Black Desert Online Developer Sees MMO Market Split In Two

It's all about what you're willing to pay.

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MMO games have changed considerably over the last decade, with many moving to a free-to-play model in place of subscriptions or premium purchases. However, not every MMO has needed to adopt this model, and according to Jeonghee Jin, CEO of Black Desert Online developer Pearl Abyss America, the genre is moving in two distinct directions.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Jin said there are different types of experiences players crave, ranging from the more modern games with unprecedented freedom to old-school games like Runescape that provide more basic and nostalgic experiences.

Because of the ongoing nature of live-service games, that meant continuous improvements for Pearl Abyss' Black Desert Online in order for it to succeed. Developing its own engine and making technological overhauls to the game improved it over time, and mobile players can even get into the universe with Black Desert Online Mobile.

More recently, Black Desert Online leaned into modern industry trends by announcing cross-play support for PS4 and Xbox One. With frequent updates and a more unified community, Pearl Abyss is certainly making the case for players to buy the game and make it their hobby, but it knows it isn't right for everyone. Simpler MMO games will continue to serve a different audience as long as players stay interested.

"You just have to have players evaluate whenever they have to pay," Jin added.

Black Desert Online is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Black Desert Online Mobile is free-to-play and available on iOS and Android.

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