Future Heroes of Arkesia,
We are excited to reveal that Lost Ark is finally coming to the West. We are working with the developers at Smilegate RPG to faithfully bring you this beloved game while preserving the developer’s original vision in this unique take on the MMORPG genre. We hope players enjoy this beautiful, vast, and thrilling game as much as we do.
Lost Ark is an enormous game. For context, it has over 3 million words, over 16,000 lines of dialogue, and over 1500 NPCs and is quite the undertaking to localize. The game has been in development for 8 years, was released in Korea in December of 2018, and is currently live in Korea, Russia, and Japan. Bringing Lost Ark to the West is more than just localizing the 16,000 lines of dialogue and we know many of you may have questions about what this version of the game will be like. Today we will share a bit about our approach to localization, our plans to create a player-focused business model, and our plans to update Lost Ark with new content over time.
Lost Ark is a stunning and feature-rich game developed by Smilegate RPG that blends the Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) and Action Role Playing Game (ARPG) genres with game modes and systems not typically found in Western MMOARPGs. For example, sailing, homesteading, affinity systems, harvesting and crafting, and much more.
We are partnering with Smilegate RPG to adjust areas of the game to better meet player expectations in Europe and North America. Maintaining Smilegate’s original vision for this award-winning game is extremely important. Our intention is to provide the authentic Lost Ark experience for our players and all of our localization efforts are being conducted through the lens of preserving the spirit of the original game.
Lost Ark’s Business Model
We understand the business model is a primary concern for players in the West. In all regions, Lost Ark is a free to play game with optional in-game purchases. We want to assure players that the Western version of Lost Ark will be a fair, fun, and a great gaming experience where in-game purchases are completely optional. We think it is important that players have a path to acquire all items in our version of Lost Ark without having to make a purchase with few exceptions. (For example, Founders Packs, services like name changes, etc.) We are still working through the details with Smilegate and will share more details later this summer along with our Prime Gaming benefits.
As we mentioned above, Lost Ark launched in 2018, which means there is a ton of polished content that will keep you immersed for a long time! In fact, in our Closed Technical Alpha Test, (which starts tomorrow June 11 at 12pm PST, 7pm UTC), players will choose from 14 Classes, sail the Sea of Gienah, brave the Abyss Dungeon “Ancient Elveria”, and so much more.
We will have plenty of exciting content to reveal leading up to launch and look forward to sharing more in the coming weeks but needless to say we are looking forward to regular content updates featuring Classes, Continents, Dungeons, and more after the game has launched.
While Lost Ark has millions of active players around the world, there may be some content in game that is unexpected for some Western audiences. Sometimes this can include cultural references, imagery, or nuances that are unfamiliar to us. While our goal is to preserve the authenticity of the original game, we also feel localization updates can be made to make the game feel more approachable and representative of our Western players. We want players to enjoy and embrace all of the interesting features and quirks that make Lost Ark unique and wonderful. Lost Ark is a massive fantasy world with a lot to localize and we have been hard at work for quite some time. Our approach is additive and extends well beyond our localization efforts - we’re happy to report that in-game text AND voice over will be available in English, French, German, and Spanish.
We’re also actively working on changes that we believe will make our audience feel more at home in Lost Ark. Some areas of focus have been character creation, knowing players of all types want a character they feel represents them – (such as more options for default costumes, hairstyles and skin tones). Additionally, we’re working to increase NPC diversity throughout the world of Arkesia. We have been working closely with Smilegate RPG to make changes that reflect our audience. This effort will be ongoing and we’ll work closely with our community to identify areas we can improve.
And please remember the game is M-rated and therefore not for everyone.
Embarking on the Odyssey
We hope this has helped share some insight into how we’re bringing such a massive and unique game to the West. We believe it is a delicate balance between preserving the spirit of the original while making needed adjustments to meet the expectations of our players. We look forward to sharing more with you in the near future.
Our immediate focus is our Closed Technical Alpha Test, which you can sign up to join here. You won’t see all of the things that we mention above in our Alpha build, but rest assured we are working on them for launch. The Technical Alpha Test is primarily to test our new infrastructure and the server configurations with the game client that Smilegate RPG runs so expect some hiccups, but this is what Technical Alphas are for, right?
Following the Alpha Test, we will have a Beta Test later this summer to prepare for our Fall launch. Stay tuned for exact dates! We are very excited to bring this beloved and highly anticipated game to players in the West and look forward to exploring Arkesia with all of you.