Lost Ark started with a player base of around 1.2 million on Steam in February 2022. The players still playing Lost Ark in June 2022 is down to a little over 300k. The gains seen on the chart were made by bots, a problem that was fixed as of mid-June 2022. Therefore, we see the player base at its lowest ever now in June 2022.

By Matthew Hughs

Lost Ark took the US and EU by storm during its release in the west in February 2022. Millions of players flocked to play Lost Ark because of its robust content timeline for an MMO and the backing of Amazon Games. However, many players were reluctant to put all their faith into the success of this game due to Amazon Games’ upkeep of the New World, their MMO that release in late 2021.

New World had a strong start, also attracting millions of players, but within two months lost 95% of that player base due to the problems within the game. While Lost Ark has not lost seen this many losses in such a short time, it has seen a sharp decline in players since release.

Before getting into the problems, there is a silver lining that should be mentioned. The problem of bots has nearly been fixed. Players rarely have to wait multiple hours just to get into the game. This is only a silver lining because it only catches up with every other video game. Players can play it on their own time, something Lost Ark had been missing for a couple of months.

The problem now comes with what was promised to players at the beginning of June but will no longer be delivered. Through the Lost Ark Developer’s Roadmap, players were promised certain content at certain times in the month. Players were also promised better communications between the developers and the community they create the game for. Both promises have not been fulfilled and far from it.

The roadmap states that there would be free content in the form of new bosses and challenges as well as paid content in the context of store-bought costumes. All of this was said to be coming out in mid-June, a little over one month since their last major update. Now, in late June, none of this content has been delivered. The best Lost Ark Developers could do was make a new promise, to give players some of the content they promised in mid-June on the last day of June.

That’s right, everything that was promised at a certain time in the month is late and will not all be released. Taken with a grain of salt or maybe more, players are now only expecting the free bosses and challenges to come out; No paid content or costumes. While many players are happy it is not the other way around, this is still a disappointing outcome in a game that had very high hopes in the west.

Perhaps more concerning though is why these delays are happening. Despite Amazon Games’ PR telling players, that they would communicate better, the communications have gotten much worse. Players will be left in the dark about what the weekly update holds until the day before it happens, only to be disappointed. However, it gets much worse. Within the lack of communications, Amazon Games told to players that their internal communications have gone into shambles. Amazon Games’ Lost Ark studio, Smilegate, was so unhappy with internal communications, they blocked communications with Amazon Games. This is unheard of within any industry. Maybe because it is not smart to communicate internal problems to customers so it may actually happen in other companies and partnerships, but we just don’t hear about it. That is probably for the best.

This blockage in internal communications that was announced to the Lost Ark player-base is Amazon Games’ excuse for releasing partial and late content even though it was not elaborated on. While there was no elaboration on this internal problem, it speaks volumes to the players. There is something wrong with the Amazon Games and Smilegate partnership that is not good for the future of this game. It is not the first time a promise has been made and then broken by Lost Ark Developers and it is probably not the last time.