Since its release in February, Lost Ark has become one of the most popular MMOs in the world. Lost Ark regularly tops the Steam Charts as the #1 most-played game on Steam.
To this day, players constantly check the game’s player counts on SteamDB to see how the game is growing in popularity. Most games tend to lose players over time, so the rise in player count suggested Lost Ark must be worth playing 3 months into its release.
Even with Lost Ark having a Mixed rating on Steam due to rampant server issues, real-money trading (RMT), and bots, it seems like the game was full of players who just couldn’t stop playing the game.
Well, that all changed over the past few days as Lost Ark hit its lowest concurrent player count ever – losing over 600,000 “players” as of today – a staggering 76% of its player base. Lost Ark has dropped from a high of 873,694 players to 205,366 players as of today.
We doubt that over 600,000 real people decided to immediately stop playing the game. So what gives?
The answer is due to a recent bot ban wave by Amazon Game Studios (AGS).
Lost Ark’s Bot Ban Wave in June 2022
In a recent forum post, AGS announced a large-scale bot ban wave was coming up that would lower the player counts and queue times. AGS has done large-scale bans before, but they never seemed to take as botters could easily adapt to the changes AGS would make, allowing them to quickly evade their ban and start botting again.
Is Lost Ark finally rid of bots?
The answer is no. No online game will ever be rid of bots. Since Lost Ark allows players to progress their characters with real money (i.e. it’s a pay-to-win game), botters will always be incentivized to deploy bots in the game. Players will then spend real money to buy gold and other materials from botters at cheap prices so they can power up their characters.
But it seems like this current bot ban is somewhat working. While losing over 600k “players” is a lot, Lost Ark is still the #3 most-played game on Steam as of today. So playing with nearly 280k “real” players means you can find plenty of groups for endgame content and the upcoming Vykas raid.
Time will tell if the bot bans are permanent. Botters are crafty and will likely find ways to get around their bans. But for now, players can enjoy a mostly bot-free experience. And the reduction in market prices is always a nice bonus.