KEY POINTS

  • The alpha version of "Lost Ark" contains various stat-boosting, shop-exclusive items
  • One experienced player said "Lost Ark" offers a fair experience for everyone
  • Amazon Games has not revealed details about "Lost Ark's" microtransactions yet

Some players are concerned over the possible monetization methods for the upcoming western release of “Lost Ark,” a free-to-play MMORPG of South Korean origin, largely due to how the game is originally designed and suspicion over Amazon Games’ business practices.

South Korean MMOs are notorious in the gaming community for borderline predatory pay-to-win systems. Members of the “Lost Ark” community on Reddit are worried that the same aggressive monetization schemes may also be implemented in the western version of the game despite having a different publisher.

One community member noted in a controversial post that the alpha version “Lost Ark” in the west has P2W elements. They said that the game has exclusive cash shop items and pets that grant stat boosts as well as PvP activities with non-normalized gear.

The user argued that a free-to-play player will have to use multiple characters to be able to grind enough gold and materials to achieve the same power level as a paying player. Meanwhile, other community members argued that such exclusive items are unlikely to affect the actual gameplay experience.

Lost Ark features a fantasy setting with gorgeous environments and broken realities Lost Ark features a fantasy setting with gorgeous environments and broken realities Photo: Amazon Games

Furthermore, the monetization methods mentioned were available as parts of the game’s alpha version; it’s likely that P2W elements like skin and pet bonuses will get changed in later versions of the game.

Amazon Games mentioned on their website that some elements of “Lost Ark” will get changed to better suit the taste of the western audience without sacrificing the original spirit of the game. The company did not specify whether aggressive monetization and pay-to-win practices are included in the changes but it’s likely that they are.

An experienced player in the KR servers of “Lost Ark” said in a post that all opportunities to make progress are available to all players regardless of spending habits. They noted that progression in the game is simply a matter of dedication, and that all players can achieve decent power levels just by playing the game normally.

Amazon Games has not yet revealed any monetization plans for their version of “Lost Ark” apart from some Founders Packs that offer in-game items and time-related benefits. However, the extent of the game’s P2W elements are limited to minor stat boosts and convenience-related functions. Therefore, “Lost Ark” may not be as bad as some community members perceive it to be after all.