Amazon Games has addressed the online discourse surrounding its popular 2019 South Korean MMORPG Lost Ark and elaborated on future updates geared towards fixing the dated depictions of its female characters.
When Lost Ark made its way over to the U.S. in February after its stint overseas it set new concurrent player records on Steam– but some western players also felt that the game had antiquated female representation. At the time, players voiced their disappointment online, pointing out the game’s limited and scantily-clad clothing options, and aggressive hip-swaying female walking animations. That led Smilegate, the game’s developer, to acknowledge fan criticism in a blog post last year, but more surprisingly, has followed those comments up with more remarks in 2022 as well.
Soomin Park, the franchise leader over at Amazon Games, recently told Eurogamer that future updates are underway to fix issues like the game’s gender locked classes, which only allow men to wield swords and women to be mages.
“Classes are tied pretty closely to their character models in terms of function and animation, so bringing opposite gender characters to a class takes more work than just making a differently gendered model available,” Park told Eurogamer.
Park also addressed fan criticism of the game’s dated and under-clothed female outfits, who are more often than not dressed in booty shorts and heels. Instead of removing the game’s revealing outfits, Park told Eurogamer Lost Ark will be “making adjustments.” These adjustments however won’t involve altering outfits to make them less revealing, but instead are adjustments to the game’s marketing so those outfits aren’t featured as prominently in advertising or in the game’s character creation screen.
“We are also including in some new outfit options that are not quite as revealing, but these are an addition and not a replacement,” Park told Eurogamer.
Park said the decision to not remove the revealing outfits players criticized about from the game wholesale because it wanted to balance the experience for “hardcore fans” and players in the U.S.