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The success of Lost Arc and European servers’ debacle

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When it comes to gaming, there are countless choices out there. But very few games manage to make a mark in the modern world. Like those, you keep returning to long after their release. One of the games that have instantly gained massive popularity among gamers recently is Lost Arc.

It is an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). But its features have made it highly popular, though the genre is familiar. But what sparked such interest from gamers?

In 2019, Lost Ark was released in Korea, but it entered the North American, South America, and European markets in February 2022. The release of the game in these nations led to a surge in its player base.

The best thing that happened for Tripod Studio and Smilegate’s game development subsidiary Smilegate RPG is that the game became the second most played game on Steam. The record was achieved within the first 24 hours of its release.

You may be surprised to know, but the sudden surge in popularity of the game led to the overloading of servers at some locations. So, what is this game? Which servers were at their capacity? What is the company doing about it? All these questions will be answered further!

A brief overview of Lost Arc

Published by Amazon, Lost Ark has numerous attractive elements that fit enthusiastic gamers. Here are some features that garnered over 15 million players for the game.

2.5x isometric view

The key aspect distinguishing Lost Arc from other games is the 2.5x isometric view. The view allows the players to interact better with the screen. As they can see enemies from a top-down angle, the fighting sequence becomes more enjoyable. It enhances game control and allows players to hold the on-screen situation better.

Different classes

A great thing about Lost Arc is the classes. The newly released version for the US and Europe has five classes with various subclasses under them. Each of these classes has its unique powers and abilities. If you know the Korean version, many classes are not included in this version. Anyhow, the inclusion of Warrior, Gunner, Assassin, Mage, and Martial Arts classes have led to massive adoption by the gaming community.

Variety of quests

As Lost Ark is an open-world game, you can do a lot of different quests in the game to keep yourself entertained, such as:

  • Work on building your strongholds.
  • Go on an exploration of new islands on your ship.
  • Kill your time upgrading your skills and play the market at the auction house.
  • Complete daily and weekly quests.

PvP and PvE

The game support both PvP and PvE modes. It means that you get to fight with other players and monsters in the same game.

Apart from these, there are countless other aspects like getting pirate coins, awakening skills, power pass, etc., in the game. These will be in the endgame scenario after the player reaches level 50.

The endgame mode has three tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Once you get in the endgame mode, there are various add-on things that you can do, such as raiding, global events, PvP, collectibles, and dungeons.

Lost Ark and European servers

The Lost Ark witnessed an abrupt increase in the userbase when it hit the US and European markets. As per Steam, the number of concurrent players hit the 1.3 million player mark within a few hours. The number was more than expected as the game was packed with features that were most likely to attract the right audience.

But this massive adoption of the game led to the overloading of European servers. As more users were trying to access the game simultaneously, the server could not handle it, and the players were queued. The situation seems to have somewhat stabilized, but people will still have to wait for their turn to enter the game.

The effect of this was visible in the reviews of the game. On Steam, the user reviews were mixed, but more were on the bright side. Over 60% of the Steam reviews of the game were positive. The rest of the reviews were negative and likely had nothing to do with the game’s shortcomings.

Almost every review highlighted that the game was inaccessible, which was obvious.

Is Smilegate doing anything about the servers?

As of now, there are no plans for Smilegate to increase the capacity of their servers in the Central European region. The reason supporting this claim is the complexity of the systems involved. But Amazon has taken steps to make up for this situation. They have proposed to make another game region, Europe West.

Though the region has been created, it’s not the permanent solution. Players are still expected to wait in queues as the server reduces the wait time and does not eliminate it. The professional team of Lost Ark is busy fixing server and matchmaking errors.

Of course, you can try to evade the server madness in other ways. For instance, you can get a VPN for PC and hide your IP address. What can this help achieve? Well, you will spoof your location, which has worked for many players wishing to connect to servers outside their countries. It is a classic trick, which might be helpful when playing online games and looking for the best server with the shortest queues.

Lost Ark is free to play on Steam. However, there are also options for purchasing starter packs that will likely help you out in the game.

Gaming

GALAXSYS and PIN-UP PARTNERS Unveil an Exclusive New Game

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Hayk Sargsyan, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys
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Galaxsys and PIN-UP PARTNERS have collaborated to launch a new exclusive turbo game – Hamster Mania.

Galaxsys, a pioneering gaming studio, continues to deliver exceptional gaming experiences with its latest collaboration with PIN-UP Partners to launch Hamster Mania.

Hamster Mania, a fun and user-friendly turbo game, offers players a straightforward and engaging gaming experience. The objective is to secure the highest possible winnings by tapping on the hamster character within a circular frame, earning odds with each tap. Unlike traditional turbo games, players place bets directly on the hamster, with winnings displayed instantly. The game features multiple difficulty levels, affecting both risk and potential rewards.

Hayk Sargsyan, Chief Executive Officer of Galaxsys, expressed his enthusiasm about the launch of Hamster Mania. He commented, “We are always innovating and collaborating, and this time, we’ve teamed up with PIN-UP Partners to bring a unique offering to the industry. Our teams have worked closely together to ensure seamless integration and make this collaboration truly exceptional.”

The PIN-UP Partners team is also very excited about the upcoming launch of Hamster Mania. They commented, “At PIN-UP Partners we always strive to offer our affiliates and partners the best and most exciting developments in the industry to take their revenues and profits to the next level. We deliver outstanding results and foster stronger partnerships through innovation, transparency and expertise. By supporting and partnering with companies like GALAXSYS, we stay at the forefront of the industry with unique games and the best offers for our affiliates.”

Hamster Mania will be available exclusively at PIN-UP for the first two months following its launch, before becoming accessible to all network partners. More information about the game will be presented during the iGB Live event in Amsterdam.

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Gaming

Swedish Games Industry Announces 15 Culturally-Significant Games

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Dataspelsbranschen, Sweden’s trade association for video game companies, has revealed a list of 15 gaming treasures which have deep significance in Swedish culture. The games were selected by an expert jury of historians, industry leaders, and academics, following hundreds of nominations from the general public. 

It was in December 2023 that Sweden’s minister for culture Parisa Liljestrand gave a committee the assignment to develop an official culture canon. Whereas it was not specified which artforms should be covered, Dataspelsbranschen took the initiative to develop one for games.

Celebrating Sweden’s rich gaming history over almost 50 years, the ‘game culture canon’ includes a range of genres, platforms, and release years. Alongside classics such as Stugan and Europa Universalis, the list also includes newer releases such as The Battle of Polytopia and It Takes Two. 

The full list, which can be found below, was created in response to plans by the Swedish government to create a cultural video games canon of the nation’s artistic achievements. To encourage the games industry to be included in this initiative, the ‘game culture canon’ was handed over to the chair of the official canon committee, Lars Trägårdh, in the presence of minister for culture Parisa Liljestrand at the policy summit Almedalen on the 26th of June. 

This seminal list of Swedish gaming treasures is released at a time when national games industries are fighting for governmental recognition of their economic and cultural significance. Likewise, debates over video game preservation continue to grow louder, with the Video Game History Foundation noting that 87% of classic games are not accessible to play. 

Per Strömbäck, Spokesperson of Dataspelsbranschen, commented:

“Games should be recognised as culture for several reasons: games are culture to the players, who relate to them similar ways as audiences in other art forms. Games are culture to the game developers who have the same drivers as other creators: the will to express, create something new and communicate with their audience. Games are also culture to society as they reflect the world we live in and have a rich history which is now being recognised by museums and other institutions. Also games are unique in that they are interactive. For these reasons, we think it is fitting that games have a canon too.”

Christian Lövstedt, General Manager at Midjiwan, the creators of The Battle of Polytopia, added:

“Sweden has a rich and diverse gaming history which has shaped many of today’s most popular titles. We are both honoured and excited that The Battle of Polytopia has been selected to this list. Gaming is an indispensable contributor to the Swedish economy, reaching audiences across the globe. We hope this list will continue to highlight the significance of this industry to decision-makers.”

According to Dataspelsbranschen’s 2023 Game Developer Index, the nation’s games industry revenue grew to EUR 3.1 billion in 2022, with 8,445 people working in Sweden’s games industry during the same year.

 

Selection in full:

  • Stugan, Developed by: Kimmo Eriksson, Viggo Kann, Olle E Johansson, 1978/1986

  • BackPacker, Developed by: Tati Mixedia, 1995

  • Europa Universalis, Developed by: Paradox Interactive, 2000

  • Ground Control, Developed by: Massive Entertainment, 2000

  • Battlefield 1942, Developed by: DICE, (Digital Illusions CE) 2002

  • Amnesia – The Dark Descent, Developed by: Frictional Games, 2010

  • Minecraft, Developed by: Mojang, 2011

  • Toca Tea Party, Developed by: Toca Boca, 2011

  • Candy Crush Saga, Developed by: King, 2012

  • Star Stable Online, Developed by: Star Stable Entertainment, 2012

  • Goat Simulator, Developed by: Coffee Stain Studios, 2014

  • The Battle of Polytopia, Developed by: Midjiwan, 2016

  • Budget Cuts, Developed by: Neat Corporation, 2018

  • Sayonara Wildhearts, Developed by: Simogo, 2019

  • It Takes Two, Developed by: Hazelight, 2021

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Asia

National Video Game Day 2024 – The mainstream breakthrough of Indian esports and Olympics aspirations

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The video gaming and esports industry in India has witnessed a meteoric rise in the last few years. With a rapidly growing audience and player base, the industry has commanded attention from brands and investors alike.

According to a FICCI-EY report, total esports tournament participation is projected to reach 2.5 million participants across various titles, compared to 1.79 million in 2023. Additionally, airtime for esports broadcasts is set to increase to 8,000 hours from 6,500 in 2023, with a rising average minute audience.

Tournaments such as the Battlegrounds Mobile India Masters Series (BGMS) have recently announced their third straight season being broadcast on a mainstream sporting network, changing the way esports is consumed and marking a significant milestone in the sector’s acceptance. India’s participation in major multi-sport tournaments such as the Commonwealth Esports Championships 2022, where the nation’s DOTA 2 team won bronze, and the Asian Games 2022 where esports debuted as a full-fledged medal sport, has further validated its competitive stature.

While states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and others are undertaking various initiatives for the development of esports, the country’s honourable Prime Minister has also advocated for the growth of the sector. With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also set to discuss the creation of the Olympic Esports Games during the upcoming Paris Olympics, the future looks bright for esports in India.

Sharing his thoughts on the evolution of esports from a pastime hobby to a mainstream sport and form of entertainment, Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NODWIN Gaming stated, “More than a decade back, gaming was nothing but a hobby of a few passionate gamers, with small groups of them organising scattered community competitions across the country. We started NODWIN Gaming in 2014 to streamline esports in India with a vision to bring opportunities for video gaming enthusiasts throughout the country. Looking at the scenario today, we can indeed say India has come a long way. The industry has gained immense popularity and legitimacy among the masses, attracting interest from celebrities, brands, corporates and traditional sporting organisations alike. We will continue to contribute to this growing ecosystem and try to further shine the deserving limelight on gaming and esports. In the near future, we envision esports getting the same mantle as traditional sports, especially with the IOC announcing plans to create Olympic Esports Games and we, along with the Global Esports Federation, are honoured to work alongside the industry stakeholders to achieve that common vision!”

In addition to gamers and gaming creators, Indian game developers are also making significant strides with games inspired by the country’s rich culture and mythology. Games like ‘Ludo King’ which recently surpassed 1 billion downloads, and ‘Raji: An Ancient Epic’ exemplify this trend.

Another promising upcoming title that highlights the potential of homegrown developers is the Indo-futuristic ‘Indus Battle Royale’. Developed by Pune-based SuperGaming, the game has recently surpassed 11 million pre-registrations.

“Over the past decade, India’s gaming industry has transformed from a niche pastime into a mainstream entertainment medium. The surge in mobile gaming, fueled by the high number of smartphone users in the country, has made gaming more accessible to a wider audience, driving the industry’s growth. The creativity and innovation brought in by Indian game developers have produced unique and culturally rich gaming experiences, earning international recognition that has placed India firmly on the global gaming map,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-Founder of SuperGaming.

Despite India being predominantly a mobile-first gaming nation due to high data penetration and affordable smartphones, there has been a noticeable surge in interest in PC gaming. Beyond hardcore gamers, PCs are increasingly utilized by gaming creators and streamers for content creation and editing. The rise of the creator economy indirectly fuels the growth of the gaming PC ecosystem in India.

Recent data from Valve highlights that Asia, including India, is one of the fastest-growing regions for Steam users, with a more than 150% increase in new users from 2019 to 2024. CyberpowerPC, the Number 1 Gaming PC manufacturing brand in North America which recently forayed into the Indian market promises to cater to this growing demand and create an overall thriving ecosystem that caters to diverse gaming preferences.

Highlighting the factors that will accelerate the rise of PC gaming in the country, Vishal Parekh, Chief Operating Officer, CyberPowerPC India said, “The growth of gaming in India, evolving from arcades and gaming cafes to an official sport, is remarkable. While mobile serves as an entry point for gamers entering the ecosystem, the shift towards more immersive experiences on larger screens is becoming inevitable. Additionally, PC-based esports titles prominently featured in major sporting tournaments highlight the importance of gaming PCs for grassroots development and achieving success in these events. At CyberPowerPC, we are excited to support the country’s growing PC gaming community and give them an immersive experience along with a competitive edge.”

Another monumental trend catapulting video gaming into the mainstream is leading streaming and social media platforms increasingly embracing gamification as a strategy to engage users and attract new audiences. Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Google Pay, Zomato, and LinkedIn have all integrated gamification features to tap into a massive and engaged audience.

“I have been a part of the gaming and esports industry for over a decade and it is fascinating to see how the industry has evolved and grown over these years. For example, esports was a niche, limited to a few people and now it is on its way to be integrated as a new-age sport. Today, gamers of all ages and backgrounds have become active contributors to the sector’s growth, and it is amazing to see how gaming has cemented its place in mainstream culture. Through movies, TV series adaptations and gamification via social media platforms, delivery apps as well as streaming platforms, it has become an integral part of our everyday lives, which was almost unimaginable till a few years back. This momentum is only going to grow, and the future of gaming in India looks incredibly bright. Max Level is committed to contributing to this growth and taking gaming to new heights across the nation,” noted Siddharth Nayyar, Co-founder and CRO, Max Level.

Without a doubt, the video gaming sector in India is on an upward trajectory, and looking ahead, the sky’s the limit!

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