Black Desert Interview on Success in the West and Future Plans

Black Desert Interview on Success in the West and Future GTA IV - all characters in the game

On March 3, 2016, Black Desert entered the western market and recently celebrated its 5th anniversary. In honor of this, the editors of the German portal MeinMMO conducted an extensive interview with executive producer Kim Jae Hee. We have selected the most interesting from this article and translated it into Russian for you. And although the interview is dedicated to the Western version, many of the answers may be of interest to players in Russia.

Black Desert Interview on Success in the West and Future GTA IV - all characters in the game

MeinMMO: Black Desert celebrated its 5th anniversary in March 2021. What have you learned in the last 5 years?

Kim Jae Hee: MMORPG is a genre that requires a lot of time and attention. Therefore, the biggest lesson we have learned in the last 5 years is “Never stop.” We would also like to point out that some of our dedicated adventurers have played the game every day for several years. If there were no changes or adjustments in it, then over the years it would probably be bored. Therefore, we have been releasing new updates almost every week for the past 5 years.

We would like to thank our players once again for their valuable input. Thanks for your feedback and support, and we will work hard to make the game better and more fun in return.

MeinMMO: MMORPGs are constantly changing in recent years. Where do you think the MMORPG genre will take in the next 5 years?

Kim Jae Hee: Each genre has its own term. These are trends that we cannot accurately predict. Many players prefer one genre and enjoy games from other genres at the same time.

In 7 years of work, we feel that we have to adhere to the basic rule of the genre, but at the same time we can go beyond it. We’re focusing on what can be done for Black Desert rather than what should be done for an MMORPG, and we’ve learned how to take some aspects of different genres and apply them to the Black Desert franchise.

MeinMMO: What role will Black Desert Online play in the world in 5 years from the MMORPG market?

Kim Jae Hee: Of course, we hope that Black Desert becomes an MMO with its own unique personality and we do our best to make that happen. We envision Black Desert as a game that is so special and so different from other games that you keep playing it or come back after a long hiatus.

We don’t want to waste time on predictions. You just need to devote more time to the feedback from the adventurers. If we do that, Black Desert will be basically the same game, but with brand new features.

Black Desert Interview on Success in the West and Future GTA IV - all characters in the game

MeinMMO: How important is Europe for Black Desert? How many players came from the European region compared to Korea?

Kim Jae Hee: Europe is one of the most important regions for the Black Desert. We recently opened a branch in Europe, and also connected our own server there. The game is also available in French, German and Spanish for European adventurers, and we actively support communities that speak these languages.

I would not compare the performance of Europe and Korea, as all statistics need to be viewed in their own context. However, I can say with confidence that the numbers we receive from the European region are among the most successful in all the regions we serve.

MeinMMO: Can you name one thing that you are really proud of in Black Desert Online and one that you want to improve in the future?

Kim Jae Hee: There are many such moments. We can start with our superb graphics, breathtaking animations, simple controls and fluid graphics. In addition, we have great quality visuals, meticulously refined and updated sound effects, and our unique content such as the lore system and node wars. We can literally talk for a few days about what we are proud of.

We started with 8 classes 5 years ago and now there are 22. We have also added a number of new areas: Media, Valencia, Camasylvia, Drigan, Great Ocean, Port Ratt and Odillita. However, we still see room for improvement. At the moment, we are working on improving the direction of the scenes and making the story more fun.

MeinMMO: In an upcoming update, you’ll add the first open-world dungeon to the game. Why did you decide to host it in the open world and not in an instance?

Kim Jae Hee: We view Black Desert as a living world. We tried the well-known “instance” type of dungeon before Closed Beta, but again, Black Desert is a world where players live together, interact with each other in a single dimension.

Different experiences to share with other adventurers in the same world. It will be an exclusive experience that no other open world RPG has to offer. Overall, while contributing as we develop the game, we are doing our best to expand the world of Black Desert and bring it closer to reality, while opening the doors to many new possibilities.

1619116848 313 Black Desert Interview on Success in the West and Future GTA IV - all characters in the game

MeinMMO: Every year you introduce three to four new classes into the game. The sage was the last 22nd grade. Do you think the classes differ well enough from each other?

Kim Jae Hee: The key point when developing a new character is what concept, what kind of experience or what emotions they have to offer players. We would call this the “unique identity” of each character. While there may be some similar characteristics, each class has its own concept and playstyle in addition to the level of the competitive aspect.

As proof that there really is such variety, all players are fairly evenly distributed across classes. We are carefully researching which action style is best for any new character, especially considering one of the biggest advantages of Black Desert is its versatility in the combat system.

MeinMMO: In February 2021, you started selling Black Desert yourself in the West. What has changed as a result?

Kim Jae Hee: The most important change is that we at Pearl Abyss can now communicate more closely and directly with users. Direct and transparent communication with adventurers is critical to improving service and convenience. Therefore, we hope to be able to offer more attractive and user-friendly services through self-implementation of the project.

MeinMMO: What are the advantages and difficulties of being a publisher in the West yourself?

Kim Jae HeeA: So far, we’ve seen more benefits than challenges. We are now getting significantly more open reviews and if we agree with them, then we immediately start improving. We think this is the biggest advantage of going out to the West on your own.

MeinMMO: In 2019, you brought Black Desert to the console, and this version received content updates very quickly. Do you think the console version will ever reach the same status as the PC version?

Kim Jae Hee: They are almost identical except for some content that has yet to be localized. We strive for global service of the game with a global version, and this is one of the reasons for the fast and constant updates. However, the speed of updates depends on the playstyle in the regions.

We have tried many different ways to add content to the game. For example, they released a new class simultaneously on different platforms. The knowledge that we have accumulated over 7 years in different regions has been transferred to the console version.

MeinMMO: Can players expect cross-platform play between consoles and PC at some point?

Kim Jae Hee: We haven’t thought about it yet. But we always leave options open. Xbox and PS crossplay was also not considered at all, but active suggestions from adventurers ultimately led us to cross-play support.

MeinMMO: We would like to thank Kim Jae Hee for the detailed answers to our questions.

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