There’s no question that Lost Ark is one of the most popular MMORPGs to release in years. Exactly how popular it is, on the other hand, has been up for debate for quite a while. Bots have been a nuisance in Lost Ark from pretty much the moment the servers were turned on, but Amazon Game Studios and Smilegate have been up front about their intention to ban those bots permanently.
Last month we reported that AGS was planning a large-scale bot ban. The team followed through, banning more than 300K bots. This is not the first time the Lost Ark developers have stated they would be banning bots, and I assure you that it won’t be the last. However, this massive ban of bots has also shown a slide in daily active players. This should have been expected, but the numbers are somewhat startling when you see how far they have fallen. As of this article, SteamDB shows the daily peak players around 193,000. The nearly 200K daily active players are a stark decrease from their all-time high peak of 1.3 million players from back in February, marking an 85% drop. In fact, the player decrease is even an intense reduction from the 800K players in early June!
Don’t be mistaken though, 200K players is still a fantastic number, and Lost Ark is nothing if not a rousing success at this stage. It is currently the most played MMORPG on Steam by a wide margin. Still, the extreme swing of the daily peak population points to the notion that the bots may have been pumping the daily active player numbers far more than many people expected. As most MMORPG players know, a dwindling of a games players is a common occurrence. It’s very hard to ever hit the all-time-high numbers related to a new game release. It’s also completely possible that the daily active player numbers will slowly creep back up, or at least fluctuate, either due to new content releasing, special events, or the resurgence of new bots.
For now, though, even if the population has dropped significantly, I think it’s safe to say that most players are supportive of the bot bans. While there is no telling how the population will shift from this point, we hope that AGS and Smilegate stay vigilant to keep Lost Ark bot free.