Lost Ark rockets onto Steam's all-time concurrent player list after delayed launch

Lost Ark
(Image credit: Smilegate RPG)

Lost Ark's launch didn't quite go as planned Friday morning: just 15 minutes before it was meant to go live for everyone, the launch was delayed due to server deployment issues, which ended up stretching throughout much of the day. About six hours after that last-minute pivot Lost Ark's servers finally came online, and there were apparently close to a million people waiting to smash that login button.

Within a couple hours of its debut Lost Ark cracked into the top five all-time concurrent playercount hall of fame on Steam with a peak of 984,111. It narrowly beat its Amazon Game Studios sibling New World, which peaked with 913,634 players in October. New World dropped to sixth place on the list, according to the stats collected by SteamDB.

It's a hell of a debut for Lost Ark, considering the MMO was originally released in Korea more than two years ago. It certainly helps that it's free-to-play. Considering the launch day server troubles, this may not be all the gas it has in the tank—Lost Ark seems like it has a shot at cracking a million concurrent players over the weekend and passing Cyberpunk 2077 on the record list at 1,054,388.

Beyond Cyberpunk, even Valve's own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are within striking distance with all-time peaks of around 1.3 million. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is going to be a lot harder to beat, though—it still holds the record with a commanding 3.3 million back in 2018.

If you're jumping in yourself, check out our guides to Lost Ark's classes, a complete list of the Lost Ark servers to choose from and some tips for customizing Lost Ark's controls.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).