For those not following BDO, there’s been a controversy brewing within the popular MMORPG over a dispute between primary license holder Pearly Abyss and the Russian infrastructure provider, GameNet.
Up until this year, GameNet has provided servers and support for the Russian localization of Black Desert Online, but for whatever reason Pearl Abyss decided not to renew the contracts between the two companies allowing GameNet to use the BDO property. But a major snafu has now left the Russian community for the game without much recourse. Now normally in these circumstances, control of BDO and related assets in Russia would revert to Pearl Abyss, but that didn’t happen here.
Speaking to Russian players and fans in a recent letter, Pearl Abyss revealed that contract negotiations between themselves and GameNet had fallen through, and that the companies were unable to reach an agreement for control of the servers, and most importantly user data, for Black Desert Russia.
“Since September 12, 2018, our company has been in continuous negotiations with GameNet (Vebanaul Holdings Ltd) in order to fully transfer the rights to the Black Desert Online Russia service. However, since until October 12, 2018, all rights to the Black Desert Russia game service belonged to GameNet, due to the terms of the agreement between Pearl Abyss and GameNet we could not provide our players with more detailed information. […] By the end of the contract with Gamenet, for several months we worked to minimize changes in the game and provide the game with the best content. However, the latest update in Black Desert Russia was in August, after which access to the server was closed for us. Despite our efforts to continue negotiations, we could not reach a compromise. We tried to obtain ownership of the operation of the Black Desert Russia game and transfer all game data legally, but these attempts were unsuccessful. In this regard, we are forced to tell you the sad news about the impossibility of transferring game data. […] Since the negotiations failed, and we could not get a database, transfer files, purchase history, etc. – the transfer of information became impossible, and our company was forced to make changes to the plans for servicing Russian users. Unfortunately, we have no other options than to start working without this data.”
What this all means is that Pearl Abyss will have to manually recreate the Russian version of the game, without all the pre-existing user data. So this is a huge blow to Russian players who’ve just lost all of their account data and progress. This will probably take at least a few months as PA has to retranslate all content into the correct language and then rebuild all the server infrastructure to host it all.
And in case you’re wondering, PA advises those seeking refunds for purchases made through GameNet to reach out to Vebanaul Holdings Ltd., the parent company of GameNet. Although I wouldn’t be too optimistic about your odds of hearing any good news.