Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer of Black Desert, posted its Q2 2018 earnings report this past week, showing both significantly increased revenue and profits over the three-month period. The company showed revenues around $99.8 million for the period, out of which $4.2 million was pure profit.
The Black Desert IP is Pearl Abyss’ bread and butter right now, and the developer is making tons of money not just on the sandbox MMO but the new mobile version that’s starting to roll out. In fact, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are slated to get it at the end of this month, with 1.5 million players registered for the title. Black Desert Mobile will expand to the rest of Southeast Asia by the end of this year and go global in 2019.
Pearl Abyss announced plans to expand its global reach with new offices in Japan and the US, hiring around 187 additional employees to fill demand.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Elsword, EVE Online, Soulworker Online, League of Legends, Realm Royale, Survived By, EverQuest II, Prosperous Universe, Black Desert Mobile, and Star Trek Online, all waiting for you after the break!
We’ve finished rolling out all of our E3 2018 content this year, save a few last stragglers coming this weekend, so now we’ve chosen our favorites out of what we got to see in person and from afar. Read on, then vote for your own best-in-show!
While I’ve had kind words to say about the potential for mobile in the past – particularly MMOARGs – I just haven’t been able to get into mobile MMORPGs. The point of view, the auto-follow, the lack of chat, and a generally cheap feeling leave me feeling a bit ill. However, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on Black Desert Online’s mobile port this year at E3, which might just change my mind.
Now, let me preface this by saying I am not an active player of the PC version of the game, and my brief time with the console version of the game only confirmed to me that Pearl Abyss has competently adapted controls and UI for console, but oddly enough, the work on the mobile client stood out to me as particularly superb. And as Pearl Abyss CEO Kyungin “Robin” Jung told me during our interview, the company is indeed considering porting the title to the Switch. While it sounded interesting (and a bit odd considering Nintendo’s general status as an online-outsider), it wasn’t until I personally played BDM that I seriously started to consider the possibility.
Pearl Abyss’ financial report for the first quarter of 2018 is good news for both the Black Desert franchise and the company. PA, which went public last year, recorded a hefty increase in revenues and profits, thanks largely to the release of Black Desert Mobile in South Korea. The report mentions the console release still slated for this summer, the continuing PvP revamp, and plans for two new characters and “Ramones battle field”. The company is also still working on two new games: MMOFPS Project K and casual mobile MMO Project V.
The investor documents for the previous fiscal year on the whole tout the expansion of the franchise around the globe and into new markets, particularly the mobile sector. North America and Europe continue to dominate sales of the original Black Desert MMORPG in particular, accounting for 56% of the game’s sales (contrast that with NCsoft’s regional report yesterday).
During the call, the executives also noted that Black Desert Mobile is expected to roll out to Taiwan and then South East Asia by fall. Don’t get too excited, though; the game won’t reach western shores until next year.
Does Pearl Abyss have a hit on its hands with Black Desert Mobile? In Korea it appears to be so. The company sent ’round a press release this morning crowing about the game’s successful soft launch in the region.
“In less than a week, Black Desert Mobile has been able to knock most of the top contenders out of the game, reaching the #1 position for Most Popular Game in both the Apple App and Google Play stores in Korea on the very first day,” says the company, calling it a “domestic success” at home in South Korea.
The game is wishlistable in the west on the Google Play Store right now, though everything still looks to be in Korean and none of my devices can grab it without tinkering. The global launch with full English localization is forthcoming. Anybody dived in yet?
Finally, your long nightmare of having moments during the day when you weren’t able to play Black Desert will be over with the launch of Black Desert Mobile on February 28th. Now you can play the game at home, go to work, play it on your phone until your boss fires you, then go back home and play it more there. Everything will be perfect.
Of course, you’ll first have to deal with the fact that the February 28th launch is just for the game in its native South Korea, but what’s moving across the world to another country where you can’t speak the language when it means getting to play the game for a few minutes longer every day?
We don’t have a date yet for the game coming over to local shores, but all things considered it seems like a likely future. For the moment, though, you can watch the trailer below again if you’re curious. Or just start on the paperwork for changing countries, you do you.
Last week, Black Desert
teased its upcoming costume contest, and now we’ve got the full details
. The big prize, of course, is the chance to have your art piece actually turned into real armor and put into the game for everyone to wear – oh, and $10,000 US. Not too shabby, right? Runners-up in each region will take home $3000 apiece.
Kakao notes that designs much “follow the basic aesthetics and theme of the classes” in BDO – “excessively imaginative” concepts, as well as “provocative” and “violent images” will be rejected. Underboobage, again, is clearly welcome.
Submissions run from February 7th to March 5th, with initial screening and voting rounds in all regions running into April. The top winners will be announced on April 11th.
Good luck folks!
has arrived, complete with new guild boss Muskan, a new campsite, and the Call of Moonlight Fragment challenge. As always, my favorite part is actually the most obscure patch note: “Fixed the issue where the camera shook violently when you were the rear passenger on a two-seater horse.”
Meanwhile, who wants to play dress up? Pretty much everyone, right, else you’d not be playing MMOs. Good news, then: BDO is kicking off a new costume contest next week; the western winner will apparently go toe-to-toe with the eastern winner in a showdown for Pearl Abyss, and the winning design will actually be added to the game. Based on the teaser art, we recommend copious underboobage. Underboobage is totally a word.
Curious about the play experience of Black Desert Mobile? The developers have put out a helpful FAQ about the game’s features, mechanical changes, and so forth, starting by assuring players that you’ll have the same range of customization options you’re accustomed to from the PC version of the title. The actual saved character appearance data cannot be transferred to mobile, but the options themselves will be the same. Assuming, of course, that you’re trying to make a Witch, Giant, Ranger, Warrior, or Valkyrie, as those are the five options mobile players will have to start.
The weight system will still be in place in the mobile version, although its implementation will be slightly different (even characters at maximum weight can still participate in battle, for instance), and the marketplace and item enhancement systems will also be making the leap. Players can also log into the game via phone-based accounts or even with temporary guest logins. For all of the answers you could want to know, how down below; there are a lot of answers, even if they might not all be the answers you would like.
Back in September during Pearl Abyss’ IPO press conference, the South Korean company reps let loose with a ton of information about the state of the studio, including the fact that it’s working on four more MMOs. “Two games are in development [and] aim to be released in the second half of 2018,” CEO Kyung In Jung told investors and reporters at the time. “The other two aim to be released in 2019 and 2021. All of them are in progress to be network-based games with high-quality graphics by using the self-developed engine.”
Now we’ve got a tease about two of those. As MMO Culture reports, one of them is a global mobile MMO – and it’s not Black Desert Mobile, as its setting is apparently quite different. It sounds like an all-ages social game rather than a competitive one, with a goal for meeting other users.
When you take such a rich and full-featured MMO sandbox like Black Desert and try to fit it on mobile, it only stands to reason that you are going to have to sacrifice some features to make it work.
Steparu recently took a look at the Korean showcase for Black Desert Mobile, noting that while it had some of the same bells and whistles as its PC counterpart, not everything made the transition.
Players will be exploring the world from an isometric perspective, using tried-and-true mobile techniques like auto-run to facilitate questing. Some of the features that will be present include deep character customization, world bosses, PvP sieges, and life skills.
Black Desert Mobile will come out in Korea in early 2018, followed by a global rollout later that year. Check out the trailer after the break!
We don’t mean to alarm you, dear readers, but even in the upcoming Black Desert Mobile you will be expected to fight things. You cannot just resolve every conflict with harsh language and subsequent apologies. The good news is that you will be fighting things with flashy displays of ultraviolence, as you can see in the newest trailer down below demonstrating the combat on the mobile version.
As the trailer’s not even a full minute long, there’s not a great deal to do beyond gawp at the explosions of particle effects, but it does at least look true to the combat already present in the game (albeit from an isometric viewpoint). Check the trailer out for yourself just below and see if you can spot your favorite class on display making monsters explode.