Black Desert’s Russian servers and accounts are toast as Pearl Abyss says transfer negotiations failed

    
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Over the last month and change, we’ve been covering the news that GameNet, Black Desert’s Russian publisher, was handing the service in the CIS region back over to BDO’s owner, Pearl Abyss, apparently because Pearl Abyss chose not to renew GameNet’s license. At the time, both companies vowed to work together to transfer account data and keep the servers going at their new destination.

But as we noted on Thursday, information for Russian players remained thin, with only a few vague messages on VK (Russian Facebook) and a splash page. GameNet closed the servers down this week as planned with a disturbing note about how all responsibility for the future of the game was on Pearl Abyss, whose own messages referred to ongoing negotiations, implied it couldn’t legally discuss the matter until the rights transfer, and then ominously said it was making “every possible effort to solve the problems” – without explaining what the “problems” were.

That had Russian players speculating that their accounts were about to be lost to the void, which unfortunately turns out to be the case. Pearl Abyss’ most recent letter to Russian players says that it failed to acquire their game data from GameNet, meaning everything they’ve done on their characters is gone.

“Since September 12, 2018, our company has been in continuous negotiations with GameNet (Vebanaul Holdings Ltd) in order to fully transfer the rights to the Black Desert Online Russia service. However, since until October 12, 2018, all rights to the Black Desert Russia game service belonged to GameNet, due to the terms of the agreement between Pearl Abyss and GameNet we could not provide our players with more detailed information. […] By the end of the contract with Gamenet, for several months we worked to minimize changes in the game and provide the game with the best content. However, the latest update in Black Desert Russia was in August, after which access to the server was closed for us. Despite our efforts to continue negotiations, we could not reach a compromise. We tried to obtain ownership of the operation of the Black Desert Russia game and transfer all game data legally, but these attempts were unsuccessful. In this regard, we are forced to tell you the sad news about the impossibility of transferring game data. […] Since the negotiations failed, and we could not get a database, transfer files, purchase history, etc. – the transfer of information became impossible, and our company was forced to make changes to the plans for servicing Russian users. Unfortunately, we have no other options than to start working without this data.”

Indeed, not only will Russian players be losing their accounts and characters, but Pearl Abyss isn’t going to have the Russian servers up immediately, as it also lost access to GameNet’s localization and will have to localize the game all over again.

“More than 660,000 sentences will be translated, including existing content, as well as the Drigan update and new stories,” PA admits. “At the moment we cannot say exactly how long the localization process will take, but we promise that every Wednesday we will notify our players about current events and progress.”

You’re probably never going to see your money invested in the game again either.

“Also, in all matters relating to the services provided by GameNet, refunds and paid goods used earlier in GameNet, please contact Vebanaul Holdings Ltd.”

It is not entirely clear how and why the negotiations with GameNet failed, but we bet you have a few guesses. Our sympathies go out to all of the players affected by this disaster.

Source: Pearl Abyss. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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rafael12104

Hmm. I would be really worried about GameNet having my personal data.

I wonder if Russians players have any recourse on that front. Is there such a thing as a class action lawsuit there?

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Rolan Storm

I can’t imagine how PA can relaunch. Whole thing is trainwreck and I don’t see how can they recover from it and launch BDO is CiS again.

GameNet is hated for a good reason. Also – it did not start with current events. Problems were numerous, since game pre-orders. A lot of players firmly believe GameNet included their own cryptocurrency miner into the app. That’s most remarkable example of how bad things were all the time.

And the people trying to say “oh, that’s Russians” – well you are as revolting as GameNet crooks.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

I don’t like how BDO is being monetized by PA here in US, but as a person who was born and lived in USSR (and after the time it fell apart) for most of my life (and I still have some relatives living there) I also know very, VERY well the type of people who live there and how they do business and I believe PearAbyss did the right thing by stopping negotioations with greedy idiots at GameNet (who most likely demanded extra money not stated in the original contract to transfer the user data and localized translation data to PA).
And no, the laughable local “laws” will never protect any foreign company’s interests there, for many reasons.

Hopefully PA and the other foreign companies will learn from this and will prevent that from happening in the future.

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Tiresias

Wow. I think that’s literally a “worst case scenario” as I’ve ever seen in an MMO.

Likely there’s no reason for PA to touch the RU market ever again.

I can’t believe that they didn’t have backups of their own data! I have clients with data hosted in external infrastructure for audit and compliance purposes, but I have ensured that they keep backups of all of their data in other completely separate infrastructure should something happen to the primary provider. Most of them are on a 24-hour replication schedule to keep bandwidth spends low, but losing a single day of data over a catastrophe is something you can explain to your clients; losing EVERYTHING is not!

IT Rule #1: Never lose data!

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Pup Twilight

Must be new to MMOs………. You do know PA doesn’t own the game data but GameNet does.

Also do you know Russian law? most likely not since they most likely have other clauses than EU and NA

Just like with a game call RFO when CodeMaster stop hosting the game for NA/EU and the maker of the game CCR self published if I remember correctly COdeMasters a US based company would not give over the player data to CCR

Xijit
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Xijit

I was about to argue with you, because I played RF Online back when Codemasters ran it & you could transfer if you signed up for the new one … But then I started remembering something about submitting a screen shot of your inventory & stuff like that, so,maybe you are right.

That was the early days or MMO imports though & RFO was very likely the first game to have it service taken back over by the original publisher instead of just shut down & it is likely that no one involved knew how to transfer the database correctly.

CM eas also closing down its MMO interests & by the point that they gave RFO back, there was like 1 GM running the game by himself, so … It was just a mess all around.

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silverlock

At this point it probably isn’t even going to be worth the cost of localizing it, they should probably just shut the Russian version down for good.

I mean how many of the players are going to be willing to start from scratch with all their cash shop items gone as well.

wow4lyfe
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wow4lyfe

Rofl, when will the community learn. Stop investing money and time into these shit Korean mmos.

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Pup Twilight

Has nothing to do with Korean MMOs has to do that a Russian company GameNet will not give PA the player data

wow4lyfe
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wow4lyfe

Because PA doesn’t want to pay for it, pretty much fking over the player base. Stop trying to defend these shit korean mmos.

Xijit
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Xijit

They tried paying for it: GameNet doesn’t want the competition and are pissed about giving up a gold mine, so they did this to fuck over PA.

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wratts

Whoo-hoo! Fresh start servers!

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Doctor Sweers

Maybe they can join the geniuses over at Trion and call them “Server Evolution”:)

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socontrariwise

Pearl Abyss thinks it is better to loose all these data and localization and goodwill from player over paying Gamenet or letting them keep the publishing for another year?

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Kevin McCaughey

*lose

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Sally Bowls

IANAL, but it’s 2018 and data rules are different.
I want to avoid being political, but Russia and China are quite different than EU & US.

Even if this were the EU, in a post-GDPR world, could one company just hand over to a second company a bunch of personal data? Perhaps at a minimum have a new Web app to allow people to opt in.

I understanding is that in a post-Snowden world, there have been a lot of changes throughout the world but especially in Russia and China. E.g., I think Russian personal data has to be stored on servers within Russia. Can GN just pack up some data and give it to a company, in particular, a Korean company? Certainly, if I were running GN, I would want a “legal opinion” (or the equivalent of “talking” to some bureaucrats) before I turned over the data and would want the recipient to fund the effort and indemnify my company.

My guess is that it is a couple of companies letting egos get in the way. But those pesky laws and political realities may complicate things.

Ammalis
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Ammalis

I think this “issue” (I would call it real drama this time) comes from specific russian laws. It is not easy to obey them for foreign or international company. Russia defined their own set of laws for data protection – it is very detailed explained on wikipedia

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Well in the he-said, she-said response GN is claiming that PA did not want to go through the effort required to sanitize the data and walked away from the deal.

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Denice J. Cook

Okay, so sourpuss GameNet is having their revenge on Pearl Abyss.

Clearly they weren’t doing such a hot job, or PA wouldn’t be pulling the plug on them.

I just hope GameNet isn’t planning on publishing any game in Russia ever again, because gamers have long memories, and everyone knows who’s holding all their BDO player data hostage.

Pearl Abyss should offer a large chunk of cash shop money to each Russian player who signs up within the first 2 weeks their version goes live, when and if it ever does. Maybe they could also offer one capped character free coming out of the starting gate as well.

I don’t know– that’s all I can think to do, other than just not ever produce another working copy of BDO for Russia and call it quits there permanently.

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Kevin McCaughey

Whatever Russian gangster is running it will just funnel his money to other companies for his next scam.