The long-awaited South Korean online game “Lost Ark” does not officially launch in Western markets until Feb. 11, but it already broke a record when over 500,000 gamers played concurrently on Steam.
The game’s peak number of concurrent players is currently 532,476, landing in sixth place on video game distributor Steam’s all-time list following “New World,” “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” IGN reported.
“Lost Ark” also currently remains the top viewed game on Twitch with more than 600,000 fans watching their favorite streamers, as of this writing. That number is down from over 1 million viewers when the game was first made available for early access on Tuesday.
Players experienced long queue times while attempting to log in to the game, but South Korean video game developer Smilegate resolved the issue a few hours after launch by opening up another North American server.
“Lost Ark” first launched in Korea in 2018, but a North American and European release wasn’t announced until June 2021 during Summer Games Fest.
Amazon Games will be publishing the “Diablo”-like massively multiplayer online action role-playing game (MMOARPG) in North America, Europe, Latin America and Oceania.
“Lost Ark” follows the player as they venture into the fictional fantasy world of Arkesia while vanquishing demons as one of 15 playable classes.
“We are thrilled to bring Lost Ark to more of the world, and with today’s launch date announcement we are one step closer to the moment when players can experience the game’s stunning world and exhilarating combat for themselves,” Christoph Hartmann, vice president at Amazon Games, said in September. “In February players will be able to jump into the fantastic world of Arkesia for the first time and create an experience that is truly their own.”
Similar to other MMOs, such as “Final Fantasy XIV” and “World of Warcraft,” “Lost Ark” players can collect loot to upgrade their gear and customize skills by progressing through main story quests. Other content in the game includes sailing, fishing, hunting, mining, crafting, participating in seasonal events and more.
“Lost Ark” also offers content that can be completed with a group by defeating large bosses in the game’s “Legion Raids” or duke it out with friends in its player versus player (PvP) mode.
According to Polygon, the Korean MMO is free-to-play and doesn’t make its official debut until Friday, but players can get a head start by buying one of four Founder’s Packs: Bronze ($14.99), Silver ($24.99), Gold ($49.99) or Platinum ($99.99).