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Introduction to Lost Ark – Developer, Monetization

Lost Ark is a Free To Play MMOARPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Action Role-Playing Game) developed by Smilegate RPG and originally released in Korea in 2018. It has been also released in Russia and in Japan. In the west, Amazon Games is in charge of publishing the game, they’re not the developers. It’s set to launch in Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania at the beginning of 2022. Though originally planned for Fall 2021, Amazon delayed the game.

Lost Ark’s business model consists in the addition of microtransactions, which are tied to a special in-game currency that can be used to purchase skins, boosts, and many more things. We’ll discuss this later in the article.

The most popular MMORPG in Korea

Its original release was on November 15th, 2018. Since then, Lost Ark has caused a sensation, surpassing 240,000 concurrent users only in Korea.

A completely Free To Play MMO

Our version of Lost Ark will be completely free-to-play. You may be wondering why you can pre-purchase it on Steam if it’s free. This is because there are totally optional Founder’s packs with many in-game benefits for players who buy them before release.

Amazon is not the developer

Smilegate is the “owner” of Lost Ark. They always have the final say in regards to the game. Amazon is only responsible for localizing the game, the server infrastructure, and promoting the game in the west. However, they have the right to request Smilegate to make certain changes to the game and send feedback to them.

Lost Ark monetization

Trying to determine if Lost Ark is pay-to-win is not an easy task. Many consider it pay-to-win while others don’t. Amazon has promised that they want to make purchases on their version of the game entirely optional.

In regards to PvP, the game is not pay-to-win. PvP in Lost Ark is equalized, meaning that all players will have the same gear level and stats.

Amazon has already made in-game subscriptions purchasable with in-game currency. In addition, they’ve removed some subscription benefits that could be considered Pay To Win, such as increased movement speed and XP.

This chart details all the main currencies and their usage:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t Lost Ark be available in my region?

Most likely, this is due to Smilegate (the game developers) not fancying a single publisher (Amazon) taking that big part of the world, since it would give them a lot of control over the game.

Why is it releasing so late in the west?

That’s just Smilegate’s decision. Maybe they couldn’t find the right publisher to release it here.

Will the content of our version be the same as in Korea?

No, Amazon made the decision to release the game on a previous version. However, some content such as classes, bug fixes, and balance changes will be from newer versions of the game. Our version is intended to reach the Korean version at some time in the future.

Why won’t X class be in the game?

Amazon made the decision to save some content for the future. This means that some classes will be added on later updates.

Is Lost Ark a hardcore or casual game?

There’s a lot of content for both types of players. Hardcore players have raids, dungeons, and much more at their disposal. While casual players might like the housing system, gathering collectibles, or cosmetic items.

For any other questions, you can directly contact us on Twitter.

Comment section

1 comment

  1. Hi, I have played around 3 hours of the game as Female Martial Artist. The design is amazing, and the game runs smoothly on my laptop. There is still much to explore and find out. However I would like to point out that I am disappointed in the female character armor appearance. Literally my character is wearing only a bra and panties. I understand that the game is targeted at male players or people interested in nudity, however I expected some decency with regards to women clothing. Why does a Bard have a skirt, why other NPCs have dresses, and why does my character only have something to cover her nipples and something to cover her genitals? Isn’t the same concept achieved by having clothes that are tight fitting, are the wide hips and thick thighs not enough? I believe in certain games you have the choice to adjust the appearance of the armor. I wish that were available at earlier stages of the game also. Thank you.

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