lot of hype, and now it’s one of the burning games of the past. About 30,000 players were still active on the servers in the past 24 hours. After all, there were more than 900,000 during launch. We have adequately studied the causes of the rapid demise of interests elsewhere.

If we look at the player losses the two games suffered in the first month after release, we can already see brutal and significant differences. While New World dropped from more than 900,000 to about 350,000 active players from October 1, 2021 to November 1, 2021 and thus lost more than 50 percent of the community, Lost Ark shows a completely different trend.

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Although the first month after the official Lost Ark release won’t end until next Friday, March 11, 2022, the remaining three days until then are unlikely to result in an automatic trend reversal. On February 12th of this year, Lost Ark reached its all-time peak at 1.324 million concurrent players (some of whom were of course in the queue, but in theory they were interested in playing Lost Ark at the same time). During the first 25 days, a slight downtrend can also be observed here. Since February 22, the MMOARPG has not reached a seven-digit figure in its 24-hour peak.

A perennial favorite in the West?

However, the community has been very active in the game so far and the tops are still in the high six-figure range. On March 8th, a daily high of 828,854 concurrent players can be read on Steam (Across Steamcharts.com). In percentage terms, this represents a decrease of only 37.4 percent. Over 60 percent of fans are still loyal to Lost Ark after nearly a month.

If we now try to explain these numbers a little, the result is very clear, especially in comparison with the New World. Those who recognized Lost Ark through hype and then tried to see if they liked the game jumped in. Those who were addicted to friends and found that the setting, gameplay, or some other aspect were too distracting to continue playing also stopped. Sure, it also put off some frustrated folks who often encountered queues rather than play when trying to check in in the evening in the first two weeks after launch.

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But this percentage is small considering the remaining community. If it turns out that a similarly large number, as it can be measured daily, remains active and constitutes the “core” of society, then Lost Ark could also become a real long-term success in the West. After all, Amazon Games and the Smilegate MMOARPG are still the most-played game on Steam — even the iconic Elden Ring couldn’t change that.