The First Developers’ Conference of Pearl Abyss and the story of Black Desert

Make the game fun.

This is what Dae-il Kim, the chairperson of Pearl Abyss, told the developers to do when the company was developing Black Desert Online. This simple and straightforward statement became the basis of the game that is now a global success. Black Desert Online has been translated into 12 languages, and is being played in 150 countries.

On June 13th, Pearl Abyss had its first developer’s conference at Regal L.A. Live Stadium, Los Angeles. The conference, titled “Into the Abyss”, was held for an hour and featured a congratulatory speech from Microsoft and Samsung, a demo video of Black Desert Xbox, an introduction to Minh Le, who will be the core developer of Pearl Abyss’ new game, and a Q&A session with the devs of Black Desert Online.

A lot of people came to the conference to try Black Desert Xbox, watch the videos that Pearl Abyss had prepared, and participate in the Q&A session with the devs. Below are the photos taken at Pearl Abyss’ conference at E3 2018 along with the Q&A with the devs.


▲ Pearl Abyss' first developers' conference.
▲ The audience playing Black Desert Xbox.
▲ The demo play of Black Desert Mobile was also available.
▲ Cosplay of Warrior and Ranger.
▲ Black Spirit goody bags.
▲ These were inside the Black Spirit goody bag.
▲ Black Spirit statue
▲ Black Spirit eye mask
▲ The conference was held for an hour.
▲ The beta test of Black Desert Xbox starts this fall.
▲ Q&A session with the Black Desert Online players. 


A lot of people came to the conference to try Black Desert Xbox, watch the videos that Pearl Abyss had prepared, and participate in the Q&A session with the devs. Below are the photos taken at Pearl Abyss’ conference at E3 2018 along with the Q&A with the devs.

The Q&A session cleared up the questions that the players had for the games; players were curious about why Black Desert Online does not have instance dungeons, if there would be any other games that will share the Black Desert universe, and what hardships the devs faced while developing Black Desert on different platforms.


What answers did the devs give us? Let us hear from Gwang-sam Kim, the head of the game design strategy department, Young-chul Ham, the head of the business department, and Jae-hee Kim, the lead producer of Black Desert Online.


Q. How come there are no instance dungeons in BDO?

We actually had hundreds of instance dungeons when we were first developing BDO. However, as we went on with the development, we realized that instance dungeons don’t really fit BDO. We decided to remove instance dungeons and then started the CBT.

As a developer, removing content that I spent a lot of time on was not an easy choice. But we wanted BDO to be a game where you can adventure through beautiful surroundings and hidden caves, rather than playing instance dungeons.

The same idea goes for raids. A raid is an excellent experience where players with the same goal gather up and challenge something with a well-planned strategy. Unfortunately, it was not easy to have a raid in BDO so we focused on creating content that fits the game better. But we are always taking on new challenges, so maybe one day we can create instance dungeons or raids that blend in well with the game.

Q. Will there be any new games that share the same universe as BDO?

We are trying to develop different games that use the Black Desert universe and we are actually working on a project. We have not shown everything about the big Black Desert universe, and we have a lot more to show you.

Q. For Black Desert games, will different platforms be able to share the same server?

Unfortunately, there will be no shared server between the PC version and the Xbox version. We have the technology for a shared server, but there are some clear differences between the PC version and Xbox version, so we decided not to merge the two versions.

Q. Black Desert Mobile is currently out in Korea. When will it be available in North America?

We believe that the actual number of players is more important than the Google Play or App Store rankings. With that being said, Black Desert Mobile is one of the best mobile games in Korea. We are planning to launch Black Desert Mobile in North America early next year. I hope you all look forward to it.

Q. Will we be able to create more “American-looking” characters in the mobile version?

Black Desert Online and Black Desert Mobile have the best character customization system and you can create almost anybody. You can make your character look like Bangtan, Psy, or any American celebrities. There won’t be any problems creating a character that has the look that you like.

Q. What was the hardest part when developing Black Desert Online, and how did you overcome the hardships?

All of the devs have their own ideas and opinions when it comes to making games, so coming to an agreement was the hardest part. We had to create different content and systems that would blend well with the game, and everyone was talking about the games they want and the games they like. As a lead producer, I talked to each one of them and listened to their honest thoughts as a developer and as a gamer.

For example, the decision to not have instance dungeons was agreed upon after a long debate. I think it was an important milestone that set the course of the Black Desert games.

Other things that were difficult tasks for us were the balance between making the game more convenient and making the game more engaging by adding more realism, and rebuilding the update process to prevent us from repeating the same mistakes again.

Q. What was the hardest part of developing the new UI for the mobile version and the console version?

Black Desert Online was designed to use a keyboard and a mouse. In other words, PC players can use many keyboard buttons when playing the game. But you can only use one controller when playing on a console. We can still make same commands available on a controller, but it will make the controls complicated and we thought the players would not want that.

We had to redesign the UI, and it was a hard task. We will continuously work on improving the controller UI.

Designing the new UI for the mobile version was not easy either. Mobile devices have small screens, and cannot run the game like other devices do. When we launched the very first version of Black Desert Mobile, the game was a heavy 7G and had a complex UI. We tried to simplify the game, so now the game is only 3G and the UI has become much simpler.

Q. Will we be able to play Black Desert on other console devices, like the PS4?

We are working on other platforms as well, since all platforms have their own advantages and are appealing. We will try to make Black Desert playable on all types of platforms.

Q. When will the full version of Black Desert Xbox be released?

The beta version will be available this coming fall. Unfortunately, we cannot give you the exact date for the full version. The development is not complete yet, but it won’t take long. We will release the full version as soon as possible after the beta test period is over.

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Comments :7

  • 1

    level 1 Anex

    and where are all question that comunity have to devs that was gathered on reddit / inven and other official forums ???

  • 0

    level 1 That_AussieGirl


    Very poor interview. Extremely disappointed. Are you guys getting paid by Pearl Abyss now?
    • -2

      level 1 I_hate_you



    • 1

      level 1 Venoxium


      @I_hate_you I don't understand where you get that information from. Inven does not work for PA. Inven is a forum site here in Korea. Like this ( for black desert or this ( for Archage. They have in no way said/have been linked to any game company financially.

  • 1

    level 2 thinkcontrol


    Why are there so few quality of life changes? Lots of idiots are banned because they can't be bothered to click some buttons, so they use unauthorized software to automate a process like feeding workers or amity mini games. Why do exploiters get a free pass if they only gained very little; they should be banned the same as hackers who were curious enough to try for one minute or so. Why does Warrior no longer have protected engages? Give Warrior damage buffs if you continue to gut his already slow mobility playstyle. 
    • 1

      level 1 Venoxium


      That question is interesting but all over the place. I agree that there should be more done like automatically feeding workers. Exploiters who use an autoclicker to feed their workers and stuff like that is very hard to detect because in order for them to know all the software that you currently have open they'd need to be able to access your current tasks which would probably be a breach of privacy. The Warrior changes are apart of the large-scale PvP balancing. Keep in mind classes are mostly balanced towards Node Wars and not towards 1v1 fights. As PA has said, they'll be focusing on one class at a time, maybe next update will be the Warrior update, who knows.

  • 0

    level 1 Harry_Wilson

    Blatant lies about character customization, when they intentionally lock body sliders on characters at least since mystic. The instanced dungeon excuse was weak, as hystria/aakman may as well already be dungeons..same with savage rift. Just say you don't want instanced dungeons instead of making up excuses that aren't true. I personally don't want instanced stuff, but just be straightforward for once.

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