We had the opportunity to interview Yongmin Jayden Jo, Black Desert Mobile‘s Lead Producer. The game is currently in soft launch in several territories, with global release in December. The man was previously involved in Black Desert, before leading the mobile version’s development in 2016. Read on to see what he says.
Even before Black Desert, Jo was also part of the development team for C9 (Continent of the Ninth Seal). The founder of Pearl Abyss – Kim Dae-il – then got him on. Jo also handled C9’s character planning and combat system, and that experience was brought over to Black Desert to help make the development process move a lot faster.
The Black Desert Mobile soft launch slightly differs from the regular Taiwan, Japan and Korean launch. Right now, the soft launch’s focus is on the fun and interesting parts of the game, rather than running around doing all the quests before the global December launch. Compared to like Korea, for example, it can be more difficult for the rest of the world to download high resolution patches or really large updates. Thus, the patches will be released gradually.
There’s plenty of content that Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese players can already enjoy, but Jo doesn’t believe in that for the global version. After all, he reasons, people aren’t likely to have enough time or opportunity to really enjoy that overload of content. It doesn’t mean patches every week, it’ll just be one at a time so that people will be able to explore the updates as they release.
Whatever experience he’s gotten Jo will be applying to Black Desert Mobile, and he’s certainly looking forward to the global grand launch. Rather than think of the number of users and sales, he’s more on confirming his planning and strategy for the game going forward. He reveals he hadn’t used a lot of marketing expense on launching Black Desert Mobile, and it still hit over 3 million pre-registrations. With more time to promote, it would be one of the best performing Korean games globally.
Black Desert Mobile collaborated with the ROG Phone II in Japan. Jo lets us know there’s plenty of offers from brands, including Southeast Asian ones, to do something similar. They’re looking out for brands that can fit with the concept of the game as well as something as many users as possible can enjoy the event. Right now, the grand launch is more important. Get the users first, before planning the events.
Moving on to esports, the industry as a whole is getting increasingly popular worldwide. Jo considers the viewing experience as important, but considers Black Desert Mobile as more of a game where people grow along with it. He does think there can be some opportunities for Pearl Abyss to do something esports related with the game, so should those arise, then yes, they could launch esports updates where users can watch and enjoy the game that way.
One of Black Desert‘s biggest selling points can arguably be said to be the large class variety. A month after the global launch, Jo plans to release a new class. He’s still choosing which one, but he says it’s definitely one that global users are looking forward to. The feedback is being listened to, if there’s a particular class you really must have as soon as possible, he can look to release that one. The classes in Black Desert Mobile may differ from Black Desert Online.
Another thing about Black Desert would be its incredible graphic fidelity, don’t you think? There is a limitation regarding the mobile version, as the development team would need to register those individually. They’re working on it, but there’s really so many smartphones out there, and he apologizes for being late in responding to feedback in regards to that. It’s one of the reasons certain phone models cannot set maximum effects as they’re not properly optimized yet.
He’s looking to make the game playable on lower-end smartphones, setting the iPhone 6 & 7 as about the lowest he would go. Any lighter, Jo feels it’s no longer the same game the development team wants players to experience. At least, there’s no plans for that now. They’ll still be here so long smartphones and hardware continue to evolve.
Jo is aware many are looking forward to the global launch of Black Desert Mobile. He knows of your expectations and has been working on making it more interesting rather than launching the game any sooner. Look forward to the game, and he’ll do his best to make preparations to accommodate all global players.