Smilegate is facing a lot of success after the early launch of Lost Ark, which became one of the most played Steam games even before allowing a large part of new players in.
Lost Ark is firing on all cylinders as the game has finally reached the western audience properly through the Steam launch. It was quite the start of the journey for Smilegate's MMO as 505,675 players were playing the game at the same time at the peak of activity.
This shows the immense interest gamers are still displaying in MMORPGs. Even though Lost Ark is not your typical MMO due to crossing genres with the likes of the Diablo series, the players couldn't wait to find a new game to sink their teeth into, following the WoW exodus and failure of New World.
Having over half a million players active at the same time is quite the achievement in itself but what is even more impressive are the reviews so far. At the time of writing, out of almost 2,000 user reviews on Steam, 95 per cent of them are positive, showing the game launched in a much better state than MMOs usually do these days. Keep in mind many of these reviews came from the earlier testing phases as well, when the game was in a worse state.
The concurrent player record will likely be broken on February 11, 2022, when Lost Ark goes into full release as these numbers only account for the players who bought the Founder packs that granted them a few days of early access.
It is a free to play title so it's not far fetched to expect the game dethroning CS:GO in the near future. The only question that remains is how many players the game will manage to retain.