Lost Ark Isn't Coming to North America or Europe in 2020.. or the Foreseeable Future.
So.. turns out according to the website The Bell, Smilegate actually have no plans on releasing Lost Ark in either Europe or North America right now.
So Lost Ark is currently fully playable in two separate regions: South Korea, its origin country, and Russia, where it opened recently.
When it launched in Russia a lot of Twitch streamers and Youtuber’s decided to cover it because – hell, why not. It’s easy views.
To access the South Korean version of the game, you still need a South Korean social security number, along with a VPN to mask your IP. And even then a lot of us have had accounts suspended due to playing from a foreign country.
However, the Russian version is much more lax in foreign players playing. To play the Russian version of Lost Ark, all you need is a VPN. The VPN I use, and I know a lot of other people use is ExitLag.
Right now, they’re more concerned with pushing out additional content for the South Korean version of the game. Content is important to keeping the community not only entertained, but also happy.
Although I’m going to be completely honest here.. they recently expanded into Russia and are currently working on releasing in Japan, right? So clearly they’re capable of keeping up with creating additional content while launching into new regions.
Then comes their second point: Localization. According to Smilegate, it takes a lot of time to not only translate all of the text in the game into another language, but it also takes a lot of time and financial investment to dub the game into another language.
Again, have they not released in Russia and Japan, now? Did they not translate the game in those regions or are they just BSing to try and come up with reasons at this point? ’cause I’m gonna be real here.. that’s a dumb ass reason.
I get that it takes time to localize a game – but we have fans translating the game at a rate that should be easy to replicate with an actual localization team. And “dubbing into English?”
Trust me, more of us would be fine with a South Korean dub than those of us would be bothered by it, which they’d know if they cared enough to even think about it. Which clearly they don’t.
Their final point is the fact that the game is continuing to decline in terms of player participation within South Korea. See, a lot of you guys think Lost Ark is going to be the greatest MMORPG of this generation.
It’s going to kill this or that MMO. That it looks gorgeous, plays amazing and is going to be capable of occupying your time indefinitely.
While the game – from what I played through ’til level 20 or 30, was pretty fun, I can guarantee you it isn’t going to be what you want it to be, and a lot of South Korean players are coming to that realization every week.
The more Western players play the game have also come to realize that the game is definitely lacking in certain areas, specifically.. endgame, where the majority of the game takes place.
The endgame is a pretty poor experience, and furthermore, the monetization model is disliked even by South Korean players, carrying the term “pay to progress.”
While that isn’t nearly as concerning as pay-to-win, it’s still an unfortunate state for the game to be in. Then again, this is a South Korean MMO and you should all know better by now.. they only care about money, not about the game nor its players.
So there we have it: An official confirmation from Smilegate themselves.
They have no intention of releasing Lost Ark any time in the immediate future. Right now, they’re focusing on attempting to retain as many players as possible and launching into other non-North American and non-European countries for reasons unknown to me.
Anyone that says the game is going to be releasing soon – this year, heck, any time in the next couple years is likely in denial.
It’s disheartening to receive this news, really, it is. Disregarding the poor endgame and the constant decline in terms of playerbase, I know a lotta you guys were still highly anticipating playing it.
But there’s always the Russian version if you really want to play Lost Ark. It’s easy to get into and it’s translated pretty well.
That’s where the majority of English-speaking players seem to have relocated to after Russia announced there would be IP blocks in place, but no additional account security.
That, I feel is the only way any of us are really going to get to play Lost Ark, let alone play Lost Ark together.
So when can we expect the game to finally release in North America and Europe? Well, judging from past experience, probably once Lost Ark is no longer profitable in South Korea itself.
When did we get Bless Online again? After it shut down in South Korea, Japan and Russia? What about Kingdom Under Fire 2? Astellia Online is only available over here as well. And yes, they’re all buy-to-play in an attempt to milk us as consumers..
So you can probably expect the game.. once it’s dead everywhere else.