Amazon Games and Smilegate's MMO game, Lost Ark, has done considerably well since its Western release in 2022 despite the hurdles it faced post-launch. From the lack of purchasable cosmetics to technical issues, the game continued to be a success within the MMO community, reflected in its Steam Chart stats.
While the New Year started on a high note with the planned crossover with CD Projekt RED's The Witcher franchise begins later this month, the MMO game was again subjected to review bombings on Steam. This time, thousands of accounts were inexplicably banned for "inactivity"; however, the developer later addressed the main reason.
Two separate threads posted to the Lost Ark subreddit revealed an influx of game accounts that were banned due to inactivity. Players had received a notification via Steam informing them of this sudden report, which many had reported online, including on social media platforms.
Unfortunately, these bans appear on your Steam account profile and are a blemish they wish to have for only a few players. While the game has previously encountered banning incidences dating back to March 2022, the development team has made it a top priority to deal with issues relating to it in the following months.
The latest banning issue, according to an announcement on their official forum page, was a "direct result" of "bot account bans" that utilizes "new and highly-effective tactics to target and remove bots from the game." This affected current players and those who hadn't played Lost Ark in months, which resulted in a ban appearing on their Steam profile.
This sudden change was why the game declined in concurrent players on Steam Charts and also saw mass review bombings on its Steam Discussions page. While the developer encourages players to submit a Ban Appeal to revert the ban, some players revealed that this ban prevents them from joining game servers as they feel other players will think they're "cheaters.".
Despite the continuous efforts to eliminate bots from the game, this latest incident may have destroyed the game's reputation. With the Witcher crossover event beginning on 18th January 2023, this is the game's make-or-break moment for the developers hoping to restore faith in the community.