SmileGate Confirms Lost Ark Is Coming To The West
7 years and 100 billion Won (~$88 million USD) later, Lost Ark finally entered Open Beta Testing in South Korea on November 7, 2018. Smilegate, the company behind Lost Ark, has announced that they are targeting 'more developed countries' such as North America and Europe for their next launch phase.
Usually China proves to be a more alluring next-step for Korean MMORPG developers, but the recent gaming approval freeze in China means that the world's biggest gaming market is currently off limits. To give a sense of China's importance to SmileGate, 80% of their total sales last year came from the Chinese version of their tactical shooter Crossfire.
China's loss is our gain. With these Chinese market closed to them, SmileGate has chosen instead to focus its attention on an English/International version of Lost Ark. Lostk Ark seems a good fit for the Western audience as the action-RPG oriented gameplay is well established here. Lost Ark will compete with other Korean titles like Mu Legend, but also with established action RPG franchises like Diablo 3 and Path of Exile. But unlike the latter two, Lost Ark boasts a persistent world and many more MMORPG features.
Further Reading: Chosun Biz (KR)