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Lost Ark Developers Address Pay-to-Win Concerns

Lost Ark players have had their pay-to-win worries assuaged by a recent blog post from Amazon and Smilegate RPG.
Lost Ark players have had their pay-to-win worries assuaged by a recent blog post from Amazon and Smilegate RPG. / Photo courtesy of Smilegate RPG/Amazon

Amazon and Smilegate RPG have addressed Lost Ark players' concerns around the game's growing perception as "pay-to-win."

"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 in a blog post.

The trouble centers around the Argos boss fight. Amazon and Smilegate added him to the game in Lost Ark's March update, and he's a necessary fight for players trying to enter the Abyss Raid. According to Amazon and Smilegate, a large portion of players hadn't yet made it through Tier 3. As a result they felt a time crunch to catch up with the new content, and in turn felt pressured to pay to speed up that process.

"We never wanted players to feel rushed in their quest to hit item level 1,370," the studios wrote. "We considered having Argos available at launch, but viewed the Abyss Raid as an important stepping stone, helping bridge the gap to end-game activities that have yet to be released in the Western version of Lost Ark (we're looking at you, Legion Raids). Through that lens, we wanted to give Argos a spotlight and a special introduction into Arkesia.

"We made a mistake releasing the March game update too quickly after launch. Data we analyzed alongside Smilegate RPG from their previous launches projected that a large portion of players would have reached the level required to challenge Argos. However, we overlooked certain variables, such as players spending more time on horizontal content and the price of honing materials increasing due to bots and real-money transactions."

The development team is now shifting focus away from producing new endgame content and toward providing updates that make it easier for players to progress through the content already available. A more full roadmap of content set for release in April and May will be revealed in the near future.