Not so long ago, it became known that Crimson Desert is no longer a game in the MMORPG genre but belongs to an open-world Action RPG. There were prerequisites for this before – take at least a sudden change in social networks’ description. However, at the presentation of The Game Awards 2020, everything became clear. You can read about the true reasons for the change in the genre in a separate interview.
Recently, overseas portal MMOCulture.com also spoke with the developers and learned new details about the game, including modes, platforms, open world, and gameplay.
Q: 2020 was a tough year for everyone and the entire industry. How has the pandemic affected Pearl Abyss’s schedule, and how has the company adapted?
A: With the spread of COVID-19, there have been many changes in the gaming industry. For example, due to the cancellation of offline events, the ability to communicate directly with our users was limited. However, we have scheduled events to communicate with even more users through online broadcasts. We invited people from all over the world to live events that were traditionally held on offline sites.
This allowed us to continue our communication systematically, using subtitles and simultaneous translation into various languages. We are currently working from home for our safety. For some employees who have to be in the office, we do our best to follow the quarantine guidelines, such as installing a sterilizer and thermal detection chamber at the office entrance.
Q: Few are aware of the new Pearl Abyss headquarters currently under construction. Please tell us more about it and how it will help the company move forward.
A: Pearl Abyss has grown in size as a company through continued growth in its staff. Intending to relocate in the first half of 2022, a new office building is currently under construction in Gwacheon, which is expected to accommodate around 1,600 employees. In line with our corporate philosophy of “We do our best and provide the best rewards,” various facilities such as a fitness center, a kindergarten, and an e-library will be built to improve employee well-being and performance. The new building will provide better conditions for the development and maintenance of various projects in the future.
Q: What can we expect from Pearl Abyss in terms of overseas expansion in 2021?
A: Pearl Abyss is currently bringing Black Desert on all platforms to 40 million people in 150 countries, and we continue to expand in overseas markets by self-publishing our games. From February this year, we plan to distribute the Black Desert in North America and Europe directly. We’re also looking to release Crimson Desert globally in the fourth quarter of this year.
Q: Obviously, Crimson Desert is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But what about the next generation of consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X? Will there be another version taking advantage of the higher capacities?
A: Crimson Desert will support next-generation consoles such as PS5 and Xbox Series X. Besides, we are committed to providing users with the ability to play on as many platforms as possible.
Q: Crimson Desert is built on an updated version of the Black Desert engine. Are there any concerns that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will not handle the game?
A: Crimson Desert is not being developed on an updated version of the Black Desert engine but a completely new generation engine. Pearl Abyss has many years of experience developing and optimizing our proprietary engine. We will do our best to ensure that users can enjoy Crimson Desert on a range of devices, including next-generation consoles.
Singleplayer and multiplayer
Q: From the previous article, we realized that Crimson Desert is now a single-player project with online multiplayer mode. Are there other games using the same system that players are familiar with?
A: When it comes to single and multiplayer modes, it’s hard to talk about other games using the same system as Crimson Desert. Internally, we believe that Crimson Desert is a genre of its own. There are no separate modes for single-player and multiplayer in the game – rather, they are organically linked, providing a unique gaming experience. However, if you only want to play one of them, then this is not a problem.
Q: Crimson Desert can no longer be considered a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game in terms of genre?
A: This is not a traditional MMORPG, but rather an open-world action-adventure game based on a story-driven single-player campaign. There is also a multiplayer mode, and the player will find that both singleplayer and multiplayer are intertwined. Previously, Crimson Desert was introduced as an MMORPG, but the genre has changed to represent better the plot, story, and action we’re aiming for.
Q: Is cross-play considered for multiplayer mode?
A: We cannot comment on cross-platform support at this stage of development, but this is certainly the direction that we are considering to enjoy the game on various platforms for as many users as possible.
Q: It was mentioned that participation in the multiplayer mode is optional. Does this mean that there is no multiplayer exclusive content in Crimson Desert?
A: There will be no exclusively multiplayer content. The gameplay is based on a single-player game that is organically linked to multiplayer. This allows users to play in the style of their choice.
Q: In the trailer, we saw a scene similar to the siege of a castle. Does this mean that players will be able to experience some of the traditional MMORPG gaming experiences?
A: Despite a siege’s presence, players will find that it differs from existing RvR sieges. We are preparing various PvP content and large-scale battles, such as the siege shown in our gameplay trailer. However, it is too early to comment on the scale of contributors for such content as it is still in development.
Q: The Crimson Desert protagonist is McDuff, and we’ve already seen him in several trailers and promo materials. One thing that surprised us was its consistent appearance across all materials. Are there any ways to customize his appearance and change his outfit?
A: McDuff’s cosmetic appearance changes depending on the gear, but his face is not adjusted to make the story flow more naturally. However, you can create a separate character in Another Journey (provisional title). Its appearance is allowed to be customized using the advanced Pearl Abyss customization system.
Q: Regarding the puzzles, riddles, and challenges scattered around the world of Crimson Desert, will they scare away less experienced players?
A: We do a lot of research to quickly adapt and enjoy the game even though users with little experience can quickly adapt. The deeper you delve into the world of Crimson Desert, the easier and more accessible it becomes, providing an exciting adventure for all players, regardless of their experience.
Q: How did the idea to combine wrestling and taekwondo in the Crimson Desert come about? And are they sports in the Pywel world?
A: We are sure that everyone once played slot machines. We get a lot of ideas from these games and do a lot of research. The weapon is also part of the Crimson Desert, but with tag-and-play elements. When it came to fighting mercenaries, we thought about what features would be needed and designed them accordingly. Taekwondo kicks are captured through motion capture by a student of a real national taekwondo athlete, and wrestling animations are taken from a real wrestler. In the gameplay trailer, you can see mercenaries fighting with different fighting skills, such as fistfights. However, these disciplines are not recognized as sports in the Pywel world.
Q: The focus seems to be on close combat, whether with weapons or fighting techniques. Will these techniques be effective against large groups of enemies compared to magic AOE spells?
A: They will be effective when you defeat opponents in small battles, different from mass destruction with magic spells. However, you must be careful when using bulk moves as they are resource-intensive in the world of Crimson Desert.
Q: With so many movement mechanics and a large open world to explore, can secret locations be found as you progress through the game?
A: Of course, there are various hidden places to explore and random encounters in the game. The nature of this content will change, but we have tried to make it so that it does not become too confusing for the players.
Q: Since the focus of Crimson Desert is shifting towards the plot, does this mean that the game can actually be played?
A: Despite the single-player ending, players can continue to play through what we call “Another Journey (name subject to change).” This mode can be played at any time without seeing the end of the game, and it is organically connected with the single-player so that players will have the opportunity to enjoy unique gameplay.