Pearl Abyss makes a deal with Kakao Games to acquire Black Desert’s South Korean publishing rights

Pearl Abyss makes a deal with Kakao Games to acquire Black Desert’s South Korean publishing rights

Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss has struck an agreement with the game’s publisher, Kakao Games, to acquire the publishing rights for the South Korean version of the popular fantasy sandbox, a new report from MMO Culture reveals.

Per the agreement, Kakao will transfer the publishing rights to Pearl Abyss effective May 30th, at which point the developer will officially be “directly handling publishing duties […] worldwide for the PC and console versions” in all regions save for North America and Europe, where the rights will remain in Kakao’s hands. MMO Culture also notes that the agreement also “marks one of the very rare times where the original data will also be transferred to Pearl Abyss,” in contrast to previous cases in which “data transfers to the new publisher [were] never approved.”

Meanwhile, in other Black Desert news, Microsoft has announced that the title will be one of the eight games becoming available as part of the Xbox Game Pass program in May. Black Desert will be hitting the Xbox Game Pass library on May 9th, at which point it will be free to download and play for Game Pass members. Of course, if you want to deck your character out with pets, carrying-weight boosts, and the like from the in-game store, those are still gonna cost you. Still, if you’re a Game Pass member who’s been considering taking BDO for a spin, next month looks to be the time to do it.

Source: MMO Culture, Xbox Game Pass. Thanks, Eric!

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Sean Smith

Have to admit to being a little bit concerned that this is in the future for the NA/EU servers as well. PA seem pretty determined to self-publish everywhere, and the publishing agreement with Kakao will have an end-date on it somewhere, so I think it’s only a matter of time before our servers revert to PA as well.

Not that I have any opinion about PA being better or worse than Kakao – but I’ve been through a few publisher transfers over the years, playing MMOs, and they’re rarely smooth.


PA might give it to CCP to run in NA/EU.


The Xbox version of the game is pretty disgusting. They launched right out the gate with all the P2W features from other regions. Costume selling, costume melting, the whole shebang all at launch.

Kakao selling their rights or Pearl Abyss buying them back is all a little surprising actually. Both companies are tied pretty closely to each other if I remember correctly (IE: Both own parts of each other’s companies). Everything we’ve heard out of the regions where Pearl Abyss publishes the game have been pretty horrible. The RU players on reddit regularly comment on the fact that since switching over to PA the servers have been horrible and PA basically ignores all of their feedback.

Kickstarter Donor

This what I am scared of. Most everyone in the NA market is wanting PA to take over publishing here as well from Kakao, but the grass is always greener. Im afraid it will go the same way as the other regions PA controls and go even deeper or become TRULY p2w.