The 2019 MMO Lost Ark has accidentally banned Steam players for being inactive, flagging their accounts as bot accounts. Word of the bans first appeared on Steam, with a wave of negative reviews after players received a Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) ban attributed to their profiles for simply not playing the game. The issue then exploded across social media, with gamers asking for answers in response to official tweets from the Lost Ark account. After causing confusion online, we now have an explanation as to what was really going on.

Developer Smilegate has responded to the issue, saying that the mistake followed a wave of bans on bot accounts. The increase in bans led to an increasing number of appeals, with the Lost Ark team now able to identify the error that triggered the bans. The developers are said to be automatically removing bans for all affected players regardless of complaints, but a link is provided to submit a ban appeal directly and potentially see a turnaround on the ban quicker.

Lost Ark ship sailing on stormy waters
It’s been a rough day for inactive Lost Ark players on Steam.

The bot ban wave began on Jan. 11, and was said at the time to be so “highly-effective” that it caused a significant drop in Lost Ark concurrent players on Steam. The ban was intended to have “positive impact on gameplay”, decreasing lag as bots were removed. Smilegate were confident about this approach, stating that they will “continue to deploy large scale bot ban waves.” After this mistake, the Lost Ark developers will likely be more careful with how they mass ban bots, so as to avoid repeating the error.

Have you ever tried Lost Ark? Was your Steam account affected by the mass bot ban? Let us know in the comments below, and keep your eyes on GameLuster for more gaming news.

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