The free-to-play MMO Lost Ark has had a huge debut in the West, hitting the second-most concurrent players in Steam history just 24 hours after its February 11th release. Unfortunately, that popularity has meant that players in Europe have had to wait in long queues to play, though developer Smilegate and the game’s Western publisher, Amazon Games, are working to try and fix things.
The long queues were an issue for the Europe Central server soon after launch, and the developers quickly promised to implement a new Europe West server to give players another place to play. While that Europe West server is now active, “the Europe Central region is at capacity and unfortunately there is no way to increase the number of players per world in Europe Central,” according to a post from the developers on the Lost Ark forums. “Adding more servers is not possible based on the complexity of all the systems that need to work together.”
Players in the West aren’t able to transfer to another server, though, so those who have invested significant time in Europe Central can’t bring their progress to Europe West. A server transfer feature has launched in Korea, where the game first debuted in 2019, but it “just rolled out” in the region and “ does not support cross region functionality,” meaning that it is “not a viable option at this point for the western version.”
However, the new Europe West server has helped offset the player load, according to a statement Amazon spokesperson Rebecca Rodriguez sent to The Verge. “Since opening four days ago, the new “Europe West Region” data center now houses just under 20 percent of our European players and is growing every day. We know queue times are very frustrating for our players, and we are encouraged to see this new data center has already reduced peak queues by 48 percent. We’re monitoring this number closely while continuously working to further improve queue times.”
Despite the early issues, Lost Ark has remained quite popular. As of Monday afternoon, it had more than 1 million concurrent players, according to Valve’s stats page for Steam. It’s just the latest MMO to run into server capacity issues of late — Final Fantasy XIV had to turn stop offering its free trial after the launch of the Endwalker expansion in December, though that free trial will be available again on February 22nd.
Update February 22nd, 12:19PM ET: Added statement from Amazon.