Pearl Abyss CEO Robin Jung added: 'We are thrilled to have CCP Games join our team as Black Desert Online continues to branch out globally. CCP is a seasoned publisher with over 15 years of.
Charismatic Icelandic developer CCP, maker of Eve Online, has been acquired by the South Korean maker of Black Desert Online, Pearl Abyss, in a deal reportedly worth $425m.
- As for Pearl Abyss not having any impact on this, that’s pretty bogus as we all saw the fact they got CCP for 225m instead of 400m+ because of how badly CCP performed. Trying to expand monetization methods may not have been a directive from Pearl Abyss but implying they had nothing to do with it is a bit disingenuous.
- Pearl Abyss is a great home for CCP Games. As a nerdy Korean MMO maker, Pearl Abyss’ company culture is very similar to that of CCP’s; our two companies share similar DNA and there is an appreciable cultural fit for sure. Like CCP, Pearl Abyss also have an incredible passion for creating virtual worlds, and their mission is to create the.
CCP will operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary across studios in Reykjavik (HQ), London and Shanghai, ensuring it will 'continue to be free to do what we do best', wrote CCP boss Hilmar Veigar Pétursson in a letter to the Eve Online community. 'But now we'll have the support of another tried and tested developer that's proven their own mettle in the complex and challenging field of creating and maintaining virtual worlds.'
'As a nerdy Korean MMO maker, Pearl Abyss' company culture is very similar to that of CCP's..' -Hilmar Veigar Pétursson
Pétursson continued: 'Right now, CCP is owned by a group of three big financial investors. They have been with us on this journey for over a decade with all our ups and downs and, as is the business of financial investors, selling their shares at some point is part of the plan. Being acquired by Pearl Abyss means that we will be bringing a video games company on board as well as a new long-term home for CCP. This will be important for the years to come as partnering up with another MMO developer means that we have an even greater shared depth of experience to pull from and can tackle even more (and bigger) long-term mutual goals.' Not to mention more money.
'Pearl Abyss is a great home for CCP Games,' he added. 'As a nerdy Korean MMO maker, Pearl Abyss' company culture is very similar to that of CCP's; our two companies share similar DNA and there is an appreciable cultural fit for sure. Like CCP, Pearl Abyss also have an incredible passion for creating virtual worlds, and their mission is to create the best MMOs in the world. I can think of no other game developer whose aspirations align more perfectly with our own, and we're very excited to see what our joint future holds.
'I've spoken many times at FanFest (and last year at my first Eve Vegas too) about my firm belief that New Eden will outlive us all. This decision for CCP is the next logical step on that journey and will ensure Eve really is forever.'
It follows a period of things not quite working out for CCP. The company bet on the first wave of virtual reality after an Eve-inspired dogfighting spin-off struck a chord at an Eve FanFest convention years ago. CCP opened a studio in Newcastle to turn the demo into Eve Valkyrie, then opened a studio in Atlanta to make another VR game called Sparc, a multiplayer hit-discs-at-each-other sports game. But VR failing to break out of a wealthy niche meant CCP didn't see return on investment and the company was forced to ditch VR in 2017, and close the Atlanta studio and sell CCP Newcastle to Sumo Digital.
Really, CCP has struggled to find anything to follow Eve Online, which isn't to say Eve Online hasn't been a great success. Launched in 2003, it's still going strong today, although Eve Online's heydays of headline-grabbing politicking and super-battles seem to be behind it.
There were forays into console development with DUST 514, an ambitious multiplayer shooter linked with the Eve Online universe, made by the Shanghai studio, but it failed to find much of an audience and was closed in 2015.
There have been efforts to fulfil this DUST 514 vision on the much freer and more powerful PC platform, but nothing ever seems to materialise. In 2014, CCP announced Project Legion, which presumably went on to become Project Nova, the shooter CCP still has in development, albeit now in cooperation with developer Sumo. In addition to Nova, CCP London is also working on an Unreal Engine 4-powered action MMO, although we don't know for which platforms nor when it will be out. We don't really know anything about it, nor about Nova.
CCP dabbled with a World of Darkness MMO for a number of years, too, but eventually cancelled plans and offloaded the White Wolf licence to Paradox in 2015.
Was CCP struggling before Pearl Abyss came along then? Perhaps, although $425m suggests otherwise, and Pétursson told VentureBeat CCP had $40m sat in the bank before Pearl Abyss came along (the deal is expected to close in October). Still, it's a surprise to see the stalwart, 21-year-old Eve developer bought by relative upstart Pearl Abyss, a company which has only made one game - not least because the Icelandic developer and its raucous Eve FanFest events exude independence.
But Pearl Abyss is evidently rolling in it. Black Desert Online's rise has been meteoric since its Korean launch in 2014, and European and American launch in 2016, and there are apparently more than 10 million people now registered to play - and as a buy-to-play game presumably a large portion of those have paid £8 or spent money in the game. Black Desert Online is good fun too, as I discovered a couple of years ago - and console and mobile versions are planned for release this year.
Whether there are other more private reasons behind the buyout I don't know, but there's no denying the financial clout and Eastern online expertise of Pearl Abyss will help CCP realise Project Nova and the action MMO as well as spread Eve Online further around the world. I expect Pearl Abyss will learn a great deal in return too. Whether Pearl Abyss will ever dare interfere beyond that, we'll have to wait and see.
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Pearl Abyss, the maker of Black Desert Online, has agreed to buy Eve Online maker CCP for $425 million. The move is a big expansion into the West for the South Korean maker of online role-playing games.
The acquisition of Iceland-based CCP sheds light on Pearl Abyss, which isn’t well known on a global scale yet has more than 9.5 million registered players for Black Desert Online, many of whom have surged back since the launch of the MMORPG’s Remastered campaign in late August.
The deal shows the massive capital advantage that Asian game companies have when it comes to acquisitions, as their big online gaming player bases and confident investors enable them to amass a lot of money to acquire Western game companies.
But Pearl Abyss CEO Robin Jung said in an email interview with GamesBeat that CCP’s dedicated fans have nothing to worry about. No changes are coming at CCP and in its flagship game. The deal closes October 12, but Jung, 38, answered a variety of our questions related to the deal.
Here’s an edited transcript of the interview.
GamesBeat: What’s Pearl Abyss’s history? When was it founded? How many employees does it have? What is its annual revenues?
Robin Jung: Pearl Abyss was founded in 2010 by our current chairman and development director, Daeil Kim, who is behind the creation of the open-world MMORPG Black Desert Online. After an open beta test in 2014, Black Desert Online launched the following year in Korea, Japan, and Russia, followed by North America and Europe in 2016. Today, more than 10 million users in 150 countries play the game in 12 different languages.
We have also evolved as a game development studio and publisher, with more than 500 employees across the globe. In 2017, our annual revenue totaled $105.7 million, up 90.26 percent from a year earlier, and following the Korean launch of Black Desert Mobile earlier this year, we achieved record-high sales of $169.6 million in the first half of 2018, a 190 percent increase from a year earlier. Going forward, we hope to see further growth with the addition of competitive IPs, such as Eve Online, the upcoming global launch of Black Desert Mobile, and other new projects that are currently under development.
GamesBeat: Why do you want to acquire CCP?
Jung: The video games industry is becoming more competitive over obtaining strong IPs. We knew that in order to continue growing, we would need more IPs than Black Desert alone, and that’s why we made the decision to take the company public and raise additional capital to acquire promising IP and talent.
CCP Games was founded in 1997 and is best known as the developer and publisher of the hit spaceship [massively multiplayer online role-playing game] MMORPG Eve Online. We found the company appealing for many reasons, one of them being that Eve Online is a long-running MMORPG with a strong core player base, much like Black Desert Online. I feel that we share common DNA as game developers who create top-quality MMOs, and together will be able to build upon our strengths to take us to the next level.
Moreover, the global trend of the video games industry is to expand beyond PCs into mobile and console platforms. El dios que te sana la. Cross-platform games are already the norm in Asia, and North America and Europe are following on the same path. Based on these market trends, we became certain of the future growth potential of competitive IPs, and thus made the decision to acquire CCP’s Eve Universe.
GamesBeat: What is attractive about it? Is it the online games like Eve Online or its experimentation with VR, for example?
Jung: CCP’s greatest strength is undoubtedly Eve Online. We know it’s not easy to develop a hit game and maintain it for over 15 years, but CCP has done just that and continues to excel.
We are also impressed by how CCP continually takes on new, experimental projects such as VR games, as well as the company’s culture that encourages development of the highest quality games.
Finally, CCP has done an incredible job of engaging and maintaining its community of players, which we will learn a lot from and hope to integrate natively into Pearl Abyss’ general practices across all of our games moving forward.
Above: Black Desert Online
GamesBeat: How many employees are you picking up with CCP? Will there be any layoffs?
Jung: CCP Games will operate as an independent studio. We currently have no plans to restructure the company in any way.
GamesBeat: How will the two companies work together?
Jung: As of right now, CCP Games will operate independently as a development studio. We plan to communicate over time how both companies will be managed as we find efficiencies and determine what works best for everyone. In the long run, we are considering the joint development of new games.
GamesBeat: What’s your vision for the future of CCP?
Jung: First, we plan to support the long-running success of Eve Online and maintain its position as one of the leading sci-fi IPs in the world. We also hope to further our market growth with Eve Online, plans for which we’re not yet ready to announce. Down the line, we are looking to integrate CCP’s extensive development and publishing know-how into the creation of our pipeline of original IP.
GamesBeat: How will CCP’s publishing staff work with Pearl Abyss’?
Jung: Our current plan is to have CCP continue operating independently from Pearl Abyss, but our aim is to open lines of communication between the two teams that will have us learning from each other. At some point in the future, our hope is to more closely align the teams to capitalize on each other’s strengths and successfully collaborate to take our games to new players around the world.
GamesBeat: Why do you think that Black Desert Online has done so well?
Jung: I think Black Desert Online has been successful for a number of reasons, but mainly due to the quality of the IP as well as the direction we’ve chosen to take as a company.
Back in 2010 when Daeil founded Pearl Abyss, the goal was to make the best MMORPG available that anyone can enjoy. As a result, the game’s content is expansive, from action-based combat and raids to free-roaming and exploration, and our players have built a life in the open world of Black Desert. That’s why we have such a diverse group of core players. The game has also received critical acclaim for the quality of its graphics and hyper-customization system in particular, which are major factors towards the game’s lifelike and immersive nature.
Not only that, we devote a great deal of manpower and resources to bringing players fast and frequent updates.
Above: Robin Jung next to a poster of Black Desert Online.
GamesBeat: Does it share some characteristics with EVE Online, or are the games very different?
Jung: Eve Online and Black Desert Online share many of the same characteristics, and that’s one of the reasons why we became interested in CCP in the first place.
The two are open-world MMORPGs that boast extraordinarily extensive content with non-linear storylines, critical to the long-running success of both IPs. Both games are also very community oriented, centering around a group of long-time players.
Pearl Abyss Ccps
CCP and Pearl Abyss also approach the development and maintenance of our games with a similar mindset. Our teams are never satisfied, we’re obsessed with constantly pushing the envelope and taking on new challenges.
GamesBeat: Have you already learned some insights from the Eve Online team that could be useful in Black Desert Online? If so, what’s an example?
Jung: For both Black Desert Online and Eve Online, strong player community is key to the game’s long running success. I believe CCP has been doing a great job at communicating with Eve players, listening to them, and even trying to work together with them to deliver the best experience in the game.
I visited the Eve Fanfest this year for its 15-year anniversary, which I heard was one of the largest Fanfests the company has ever experienced. I witnessed firsthand the passion of the Eve community and how CCP engages their players to make a better game. It was impressive, and something we aim to learn a great deal from.
Pearl Abyss Bought Ccp
Above: Black Desert Online
GamesBeat: Black Desert Online Remastered has done well. What explains how well it has done at getting players to return and attract new players?
Pearl Abyss + Ccp
Jung: Black Desert: Remastered is really an extension of what our team does every day — to continue improving what we built yesterday. The remaster honed in on the game’s graphics and audio to give players an even more immersive and lifelike experience.
For the graphics, it was all about applying the latest technologies and methods to emulate what the naked eye sees in real life, in terms of lighting, shadows, expressing textures and more. We added and upgraded the majority of our graphics with new techniques, such as physically based rendering, advanced post-processing, image-based lighting, etc.
The audio team was given a lot of autonomy to experiment with new sounds and apply a whole new depth to the game. Our audio director, Hwiman “Croove” Ryu, wrote 100 original songs, just for the remaster, and worked with renowned orchestras from all over the world. What resulted from the long-term project are impressive, standalone soundtracks that I believe many — not only gamers — will appreciate.
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