Pearl Abyss’ Q4 2021 financials are a rollercoaster, my friends. The company is fine, so no panic there; in fact, it’s operating revenue is up compared to this quarter last year (and every quarter last year, for that matter) and Black Desert and EVE Online revenues declining 20% and 3%, respectively, over the period. The company also reiterates upcoming content for BDO and EVE, as well as its inbound titles: Crimson Desert, DokeV, and Plan8, though it sounds like all we’ll be getting from those three in the first half of 2022 is marketing stuff. We’ll also see the launch of Black Desert Mobile in China.
Where things get distressing was in the investor call itself, which was excellently covered by The Nosy Gamer. Nosy Gamer notes that investors queried the company on what exactly has been driving the company’s revenue growth, given that its two main IPs both shrank over the course of the year, and it turns out to be from Pearl Abyss’ venture capital subsidiary, Pearl Abyss Capital, which has invested into an AI-and-metaverse startup. We’ve previously reported the company is working on what it’s calling the BlackSpace Engine; it’ll underpin Crimson Desert and DokeV, both still lacking launch windows, and apparently future metaverse and blockchain endeavors as well. There’s also a Black Clover mobile title hitting beta in Korea before summer and launching in the East by the end of the year.
Pearl Abyss’ entire pitch about play-to-earn with respect to EVE and BDO is pretty simple: The studio believes “times have changed” and that there’s now a “need to create value through games.” The company says it “believe[s] that blockchain technology will accelerate this trend” and has been “researching different technologies during the past years and have reviewed the possibility of introduction,” with more information to come. “[W]e are confident we can create a stable blockchain ecosystem,” the company concludes.
Notably, while EVE Online has dabbled in NFTs, CCP Games is on record as recently as December 2021 as saying it’s too early to connect the game to the blockchain or dip into pay-to-earn waters. But apparently, those waters are coming.
Update: After publication, Pearl Abyss clarified to MassivelyOP that it “has no plans to implement blockchain technology into Black Desert” and that the tech is “just being explored in its future business.”