Pearl Abyss sees hefty revenue bump thanks to Black Desert

    
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Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer of Black Desert, posted its Q2 2018 earnings report this past week, showing both significantly increased revenue and profits over the three-month period. The company showed revenues around $99.8 million for the period, out of which $4.2 million was pure profit.

The Black Desert IP is Pearl Abyss’ bread and butter right now, and the developer is making tons of money not just on the sandbox MMO but the new mobile version that’s starting to roll out. In fact, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are slated to get it at the end of this month, with 1.5 million players registered for the title. Black Desert Mobile will expand to the rest of Southeast Asia by the end of this year and go global in 2019.

Pearl Abyss announced plans to expand its global reach with new offices in Japan and the US, hiring around 187 additional employees to fill demand.

Source: MMO Culture

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Ernost
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Ernost

The company showed revenues around $99.8 million for the period, out of which $4.2 million was pure profit.

So the rest is what, operating costs? How high are their operating costs?!

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Arsin Halfmoon

BDO is so weird, it looks really pretty, but at the same time it looks so ugly because when players gather somewhere they all tend to stack, like heidel’s fishing spot. You have a bunch of folks processing ON the storage guy and you have all these folks fishing, its nuts man

Xijit
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Xijit

There is a cash shop costume that lets you process materials straight out of the warehouse NPC’s inventory (meaning you can craft more since 100% of your inventory can be used for receiving the finished product, instead of having to account for the weight of your base materials when starting a job) but that function doesn’t work with the storage chest you can put in your house.

So anyone who wants to do mass processing has to pile up within chat range of the storage NPC to do it.

… Which is a prime example of how much shit in the game is subject to zero attention to detail and goes through zero QC review for functional effect before it hits the game.

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Arsin Halfmoon

I really wish they’d do something like that though. It’s so ironic, with no fast travel and certain aspects, the game is realistic and immersive. But at the same time, when you have a huge effing mess in one corner of heidel or for the most recent event, it kills the immersion.

Xijit
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Xijit

Pretty sure whoever designed all of the life skills and farming sub systems got disgusted at having their work gimped and quit a long time ago.

… All of that shit is so broken and irrelevant to the gane that would probably be better if they just gutted it all out.

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Arktouros

BDO is a pretty successful game all around, but certainly has dropped off some success through the significant changes they’ve made to the game and specifically class balance. Altering the way combat works in a game that is widely regarded with fantastic combat is always a risky move and the results are pretty mixed.

Hearing that they’re immensely profitable isn’t surprising. They’ve released now in nearly every region (KR, JP, RU, NA/EU, SA, MENA (middle east), SEA (Singapore, etc)) and frankly their cash shop is one of the most “unpleasant design” cash shops in MMO gaming. Something that’s a basic game feature in other games? 100% sold in the cash shop. As much as people like to lament about the NA/EU version, other regions are true pay2win as whomever has the biggest wallet really can get the best gear.

Long as they can keep NA/EU free of such unrestricted spending for power then I’m content to keep playing. Last few years have been fun and I really appreciate a game where you can play it anyway you want and be not only successful but also be supported by the developers.

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Robert Mann

Good for them. They did something different, and I like to see that.

On the other hand, this is still not a sandbox no matter what they claim. It has a few (very shallow) elements from sandboxes, but taking 2% of something and claiming it is the same as the whole thing is… well, isn’t that why Sandpark was made as a term?

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Arktouros

I just don’t know about this.

The only argument I see get made against it being a sandbox is it’s lack of a free market economy and player trading. However those things don’t, in of themselves, really define a sandbox game. In fact you see that all kinds of games (sandbox and themepark) have open style economies so that really doesn’t define whether or not a game is a sandbox game or not.

I think really what defines a sandbox vs themepark game is what it is you do in the game and what freedoms of actions you have. That means the ability to advance in the game without being forced down one route (IE: a ride you get on). I couldn’t, say, become a full time crafter in WOW but I certainly could in BDO’s lifeskill systems (and some of the most richest/successful players in game are crafters). That includes combat progression as my lifeskill character actually went from 59.5 to 60.4 currently entirely via lifeskilling.

So while I can understand not liking their controlled economy, it’s very abnormal compared to other games have done it, I don’t think the Sandpark really fits. There’s no one track you gotta ride and can literally get through the tutorial and be like “Fuck this I’m going to be a fisherman.” and you can do that and be very successful. That open ended game play is exactly what every Sandbox has been about.

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Vunak23

Just because BDO has a lot of life skills doesn’t make it a sandbox.

In BDO you cant shape anything in the world. Players take over predefined areas and castles that largely don’t mean anything outside of the payout.

ArcheAge for example is considered a Sandpark because you can shape the world by setting up different towns and having a large impact in the game with Auroria castles and land ownership. But its also considered a themepark because of its leveling scheme. Which in AA it was much easier to level through life skills than it is in BDO. You could be a full crafter in AA just as easily or a simple merchant AND it had player to player trading which is huge for anything even trying to consider itself a sandbox.

So no. BDO is not a sandbox or even a sandpark. It is just an open world MMORPG/themepark. Its the Skyrim of MMOs. No Skyrim is not a sandbox.

Best example of a sandbox in an MMO is probably Wurm Online.

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Robert Mann

Vunak pretty much said it. In WoW, you can run around and just gather something, just fish, just pet battle… and not only get to max level but be pretty darn rich in game doing so.

The only difference is that there is more options for the life skills there. That’s the end all of that.

Sandbox means you can meaningfully change the world around you (not just the meta of the game, but something in the appearance of the game) and that it is there with no instancing or anything. Freedom of choice is important, but I do not believe that is the point of a sandbox. Open world building/farming is basically a bare minimum, with things like terraforming being more of a goal for a good sandbox. When BDO starts doing that beyond the little boxes you drop wherever and then ignore until ready, let us all know!

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Arsin Halfmoon

It’s a sandpark. It takes place in the desert. So it’s a sandpark.