'Lost Ark' North American Release Time: How to Play the MMORPG Early in the United States

After years of being unavailable in the Western Hemisphere, Lost Ark is finally about to unlock in North America.

Developed by a team in South Korea, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) initially debuted in its home country back in 2019. Since then, it has also rolled out to Japan and Russia (the latter in beta form).

However, its servers have remained inaccessible for those in the United States, as well as European regions, since the launch. This is now about to change, with Amazon's gaming division publishing Lost Ark in those respective territories.

Here is everything you need to know about the game and when it unlocks.

What Is 'Lost Ark'?

Unless you have been watching streamers from other parts of the globe — where the title has been available for years — there's a good chance that you won't know much about Lost Ark. With that being said, here's a quick crash course.

Lost Ark is a fantasy MMORPG, played out from an isometric perspective (meaning that you are looking down at your avatar from an off-centered angle).

It is set in the fictional realm of Arkesia, a land that is being ravaged by a demonic war. As a heroic adventurer, it's your job to track down seven pieces of the titular lost ark and reunite them so that you can put an end to this devastating conflict. Along the way, there will be dungeons to clear, side-quests to embark on, and raids to complete.

While a lot of your time in Arkesia will naturally be devoted to slaying demons and waging war, there are plenty of other activities for you to participate in here. Much like in this week's Epic Games Store giveaway, Windbound, you can personalize your very own seafaring vessel and then sail to various uncharted islands. You can also build fortress strongholds and harvest crafting resources.

Meanwhile, there is a dedicated Player versus Player (PvP) arena that you can join to fight against others in competitive three-a-side matchups. Here, everybody is given a set amount of attribute points and made to respect their characters, so that there is a totally level playing field. In other words, you don't have to worry about grinding XP to be an eligible contender, as it's all based on skill.

How Much Does 'Lost Ark' Cost?

Unlike most other MMORPGs (but similar to EVE Online) Lost Ark is a free-to-play experience without a subscription fee, and you don't have to pay a cent to join its servers.

However, it is monetized through other transactions. For instance, you can buy various packs that unlock skins, supply crates and crystal currencies.

'Lost Ark' Release Date, Time and Pre-Load in North America

Lost Ark is scheduled for release in North America and Europe on Friday, February 11. The specific unlock time is 12 p.m. ET. For those in other time zones, this translates to 9 a.m. PST and 5 p.m. GMT.

Like with Dying Light 2, you can start pre-loading the MMORPG beforehand, so that it's ready to play as soon as it unlocks. The option to do so will be available from Monday, February 7 at 12 p.m. ET.

How to Get Early Access to 'Lost Ark'

While the game doesn't properly unlock until Friday, you can get a head start by purchasing one of its "Founder's Packs."

These premium bundles come in four separate tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum) which we have detailed below. In addition to their contents, purchasing one of the packs will also entitle you to Lost Ark early access.

As a founder, you will be able to start playing the game three days before everybody else in North America, starting from 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 8.

The details for each of the Founder's Packs, which can be purchased on Steam or via the Amazon marketplace, are as follows.

Once it launches, Lost Ark will be available on PC. It can be downloaded from Steam.

Founder's PackPriceContents
  • 3 Day Head Start
  • Founder's Exclusive Pet
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder's Title
  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 1,000 Royal Crystals
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder's Title
  • Silver Supply Crate
  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 4,000 Royal Crystals
  • Founder's Exclusive Pet
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder's Title
  • Gold Supply Crate
  • Founder's Exclusive Skin
  • Character Expansion Slot
  • 3 Day Head Start
  • 7,000 Royal Crystals
  • Founder's Exclusive Pet
  • 30 Day Crystalline Aura
  • Founder's Title
  • Platinum Supply Create
  • Founder's Exclusive Skin
  • CharacterExpansion Slot
  • Founder's Skin
  • Founder's Exclusive Mount
  • Platinum Welcome Crate
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