After needing seven years and several failed starts to successfully launch a game of their own, Amazon Game Studios are perhaps cautiously turning to other developers for their next. Today they announced a release date of February 11th for Lost Ark, the Diablo-y action-RPG first released by Smilegate in South Korea in 2019, which Amazon will publish in Europe and the Americas. Might be alright? It'll free-to-play, anyway. Check out the new trailer from The Game Awards below.
Lost Ark has been out for a few years in some parts of the world, but Amazon will run it in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.
I had heard bad things about Lost Ark's monetisation, but Amazon stressed in an October blog post that they were "working with Smilegate RPG to update the business model to more closely align with Western norms and player expectations." No more renting pets monthly, for starters, and fewer "pay to win mechanical advantages" from the optional premium service. That post explains more of what it will sell.
When our Ed played a few hours of a preview version earlier this year, he didn't see much that made it stand out.
"Still, what I played of Lost Ark was undeniably fun, with strong combat in a wonderfully presented world," he conceded. "Those early hours are packaged in a traditional MMO fashion, though, and it's clear this game is going to be a big old time sink for those who want to persevere with it. It's an MMO that will likely pay dividends for such players, but whether it will hold your interest long enough to get there is another matter entirely."
We'll all get to see for ourselves for Lost Ark launches free-to-play via Steam on the 11th of February, 2022. They're already selling a 'Founder's Pack' with three days' early access, a month of that premium service, and some showing-off bits.