Lost Ark has made the leap into a globally popular MMORPG and has also been available to players in Europe since February 2022. Amazon Games and Smilegate have made sure that you too can enjoy the Korean role-playing game, and with success.
Soomin Park, Franchise Lead at Amazon Games, answered a few questions for us on the occasion of Lost Ark’s first anniversary here in the west.
Which innovation from the first year was particularly well received by the community?
Park: I think it’s the way we introduced Legion Raids to our western players earlier than other regions. The Legion raids are one of the most unique elements of Lost Ark and one of the fan-favorite features. So it was a very positive moment that we were able to introduce our players to this challenging content without keeping them waiting for long.
Which innovation do you think has had the biggest impact so far?
Park: Get classes up to speed faster. We’ve heard many times from the community that they find these events incredibly useful for keeping up with new content.
Are you happy with how Lost Ark has evolved over the past year?
Park: Both Smilegate and Amazon are very satisfied with the development of Lost Ark over the past year. After a record-breaking launch, the game has established itself as one of the most popular games on Steam, staying in the top 10 games for most of 2022 and into 2023. We have a dedicated community of players who are passionate about the game and a great roadmap of content for 2023 for players to look forward to. We are all proud of how the game has performed over the past year and look forward to the year ahead.
What has been your biggest achievement in Lost Ark so far?
Park: There’s a lot to be proud of over the past year and it’s hard to single out just one moment or achievement. I think for me it’s a combination of the successful launch, with more than 1.3 million players enjoying the game at the same time, and the fact that Lost Ark has been one of the most played games on Steam for all of last year. It was great for both Smilegate and Amazon to see the game’s initial rush. We knew we had launched something that people loved and wanted to be involved with on a permanent basis.
How do you decide what content to bring to Lost Ark next?
Park: Which content is published and when depends on a variety of factors. Localization times, what was released in Korea, what content would be beneficial for western players depending on where they are in the game… all of that matters. We’re also taking community feedback and trying to add content or prioritize releases based on what players want to add to the game.
As we continue to get closer to the Korean version of the game with content, you should eventually see closer timing of what will be released in Korea and when western players can experience. However, due to the need to localize content, there will always be a difference in timing between the two.
How much do you take community feedback to heart?
Park: We listen closely to the community and regularly share with Smilegate what are the most common topics among players. We share what fans like and don’t like, and what they want to see in the game. Along with Smilegate, we’re making changes where we can based on feedback and playstyles from Western audiences.
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How did you come up with the idea for the Witcher event?
Park: When the opportunity for a crossover event arose, Smilegate wanted to do something special for players in the west. Given that The Witcher is such a popular and iconic RPG series, bringing the world of Geralt and The Witcher to Arkesia and Lost Ark seemed like a great combination. These two popular RPG franchises were a good match and we think the crossover event was a success.
You must have learned a lot from the first year. Is there anything you would like to do differently in the future?
Park: We will continue to listen to player feedback to further develop the game and grow the community. Lost Ark’s second year is a major focus. We aim to improve the game’s performance in the West and build on its successes as we bring new content to players throughout the year.