Lost Ark is "actively working" on reversing "false bans" that mistakenly banished lapsed players

Lost Ark May Update
(Image credit: Smilegate)

Remember when we told you that MMO Lost Ark has lost over 200k of its player count (opens in new tab) following a bot ban wave earlier this week? Well, it seems that the bans didn't just take out bots.

As reported by Lost Ark fan account @lostinarkesia, the game was reaching 323,725 players on January 9 but by January 10, it had dropped to 101,550 - that's just over 200k accounts wiped out. Shortly after the ban, however, Lost Ark's Steam rating began to take a beating, with unhappy players flocking to Steam to leave negative reviews.

"I have been banned from the game because I have a busy life, and I don't deserve to play in the game for my lack of time to enjoy it," said one irate player (opens in new tab), leaving a thumbs-down review. "I don't remember to see such 'scummery' in gaming where I am being punished for being busy with my life aka being off the game for a while, this is an entirely new level of predatory behavior, and I hope it doesn't spread."

The culmination of unhappy players has seen Lost Ark's "mostly positive" score drop to "mostly negative", prompting developer Smilegate to investigate why so many players were banned for no reason other than being "inactive".

"Following a recent wave of bot bans, we’ve seen an increase in ban appeals from players who have been incorrectly impacted by these bans," the developer said in a short statement (opens in new tab) issued over the weekend.

"We have determined the error that triggered these false bans, and are actively working on reversing them for all affected legitimate players regardless of whether a support ticket has been filed. In the meantime, you are still welcome to submit a Ban Appeal ticket to Customer Support (opens in new tab) so that the team can more quickly assist with restoring your account and removing all penalties.

"Thank you for your reports and patience as we work to make this right with affected players."

Lost Ark is one of the biggest games ever to hit Steam (opens in new tab). Within 24 hours of release, it clocked up so many players that it now boasts the second-highest concurrent peak ever on Steam, so if Lost Ark's phenomenal success has taken you by surprise, you may find Ali's article, What is Lost Ark and Why Is It Blowing up on Steam? (opens in new tab) a helpful read.

Did you catch the news that Amazon Game Studios landed itself in hot water recently after Lost Ark reclaimed rewards that were mistakenly issued to players (opens in new tab)

In better news, don't forget that Geralt and co are on their way to Lost Ark later this week (opens in new tab).

Here are our picks of the best MMORPG (opens in new tab) titles you can play right now.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.