Black Desert’s Pearl Abyss claims Russian publisher is using players as a ‘weapon’

    
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Over the month, we’ve been covering the supposed license transfer of Black Desert’s Russian branch from publisher GameNet back to Korean owner Pearl Abyss. Initially, both companies vowed to work together to transfer account data and keep the servers going at their new destination, but last week, a worrisome lack of communication and a note from Pearl Abyss about ongoing negotiations and “problems” made Russian players suspect their accounts were toast.

As we reported Saturday morning, that turned out to be the case, as Pearl Abyss told Russian players that it had failed to acquire their game data from GameNet, meaning everything they’ve done on their characters and every penny they’ve ever spent is gone. Moreover, PA said it couldn’t acquire GameNet’s localization either and will have to re-localize the entire game.

What we didn’t know initially is what exactly happened between the companies along the way. Essentially, it comes down to money, and boy does Pearl Abyss have some unkind words for GameNet parent company Vebanaul. Pearl Abyss says it had been “denied access to the servers since August,” which is why Russian players already weren’t getting updates. It also sounds like Pearl Abyss believes Vebanaul was negligent in not setting up a system allowing Russian players to grant their consent to transfer their data in accordance with Russian law. Finally, Pearl Abyss intimates that Vebanaul was trying to fleece PA with an “excessively high price” for the database.

“Regardless of the conditions specified in our contract, Vebanaul use our users as their weapon. Vebanaul claims that we have declared the uselessness of the translations developed by them. However, due to the negotiations, we had no choice but to start preparing our own game localization, because we had a premonition that there was a possibility that we would not be able to transfer the Black Desert Online Russia service from Vebanaul. […] Blocking access to the server since August, after the opening of our website, Vebanaul began to protest and demanded that we stop all actions aimed at supporting the game Black Desert Online Russia. Although we have all the rights to transfer the service, we listened to all the requirements of Vebanaul and tried to minimize all our actions.”

Pearl Abyss ends by saying it hopes to “avoid a situation in which Vebanaul will simply delete the database without any consent,” but it sounds as if the studio is proceeding under the assumption that it’s already lost anyway.

Source: Pearl Abyss. Thanks, aptly named Tipsman!

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Daniel Miller

Kaokao has to serve Russia right. After all they are launching Astellua in Russia in March

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Rolan Storm

Are they now? Because when I googled the name I found that GameNet (exactly the one we talking here about) is the publisher for Astellua. They are reporting game is in CBT.

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Daniel Miller

Ru is publishing the KR game Astellia. You spelled it wrong. Actually I did as I typed it on my phone. Anyway it was in CBT Korea last year and it is a Korean game by Nexon and Smilegate. But that RU company you found will publish it in RU first quarter.

So Korea will have to launch before then, prob end of the year.

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Rolan Storm

https://gamenet.ru/games/astellia/

I copied your error after you, but still found the right game. It is GameNet, not Kakao launching that game.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

So basically it’s exactly what I wrote in my guess comment in your previous article where you said you bet we had a few guesses. My guess was spot on.

The gloating about being right is a bit of a joke (plus nobody cares haha – I know I don’t when others guess right!). Honestly, it wasn’t that hard to figure out and I know a lot of people (maybe even most) must have had the same guess that I did anyway. We basically could see exactly what was happening even though we were left to speculate and guess.

So no surprise here, but it’s nice to hear them speak out. It would be nice if this caused enough pressure on GameNet to lower the price they’re asking for (otherwise they’re going to get *nothing* anyway). Those poor players are screwed otherwise.

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Armsbend

Do Russians love their children too? DO THEY STING?

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rafael12104

Well, I’m going to get political here because, you know, it’s a slow Monday here and I’ve had too many cups of coffee.

I am a true Republican, a Reagan Republican. Now before you start throwing tomatoes, even from Canada, let me just say that this type of situation is why you need regulation.

How ironic, no?

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John Kiser

A true republican would be one that follows the ideals of lincoln. Regan is basically just another bit of what is basically GOP scum that started with Nixon and was furthered by Regan. The whole idealogy of the modern republican comes from those two and a lust for power, just saying.

Also regulations are almost always necessary because companies don’t play nice together period and rarely look out for the consumer and politicians are just bastards about it anymore. It is appalling really to think how bad they are at it.

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Adam Russell

In that case, there are no true republicans anymore because Lincoln clearly was a liberal and you wont get republicans to admit to being liberal.

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John Kiser

Kind of the point. There aren’t any real republicans anymore. The party of lincoln is pretty much dead and buried (it’s basically the democrat party of today). The republicans of old are now the old southern democrats and the democrat part now basically follows the principals of the older republicans.

Republicans were pretty good party wise until the democrats started down the same ideals and you had JFK pop up and they tried to fight against some of that.

So there aren’t any true republicans. A republican today is just a republican in name only. They follow none of the founding principals of the party at all.

Xijit
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Xijit

This just in: Russian business are slimy!

… also, water is wet, the sky is (usually) blue, and humans are naturally inclined to be assholes.

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Utakata

Welp…something smells off in the State of Denmark here. That’s for sure. O.o

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Alex Willis

This is a catastrophic event for an MMO gamer. I don’t have many connections to gaming in Russia except through EVE Online, and in that case, everybody in the world were all in the same bucket. If one group had data loss, all groups did. So while we spoke a different language and played in different regions of the game, there wasn’t much difference between us when it came to the “stakes”.

Every country and culture has its eccentricities when it comes to corporate governance and consumer relations. For the most part, people in North America and the EU are hugely lucky to live in places where consumers are protected and valued. I feel so terribly sorry for the Russians who put time and money into this game, and are for no fault of their own being punished for being born in the wrong place. A really garbage situation.

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Sally Bowls

Technically, every EVE player in the world outside China is in one bucket.

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Alex Willis

I think that’s what I meant to say.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

for being born in the wrong place

Well, see, the thing is, you can still do something about that. You can either:
A) Move to other country, which is a perfectly acceptable solution for some people who don’t feel like “fighting against the system” (and which is what my family eventually did). To give you an MMO analogy, not every MMO gamer likes to spend time on PvP, even to achieve other goals, so it’s always ok for them to move to other games (or to in-game guilds/corporations which provide more safety for PvE people) ;-)

B) “Fight against system”, but the “system” in this case is not actually a game hosting/localizing company, but something far, far above it. There’s a relevant saying, which goes like this: “a fish starts to rot from the head down”, which perfectly applies to this situation ;-) I don’t want to get overly political, but this saying should suffice to describe the overall situation in that country and why exactly GameNet did what they did.

Anyway, both of these choices are MUCH better than doing nothing (even if you’re “born in wrong place”). And you should certainly NOT feel “so terribly sorry” for people who are too lazy to try any of these solutions and instead prefer to passively wait and “just hope it’ll get better one day” while wasting their own money on such greedy, immoral companies and the equally greedy, immoral, xenophobic government who allow these companies to behave in such way ;-)

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Nathan Aldana

Except a lot of people :born in the wrong place” cant just up and leave their home country. that costs money, time, and the willingness to go somewhere where you might not only not speak the local language, but likely have no friends, family, or other sources of support to rely on till you can land a job or a house

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Rolan Storm

Indeed it is. Also to my memory it is first time something like this happens to a MMORPG over here. Publishers were always bad, from Aion to Archage to this event. I remember LotRO RU closure, people were sad. But this… They aren’t. There is real rage.

I said it earlier: GameNet broke every promise they made. But even for them this is unprecedented (at least I believe so). Korean MMOPRGs always had bad publishers in CIS region (or rather CIS publishers for the most part are just bad) and there were always problems – technical issues, bad balance. But this is new.

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Arktouros

Still couldn’t imagine being a player over in RU right now.

One of the biggest appealing aspects to me about BDO as a game is it’s very old school in terms of progression. While leveling has become easier over time many people put thousands of hours not AFK and AFK to get their accounts where they are. This ain’t some play for 30 days and seen it all kinda game.

The companies on the other hand are all awful.

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Rolan Storm

True. Hope none of those guys do anything irreversible.

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Kevin Smith

Really don’t think PA should waste their time doing localization at this point. Those customers are going to be gone. They are not coming back to a game that just wiped out real money purchases. They are most likely also going to tell everyone that will listen to not purchase or play the game also. Should just shutter this game in Russia at this point. It is really sad when greed causes something like this. Don’t know which company is ultimately to blame on this one. Got the feeling that GameNet parent company is probably the issue because they are losing the rights to the game and the income it brought in so they tired to make all the money they could and held the user accounts hostage and it didn’t work. Who knows what will happen though.

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Rolan Storm

This.