Pearl Abyss Q4 2022: Revenues decline as Black Desert and EVE hold steady and Crimson Desert malingers


Pearl Abyss posted its Q4 2022 financials this week, and unlike some of its regional counterparts whose chief interest is China or South Korea, PA demonstrates again that its heart is in the west, as it notes 81% of its sales from the last decade have come from the overseas market. Unfortunately, those sales haven’t been great. Here are the highlights from the report:

  • PA’s annual revenues were down slightly since 2021 and down significantly since 2019, landing at 386B KRW (just under $300M US). While it ended the year with its largest revenue quarter of 2022, it was still a 12.5% decrease when compared to Q4 2021. The decline in revenue comes not from the games underperforming so much but from losses owing to PA’s venture capital subsidiary Pearl Abyss Capital.
  • PA counts 1452 employees as of the end of last year, and its founder and chairman Dae-il Kim personally holds 37% of the company’s shares. CCP Games counts 377 employees. Nosy Gamer notes that this is a reduction of 116 workers (7.4%) over the last year.
  • Black Desert counts 50M players across all platforms (20M on PC, 35M on mobile, 4.1M on console) and has raked in $1.6B in sales as of the end of Q4. Even so, the vast majority of revenue for the company comes from PC (77% in Q4).
  • EVE Online counts 40M “cumulative players,” but there’s not much bragging about the game’s revenues otherwise. Readers will recall that back in November, CCP Games was crowing about the game’s daily user counts following a return promotion. The studio also hiked up the game’s subscription and PLEX fees last year. However, its Q4 revenues were tied with its lowest for the year.
  • The EVE Online slide brags about “token preparation (pre-seeding)” in 2021. It’s possible this refers to CCP Games’ NFT-dabbling in 2021. A year ago, PA began talking up the blockchain, and though it denied plans to implement it for Black Desert, it was mum on EVE Online. The players weren’t, however, and last year they put such pressure on CCP that the studio was forced to back down on whatever blockchain/NFT plans it had brewing.
  • The company still lists Crimson Desert, DokeV, and Plan8 on its “growth strategy” docket. Crimson Desert, which was originally supposed to launch at the end of 2021 but was delayed indefinitely, still has a “TBA” for its schedule, though the company is apparently aiming for the second half of this year, with DokeV to follow only after that; PA still appears to be waffling on multiplayer for this game, and it still hasn’t pinned down a business model.
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