Pearl Abyss cover

More players for Black Desert, more sales for Pearl Abyss

Thanks in part to the redesign of the playable classes in Black Desert Online, the number of players in the MMO is increasing and Pearl Abyss is showing growing results. The developer is nevertheless focusing on DokeV and Crimson Desert.

Pearl Abyss profitsThe Pearl Abyss studio recently published its accounts for the fourth quarter of 2021 and the South Korean group claims that its results are on the rise. Between October and December, Pearl Abyss generated a turnover of 118 billion won (87.3 million euros), up 11.7% compared to the same quarter a year earlier. The studio also posted an operating profit of 25.7 billion won (19 million euros), up 28.5% in one year, for a net profit of 10.8 billion won (7.9 million euros).

The results of the South Korean group are the result of various factors: the exploitation of its licenses is relatively stable (Black Desert has generated a little less than 50 million euros over the quarter and EVE Online about 13.6 million) and the expenses of the group are increasing due to new hires (Pearl Abyss had 1572 employees at the end of last year, 364 more than a year earlier). However, the group balances its accounts thanks to its financial activities and purchases/sales of third party studios.

Pearl Abyss rolled out its redesign of the playable classes of Black Desert last December, resulting in a +165% increase in the number of players in Korea and +230% in the West – as usual, the studio communicates on the increase in the number of players, but does not provide raw figures. The increase in the number of players is therefore not reflected in the results of the fourth quarter of 2021, but according to the studio, the MMO’s turnover for the first quarter of 2022 should therefore be in line with the previous ones, or even be on the rise.

Black Desert Online gameplay 2Pearl Abyss’ teams are obviously looking ahead. The studio is about to launch Black Desert Mobile in China and expects strong economic benefits from it, and in the medium term, the studio is also working on its next titles, especially DokeV and Crimson Desert – these are the two games that motivated the numerous recruitments of the last months, along with the development of the Black Space engine (the latest version of Pearl Abyss’ internal engine).

Black Desert Online gameplayWe also know the current craze of Asian developers for Play-to-Earn mechanics and NFT. What about Pearl Abyss’ plans in this area? The group is still evasive, but indicates that it is interested in the subject and obviously more on a technical level than an economic one. The Black Space Engine is designed for game applications (to be used as a game engine for the next titles of the studio) but also for more diverse applications that can be used in metavers.

Concretely, the engine should allow to easily design applications allowing to work online (like virtual offices for example) or to share sports or cultural events. We know for example that the universe of DokeV could be used as a framework to broadcast concerts online. At this stage, Pearl Abyss does not say more and underlines that its current priority is to launch its next games.

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