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Lost Ark devs address growing concerns of pay-to-win gameplay

"We never wanted players to feel rushed in their quest."

Amazon and Smilegate have shared a message with Lost Ark's players, following growing concerns within its community that the game was beginning to feel "pay-to-win".

"Launching Lost Ark in the west has been a wonderful, humbling, and great learning experience for us at Amazon Games and Smilegate RPG.

"Our journey has been filled with late nights, creative problem solving, hopping into western servers to play together, and now, looking ahead at things to come. As we continue to learn from our players' feedback and dive into data, our goal is to remain transparent (sometimes brutally so) with our players," the developers wrote.

This brought the narrative to Argos.

Argos is a Lost Ark boss that was added in the March update and players must defeat him when they enter the Abyss Raid. However, Amazon and Smilegate disclosed that multiple players have raised concerns about Argos' March release.

Amazon and Smilegate revealed a large portion of players had yet to make it through Tier 3 and as such the general feedback was that Lost Ark had begun to feel "Pay-to-Win".

"We never wanted players to feel rushed in their quest to hit item level 1370," the developers wrote.

"We considered having Argos available at launch, but viewed the Abyss Raid as an important steppingstone, helping bridge the gap to end-game activities that have yet to be released in the Western version of Lost Ark".

Amazon and Smilegate go on to admit they made a mistake releasing their March update so soon after the game's launch, citing data from Smilegate's previous launches as the reason for overestimating player progression.

Amazon and Smilegate have both acknowledged that they got a touch overexcited with Lost Ark's release and apologised for the confusion it generated within its community.

"We appreciate the patience and support we've seen from the community while we continue to learn together and work on updating our roadmap".

Now, the Lost Ark team is going to focus on an update that will help player's progress "with the content that is currently in the game", saying this is more important to them than releasing "new end-game content" too quickly.

New end-game content will still be coming in the future, however.

"End-game content will be introduced, but players should continue progressing at their own pace.

"Our goal is to provide fun content for players, even if it's at a higher level, while never making players feel pressured that they need to pay to progress."

In addition to this, the Lost Ark team has assured fans that more skins and classes will be coming to the game in the future. However, Amazon asks that players be patient, and it'll share more "specifics in the upcoming roadmap we're working on with Smilegate RPG in studio this week."

You can read the full message from Amazon and Smilegate here.

Earlier in March, Amazon revealed that Lost Ark has now passed 20 million global users, with more than 4.7 million players joining its community just three days after launch. These impressive numbers additionally saw Lost Ark become Steam's second-biggest concurrently played game ever, with only PUBG ahead of it.

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Victoria Kennedy avatar

Victoria Kennedy

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Victoria developed a deep love for video games watching her brothers barrel their way through Goldeneye 007. She will unashamedly spout forth all sorts of niche Zelda lore to anyone who will listen (and even at times to those who won't), and makes the best pancakes you have ever seen.