Or rather, Amazon Games won’t take my money for Lost Ark. Nor anyone else’s money if they happen to come from New Zealand or Australia. *sigh*

It was last August we first heard about Amazon Games entering a distribution deal with SmileGate RPG and while Lost Ark was never explicitly named, we knew. Yesterday during the Summer Games Fest kick-off event, Amazon finally revealed that yes, it was in fact Lost Ark. And that it was coming relatively soon.

In fact, jump out and buy founders packs right now! On Steam or Amazon!

Except…

Attempting to load the Steam Lost Ark page

Can I just say, this was all quite an emotional rollercoaster yesterday. I found out from a friend while at work that Lost Ark was finally confirmed! Dated! On Steam now!

For better or worse, I’ve been aware of Lost Ark for a very long time now — back in 2019 I finally decided to jump through the necessary hoops to test out the Korean release and absolutely loved what I found, every bit as much as I thought I would. If not for the constant worry of the account being irretrievably closed, I could have happily continued to play it there.

So to go from the highest joy of seeing a game come out you know you’re going to love, to realising that this particular ‘Western’ release was still going to exclude you… Oof.

I managed to get a reply from the official Lost Ark twitter account, but it was nothing unexpected:

And yes, I do know that from a locational perspective, Aus is Eastern hemisphere and NZ depends on how you’re splitting — but from both a geopolitical and gaming release perspective (one of these is more important than the other, I’m sure) it is still typical to include us as part of the West.

So from what we can gather, SmileGate really went to town on chunking down their regional rights. Which when you consider the releases so far being specific to Korea, Russia and Japan as independent entities, I suppose is none too surprising.

Possibly SmileGate has Aus/NZ in a broader SEA regional package (as I can’t see the player base scale existing otherwise) and Amazon Games wasn’t interested in purchasing those rights… At this stage?

I suppose my hope at this point is that Amazon still has the option of picking them up and will do so if they can see from the NA/partial Europe release that it’s going to pay back. I’m not sure who else might be interested in SEA rights otherwise. Nor do I particularly enjoy the prospect of not being able to play with my NA-based friends!