Back in 2014, I attended ChinaJoy 2014 and managed to have a chat with the Director of Overseas Business of South Korea developer, PearlAbyss. I was lucky enough to find out and report that Daum Games, the gaming arm of Korean giant Daum Communications, will not just be publishing Black Desert in South Korea, but for the Western markets (North America and Europe) as well.
Fast forward a year later, Daum Games Europe is born, and the team is now working to localize Black Desert for the anxious Western gamers. I managed to get hold of Oli, Community Manager of Daum Games Europe, to find out more about the company, and information about the game’s progress. Note that I avoided questions related to in-game content, as Black Desert still being worked on.
Q: Hi Oli, can you please introduce yourself to our readers? I guess they are curious to know more about you!
A: Hello MMO Culture! My name is Olivier but please call me Oli. I recently joined the newly opened Daum Games Europe office. I’m 30 years old and had the opportunity to work on other MMORPGs such as Eve Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic and also DC Universe Online.
Q: How did you land this position with Daum Games Europe?
A: Just like many people following MMO Culture, I heard of Black Desert Online for the first time as I was reading the game press and trying to find out what to play next. Back then, the game wasn’t announced for the EU or US, but I immediately had the feeling that Black Desert Online would raise interest outside of South Korea. Later on, this year, I was looking for a new job opportunity, and considering I also had my eyes on Black Desert Online as a player, I thought about maybe of checking if Daum was hiring. I applied, went for the interviews, and voilà. 🙂
Q: Have you tried Black Desert? What was your first impression of the game?
A: Of course! The first time I played the game was during my first week as I joined Daum Games Europe. Since I joined the company, I spent a lot of time to catch up with the other game versions (Korean and Russian), but I mostly play our internal build, the one EU and NA players will be able to enjoy in the future as this is what truly matters.
Q: Back to the start, when exactly was Daum Games Europe’s first day of operations?
A: Daum Games Europe official first day of operation was in June. However, our headquarter in Korea was already working on the English localization of the game prior to that.
Q: Why did Daum Games decide to set up its Western operations in Europe, and not North America?
A: It’s a bit of a long story, but to keep it simple, the EU market is more favorable to games from Korea or Asia in general. The variety of countries and cultures are also a great opportunity to have more business opportunities. We are looking forward to having players from both continents discovering and experiencing Black Desert Online!
Q: It might be too early to ask, but is Daum Games Europe set up just to operate Black Desert? Or are there plans to publish other games, such as mobile ones?
A: We are entirely dedicated to Black Desert Online for now. We can seek out more opportunities and projects to publish, including mobile games, after we demonstrated Black Desert Online potential.
Q: Is there a confirmed number of languages which Black Desert is going to be localized to?
A: Right now, English, but we would like to add more and we are studying our options (English screenshots below are from 2013).
Q: I understand Daum Games Europe is now busy localizing Black Desert. Is this process being done in-house?
A: We started to work on the EN client in-house. However, now we are also in the process of including agencies as this will speed up the completion of the task and, therefore, affect the game release date.
Q: What about in-game voiceovers? Will they all be localized in the various languages?
A: Black Desert Online voice-over will be first localized in English. We are also studying other language possibilities for voice-over.
Q: Will we be seeing a new logo design for Black Desert?
A: Yes, we are now working on the new logo, which will only be used for the North American and European version of the game.
Q: Since Daum Games Europe is servicing Black Desert for both North America and Europe, I suppose there are plans to have servers in both regions?
A: Yes, of course, there will be servers physically located on both continents. This is absolutely mandatory in order to offer a good quality of service to our players.
Q: I might be asking for too much, but on a scale of 1 to 10, where is Black Desert currently at before it is ready for Closed Beta?
A: More information regarding that topic in the near future. We are aware a lot of players out there are really looking forward playing Black Desert Online and I can assure you that we are working as hard as possible in order to make the game a reality in the EU and NA regions.
Q: Have you taken a look at NCsoft’s Blade & Soul? Gamers have been comparing Black Desert and Blade & Soul for some time now. Any comments on this “tussle”? 🙂
A: Yes of course. NCsoft is implanted in both Europe and North America for a very long time and we are a new player in town.
I believe Blade & Soul is definitely a very promising game, but I also believe a lot of players interested in Blade & Soul will also be interested in Black Desert Online and vice versa. In the end, players will have two great MMORPGs to choose from, not counting the ones that are already live.
Q: Last question. Tell us something which you are not supposed to tell us.
A: Until last month, I didn’t know of MMO Culture. Now that I had some time to spend on the website, I quite enjoy it and plan to regularly visit!
Q: Finally, to end the interview, please leave a message for our readers.
A: This is the first time we have the opportunity to speak to MMO Culture readers, thanks for the invitation and we hope you will be looking forward to Black Desert Online!