Black Desert Online opens its doors today for its Closed Beta 2 and with it, Pearl Abyss/Daum have revealed their pricing structure for the in-game store. Unsurprisingly many players have been anticipating what the costumes, vanity items and storage would cost and it has to be said, they’ve come as a shock to many.
Having originally launched in Korea as a free to play title, Black Desert Online’s creators set out to ensure that the game had no pay-to-win elements within its store. So far so good and with the exception of mini-pets being particularly useful, the store looks fairly well done. Unfortunately for those wanting to make purchases, it looks like they’re going to have fairly deep pockets.
Black Desert Online uses a currency system known as Pearls and these roughly equate to $1 for 100 Pearls (see the full table below).
|EUR/USD -> DaumCash -> Pearls|
At first glance the exchange rate doesn’t look too bad (even though Europeans get shafted yet again - go taxes!) but it’s the physical cost of items that's so alarming. One costume, including a matching weapon, is a whopping $32. Yes, you read that right: $32 for a costume that’s bind on equip. Even mini-pets aren’t particularly cheap coming in at $9 and $11 and worse still, the purchasable dyes aren’t account bound meaning if you do get a dye you like, you’ll have to pray to the RNG Gods that you get enough to dye all your armor, not just one piece.
Is this costume really worth $32?
I have to say that I’m fairly disappointed because it looked as though Pearl Abyss/ Daum was doing everything right and while these prices aren’t necessarily final, one truly hopes that they reconsider. Sure there will be people who try to justify the price with the usual “It means less people will look the same” or “I’ve tons of money these prices are fine” but that’s largely besides the point. You don’t have to be rich or fashion conscious to realize these prices are ridiculous, especially when the game can be purchased for $29.99. That’s all of Black Desert Online for less than one costume.
From my perspective, $15 or Euros is more than enough for a costume and $5 for a mini-pet. Encouraging purchases by everyone is, in the long run, a sensible option and would undoubtedly allow Daum to earn more income based on impulse purchases. But when you’re asking for over $30, that results in players saving for longer (thus resulting in fewer sales) or simply avoiding a purchase all together because it isn’t seen as good value.
As the nearest comparison, Guild Wars 2’s costumes tend to cost 800 Gems and that by today’s conversion rate is $10. Best of all, you purchase them once and you can equip them on any character that can utilize the same armor class (unless it’s an Outfit, at which point anyone can wear them).
One can only hope that Daum change their minds: they’ve only one chance to get the launch right and as we all know, massively multiplayer gamers aren’t particularly forgiving.
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