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Amazon addresses criticism of Lost Ark female representation

On gender-locked classes and skimpy armour sets.

Amazon Games has responded to criticism of female representation in Lost Ark.

Since the MMORPG arrived in the west last month, some players have expressed disappointment in both the gender locked classes and the prevalence of revealing female outfits.

In a statement to Eurogamer, Amazon Games' franchise lead Soomin Park has noted that changes on both issues are on the way.

The class of your in-game character is tied to their gender. For example, only men can be warriors and only women can be mages.

A blog post from developer Smilegate last year acknowledged this as an issue, but Park states the female Berserker is the next class to hit the game in Korea.

"First let's start with gender-locked classes," Park told Eurogamer. "This is something that will roll out over time. Classes are tied pretty closely to their character models in terms of function and animation, so bringing opposite gender characters to a class takes more work than just making a differently gendered model available.

"However, Smilegate RPG is actively working on this; the female Berserker is the next class coming to Korea. While not every class in the game currently has a male and female counterpart available, we made an effort to include those that do in our launch class lineup.

"In the future, Smilegate RPG will be creating more counterparts for classes that are still gender locked, and we will bring these to Arkesia in time."

Players have also been critical of the female armour sets, many of which are overtly revealing - something Emma brought up in her Lost Ark review.

Park continues: "As for armour sets, while we aren't altering any of the original costumes from the game, we are making adjustments so that the more revealing options won't be front and centre in places like our marketing or the initial character creation screen (although the original character creator outfits are still available in-game as early drops).

"We are also including in some new outfit options that are not quite as revealing, but these are an addition and not a replacement.

"As we are aware of the balance between hardcore fans who want a Lost Ark experience that is close to the original Korean version and new players who may not like the current armour and costume options, we are adding outfits and alternatives to the game instead of taking away options."

Lost Ark has proven exceptionally popular since its release.

The free-to-play action RPG has now exceeded 20 million global users and saw the second biggest peak of concurrent players ever on Steam.

However, that's also brought issues. Players in Europe had to contend with huge wait times owing to the game's popularity and while the Europe Central server cannot be expanded, a new Europe West server was implemented.

What's more, 1m bot accounts have been removed, further improving wait times.

New content is on the way later this month, including an end-game Abyss Raid, story content, and more.

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About the Author
Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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