Black Desert Online

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Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online Logo (En).png
Developer(s)Pearl Abyss
Publisher(s)Kakao Games
GameOn (Japan)
Pearl Abyss (Russia)
Pearl Abyss Taiwan (Taiwan)
Red Fox Games (South America)
Pearl Abyss MEA (MENA)
Director(s)Wang Lin
Artist(s)Seo Yongsu
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Xbox One
PlayStation 4[1][2]
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • KOR: 14 July 2015
  • RU: 12 October 2015
  • NA: 3 March 2016
  • EU: 3 March 2016
  • TWN: January 2017
  • SA: 12 July 2017
  • MENA: 6 December 2017
  • SEA: 17 January 2018
Xbox One
  • WW: 4 March 2019
  • WW: TBA

Black Desert Online[a] (Korean: 검은사막) is a sandbox-oriented massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss.[3][4] The game has been in development since 2010, and entered closed beta testing (CBT) in October 2013.[5][6][7][8] Black Desert Online uses Pearl Abyss' own "Black Desert" engine specifically created to handle the fast rendering required for its seamless world and large-scale castle sieges.[9][10] It was released in Korea, Japan and Russia in 2015, North America and Europe in 2016, South America, Turkey, Middle-East North Africa (MENA) in 2017 and South East Asia in 2018. Black Desert Online uses a free-to-play model in Korea, Japan and Russia,[3][11][12] while in Taiwan, South East Asia, Europe, North America and South America the game uses a buy-to-play model.[13]


The combat in Black Desert Online is action based, requiring manual aiming similar to those found in third-person shooters. Skills can be activated through use of combos for attacking, dodging or blocking. The game offers housing, fishing, farming, and trading,[14] as well as large player versus player (PvP) siege, and castle battles.[15]

The game includes a number of features to assist with immersion and the sandbox aspect. These include:

  • A dynamic, worldwide weather system which will include large-scale events such as typhoons and will influence gameplay.[16] Localized weather will include events such as temporary fog which players may exploit to launch surprise attacks on rival guild structures.[17]
  • A dynamic day/night cycle with a gradual progression of lighting effects. During the night some NPCs will become unavailable as they return home and the monsters will drop more loot. Different game content will be available depending upon whether it is night or day.[18][19]
  • Player housing will be instanced and will vary in size and location. Players will be able to furnish and equip their housing by purchasing furniture through NPCs or through crafting.[20][21]
  • An active combat system requiring precise manual aiming, dodging & comboing, unlike the tab-targeting system seen in older MMORPGs.
  • Players will be able to engage in mounted combat.[22][23] Mounts are acquired by taming in the wild and players are able to breed special mounts by mating certain types.[24] Mounts require feeding and care, cannot be stored in the inventory, and may be killed.[25]


Black Desert Online takes place in a high fantasy setting and revolves around the conflict between two rival nations, the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia.[10] Calpheon is very materialistic whereas Valencia is very spiritual.

Long before Black Desert Online starts, the four main areas, Calpheon, Serendia, Balenos, and Mediah, are at peace. This all changes when merchants from Valencia, an area east of Mediah that controls trade, starts to spread the Black Plague. Many people from around the world die due to this sickness. If people don't die they sometimes get expelled due to paranoia. Eventually, the three main areas realize the enemy, Valencia. The three regions make an alliance and start a war. The war lasts 30 years and Mediah profits the most. This is because Mediah, during the war, harvests black stones and trades with everyone. After the war, the alliance slowly starts to trade with Valencia again. Tensions rise again when the others discover the importance of black stones. Desperate to gain wealth, the others start to search for black stones. Calpheon has no area that harbors the precious black stones and because of this they start to steal from others. This raises conflicts with Valencia due to Valencia's vast Black Desert that holds the black stones.[26]


Pearl Abyss was founded in September 2010 by Kim Daeil, previously a developer with Hangame and NHN Gaming, and began development of Black Desert Online shortly after.[9][27][28] A custom engine was developed for a seamless world and that can render a lot of characters very fast and easy."[9]

After agreeing a Japanese publishing deal with GameOn Japan on 8 September 2012 Pearl Abyss began releasing details of the game to the public.[9][29] In November 2012 the game was demonstrated at G-Star.[30] Black Desert Online was also showcased at Gamescom 2013.[16][31]

Closed beta testing was held during October 2013.[32] A second, three week long closed beta test begun in April 2014.[33][34] Open beta was launched in December 2014.[35] The game was released in North America and Europe on 3 March 2016.[36]

Post-launch development[edit]


The Mediah Expansion was released in the North American / European version on 30 March 2016.[37] The Musa and Maehwa classes were release for play on 20 April 2016[38] Mediah Part 2 was released on 4 May 2016.[39] The Valencia I Expansion was released in the North American / European version on 29 June 2016.[40] The Kunoichi and Ninja classes were released for play on 20 July 2016[41]

All expansions and class additions have been free of charge as of 20 July 2016, with no plans of charging for additional future content stated.


At the Taipei Games Show on 20 January 2017, Pearl Abyss stated Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game are in development, and was confirmed again by Pearl Abyss in March.[1][2] The Xbox One version, simply titled Black Desert, was revealed during Microsoft's E3 2017 press conference. It was released in North America and Europe on 4 March 2019.

The Dark Knight class was published in Europe and North America in April 2017.[42]

The Striker class was released in Europe and North America in May 2017.

On 15 August 2017 Pearl Abyss has released an official teaser for Black Desert Mobile.[43]


On 5 April 2018, Pearl Abyss announced that it would be changing service providers on North American servers to improve stability.[44]


On 20 February 2019, changes were made to the Marketplace to create the new Central Market, which features more user friendly ways to buy and sell items from the Marketplace. [45]


Aggregate score
Review scores

Black Desert Online has received generally favorable reviews from critics, currently holding a score of 73/100 on Metacritic[46] and 8.6/10 on[49]

In April 2016, Kakao announced that the game had achieved sales of 400,000 copies in its first month on the European and North American markets, and was showing an average of 100,000 concurrent users.[50][51]

By March 2017, Black Desert Online had 3.4 million registered players in North America and Europe.[52] As of September 2018, the game has over 10 million registered users worldwide.[53]

GameNet license expiration[edit]

In October 2015, Black Desert Online was published and localized in Russia by Cypriot publisher GameNet. This contract expired on October 12, 2018 without an agreement as to account information, including character data. Pearl Abyss has apologized to Russian players and announced they would self-publish in Russia when their own localization efforts were completed. [54]


  1. ^ Known simply as Black Desert on Xbox One


  1. ^ a b De Meo, Francesco (29 March 2017). "Black Desert Online Console Release Being Worked On By Pearl Abyss".
  2. ^ a b "Pearl Abyss on Twitter". 27 March 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b Kain, Erik (25 January 2013). "'Black Desert' Is An Amazing Looking MMORPG, And It Has The Trailer To Prove It,". Forbes. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Black Desert – Potential epic MMO in the making". MMO Culture. 8 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  5. ^ Fuller, Garrett (4 July 2013). "Daeil Kim On What Sets Their Game Apart". Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  6. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (26 September 2013). "Black Desert starts its first closed beta on October 17th". Massively. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Black Desert Reveals PC Requirements for Korean CBT". 8 October 2013. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Black Desert Closed Beta Day 1: Videos, Screenshots & Updates". 17 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d "Black Desert Online Interview". 19 September 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Black Desert – Interview with developer Pearl Abyss". MMO Culture. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Black Desert Online: Overview". February 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  12. ^ "《黑色沙漠》公開新一波遊戲畫面 一展遊戲內生活化的風貌 或開發PS4版本". 23 August 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013. (in Chinese)
  13. ^ "Press Release: Black Desert West will be B2P - Black Desert Action Fantasy MMORPG".
  14. ^ "Black Desert Online: An Oasis For Sandbox MMORPG Lovers". Game Informer. 28 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Top 6 Modern MMOs to Play". GamingRespawn. 11 April 2017.
  16. ^ a b Palumbo, Alessio (28 August 2013). "Black Desert Gameplay and Interview". Worlds Factory. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Black Desert – Closed Beta Videos, Screenshots & Updates Day 4". MMOCast. 20 October 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Black Desert Real Time Weather". 8 October 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  19. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (8 October 2012). "Black Desert shows off time transitions". Massively. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Black Desert Housing System". 24 September 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  21. ^ Reahard, Jef (24 September 2012). "Black Desert's housing system detailed". Massively. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  22. ^ "BLACK DESERT, INTERVISTA ESCLUSIVA". Worldsfactory. 18 April 2013. Archived from the original on 29 April 2013.
  23. ^ Lefebvre, Eliot (18 April 2013). "Black Desert interview talks active combat and the big picture". Massively. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Black Desert Pre-beta Interview with the Producer Kim Daeil". 27 March 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Black Desert: A Revolution in the Making". 13 March 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  26. ^ "Story | Black Desert Fansite". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  27. ^ "从战斗到战争!访《黑色沙漠》开发商CEO". 10 March 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Chinese)
  28. ^ Park, Kyung-Min (13 September 2013). "R2 C9의 김대일 PD, 신규개발사 펄어비스로 컴백". inven. Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Korean)
  29. ^ Yamaguchi, Kazunori (8 September 2012). "最新グラフィックスで描かれる次世代アクションMMORPG「黒い砂漠(仮)」日本独占ライセンス契約調印式詳報". Retrieved 19 October 2013. (in Japanese)
  30. ^ "[G*Star 2012] Black Desert – Preparing to launch next year". MMO Culture. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  31. ^ Guthrie, M.J. (27 August 2013). "Black Desert Gamescom video shows 22 minutes of gameplay". Massively. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  32. ^ "Black Desert First CBT Coming, CBT Application Page Released". 12 September 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  33. ^ "Black Desert Second Closed Beta Lasts for about Three Weeks". 2p. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  34. ^ Reahard, Jef (21 March 2014). "Black Desert ramping up beta testing". Massively. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  35. ^ "Everything You Need to Know about Black Desert So Far". 2p. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  36. ^ "Black Desert Online important pre-launch info". Black Desert Online. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  37. ^ "[Ended] Regular Maintenance".
  38. ^ "Musa and Maehwa classes available after today's maintenance".
  39. ^ "Shiver Me Timbers! Black Desert Online Reels In Pirate-Themed Mediah Part Two Update".
  40. ^ "Valencia Part One Expansion Out".
  41. ^ "Black Desert Online Welcomes the Ninja and Kunoichi Classes July 20".
  42. ^ "Black Desert Online: Dark Knight Awakening Coming Next Week to NA and EU". 2P. 6 April 2017.
  43. ^ "Black Desert Mobile: Watch the First Gameplay Trailer". 2P. 16 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Announcement: Server Provider Change". 5 April 2018.
  45. ^ "Patch Notes - 20th February 2019". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  46. ^ a b "Black Desert Online for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  47. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (1 April 2016). "Black Desert Online Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  48. ^ Johnson, Leif (16 March 2016). "Black Desert Online Review". IGN. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  49. ^ "Black Desert Online". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  50. ^ "Black Desert Online Sells 400.000 Copies in its First Month". develop. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  51. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (5 April 2016). "Black Desert Online sold 400,000 copies its first month in the west". VG24/7. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  52. ^ "Black Desert Has 3.4 Million Players in NA and EU Servers". 2P. 3 March 2017.
  53. ^ "Black Desert Online Celebrates 10 Million Registered Users Worldwide". Gamasutra. 5 September 2018.
  54. ^ "Information on future plans for the development of the Black Desert Russia service". 13 October 2018.

External links[edit]