Is there anything worse than seeing a scantily clad female in a video game? Apparently not, as that has been one of the major criticisms that have been levied at Amazon Games’ Lost Ark, a hugely popular fantasy MMORPG from Tripod Studio and Smilegate that has racked up 20 million players worldwide following its launch in the U.S. and Europe last month. Critics say that the game’s representation of females is all wrong, with classes not only being gender locked, but female armor sets being too sexy and baring too much skin. Smilegate says that it will address this terrible oversight by introducing outfit options that aren’t as revealing, although it doesn’t sound like the current options are going anywhere.
“First let’s start with gender-locked classes,” Amazon Games’ franchise lead Soomin Park told Eurogamer. “This is something that will roll out over time. 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.”
“However, Smilegate RPG is actively working on this; the female Berserker is the next class coming to Korea. While not every class in the game currently has a male and female counterpart available, we made an effort to include those that do in our launch class lineup.”
“In the future, Smilegate RPG will be creating more counterparts for classes that are still gender locked, and we will bring these to Arkesia in time.”
“As for armour sets, while we aren’t altering any of the original costumes from the game, we are making adjustments so that the more revealing options won’t be front and centre in places like our marketing or the initial character creation screen (although the original character creator outfits are still available in-game as early drops).”
“We are also including in some new outfit options that are not quite as revealing, but these are an addition and not a replacement.”
“As we are aware of the balance between hardcore fans who want a Lost Ark experience that is close to the original Korean version and new players who may not like the current armour and costume options, we are adding outfits and alternatives to the game instead of taking away options.”
Amazon addresses criticism of Lost Ark female representation (Eurogamer)
- Since the MMORPG arrived in the west last month, some players have expressed disappointment in both the gender locked classes and the prevalence of revealing female outfits.
- The class of your in-game character is tied to their gender. For example, only men can be warriors and only women can be mages.
- The free-to-play action RPG has now exceeded 20 million global users and saw the second biggest peak of concurrent players ever on Steam.