Thursday, May 30, 2024

Lost Ark hits a new milestone: Potential for a long-running hit

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Lost Ark cracks 20 million players worldwide. The trend in the west is clear. Source: Amazon Games / Smilegate RPG

Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG have announced that the free-to-play massively multiplayer online action 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 have joined the gaming community. Lost Ark currently has more than ten million players in Europe, North America, South America and Australia.

These figures come from the latest press release from those responsible. There, Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG are spreading great optimism about the good start in the West, which nobody really expected in this dimension.

Christoph Hartmann, Vice President of Amazon Games, says:

“The general enthusiasm for Lost Ark is gathering pace around the world. Together with Smilegate, we want to support the growing community with a strong roadmap showing updates for years to come.”

This roadmap, which Hartmann mentions, even seems easy to implement compared to other titles, because the content that Lost Ark currently offers in the West is not yet at 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 worldwide success, scoring 83 on OpenCritic and 81 on Metacritic. Reviewers particularly like the game’s large open world, quests, detailed combat system, and excellent graphics, as today’s announcement explains. Lost Ark peaked at 1.32 million concurrent players, the second highest number on Steam. Only PUBG could boast more game endings at any given time.

Wongil Chi, CEO, Smilegate RPG says:

“Lost Ark was well received by experts thanks to the high quality of development and gameplay, and the number of players is constantly increasing.”

The number of players is falling, but not too drastically

With all the euphoria over Lost Ark’s huge popularity in the context of a Western release, a few words of relativity have to be found. With more and more people looking into mixing genres, the initial euphoria is gradually wearing off. This is completely normal, but it also leads to the critical moment of deciding whether a game “dies” or becomes a long-running hit.

To clarify this point or period, here we compare Lost Ark with the second Amazon Games MMORPG – New World. If you remember that. This was released just six months ago, also to great enthusiasm, and is now one of the burnt games of the past. Only around 30,000 players were still active on the servers at the peak of the last 24 hours. After all, there were over 900,000 at launch. We have already sufficiently examined the reasons for the rapid disappearance of interest elsewhere.

If we look at the loss of players that the two games have suffered in the first month after launch, we can already see huge and significant differences. While New World fell from over 900,000 to around 350,000 active players in the period 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.

Although the first month after the official release of Lost Ark won’t end until next Friday, March 11, 2022, the remaining three days until then are unlikely to cause a spontaneous turnaround. On February 12 of this year, Lost Ark reached its all-time high of 1.324 million concurrent players (some of whom, of course, were in the queue, but were theoretically interested in playing Lost Ark at the same time). Over the course of the first 25 days, a slight downward trend can also be seen here. Since February 22, the MMOARPG does not reach a seven-digit number in the 24-hour peak.

A perennial favorite in the West?

However, the community has been very active in the game so far and the picks are still in the high six-digit range. On March 8, a daily maximum of 828,854 concurrent players can be read on Steam (via steamcharts.com). In percentage terms, this is a drop of just 37.4 percent. More than 60 percent of fans are still loyal to Lost Ark after almost a month.

If we now try to interpret these numbers a bit, the result is very clear, especially compared to New World. Those who became aware of Lost Ark through hype and then tested whether they liked the game jumped. Those who were hooked up with friends and found the setting, gameplay, or some other aspect too distracting to continue playing also stopped. It certainly also put off some frustrated people who all too often encountered queues instead of games when trying to log in at night in the first two weeks after launch.

But this proportion is small in view of the remaining community. If it turns out that a similarly high number, as currently measured on a daily basis, remain active and form the “core” of the community, Lost Ark could become a truly long-running hit in the West as well. After all, Amazon Games and Smilegate MMOARPG are still the most played games on Steam, even the lauded Elden Ring couldn’t change that.

Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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