Inside The Complex Monetization Model Of Black Desert Online

The monetization model of Black Desert Online has been a hot topic of discussion among the MMORPG community for years. With multiple overlapping systems involving premium currency, subscription options, loot boxes, and more, it can be difficult to decipher exactly how the game makes its money.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Black Desert Online utilizes a ‘pay for convenience’ model, with most monetization revolving around reducing tedium and grind rather than straight pay-to-win mechanics. However, the overall monetization landscape is complex.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down every monetization method in Black Desert Online and analyze how they fit into the overall business strategy.

Premium Currency

One of the key components of the monetization model in Black Desert Online is its premium currency, known as Pearls. Pearls are a virtual currency that players can purchase with real money and then use to buy various in-game items and services.

They offer a convenient way for players to enhance their gaming experience and access exclusive content.

Acquisition of Pearls

There are several ways players can acquire Pearls in Black Desert Online. The most straightforward method is to simply purchase them through the game’s official website. The price of Pearls varies depending on the quantity purchased, with larger bundles often offering better value for money.

Additionally, players can sometimes earn Pearls as rewards for participating in special events or reaching certain milestones within the game.

It’s worth noting that while Pearls can be acquired through real money purchases, they cannot be directly obtained through gameplay. This ensures that the game remains fair and balanced for all players, regardless of their financial situation.

What Pearls Can Buy

With Pearls, players can unlock a wide range of in-game items and services. These include cosmetic items such as costumes, pets, and furniture, which allow players to personalize their characters and living spaces.

Additionally, Pearls can be used to purchase convenience items like inventory expansions and weight limit increases, which can greatly improve a player’s efficiency and overall gameplay experience.

Furthermore, Pearls can also be used to access premium features such as character customization options, additional character slots, and even the ability to change a character’s appearance after creation.

These options provide players with a greater level of customization and flexibility, allowing them to tailor their gameplay experience to their preferences.

Subscription Model

In Black Desert Online, the game offers a unique monetization model that includes various subscription options. These subscriptions provide players with exclusive benefits and bonuses that enhance their gameplay experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key subscription options available in the game.

Value Pack

The Value Pack subscription is one of the most popular options in Black Desert Online. This subscription provides players with several benefits, including increased inventory space, additional storage slots, and increased weight limit for carrying items.

Additionally, players with a Value Pack subscription enjoy a variety of quality of life improvements, such as reduced marketplace tax and increased marketplace sales slots. This subscription is a great way for players to optimize their gameplay and maximize their efficiency within the game.

Kama Blessing

Another subscription option in Black Desert Online is the Kama Blessing. This subscription provides players with a significant boost to their experience gain, allowing them to level up faster and progress through the game more efficiently.

The Kama Blessing also grants increased item drop rates, making it easier for players to obtain rare and valuable items. With this subscription, players can enjoy a more rewarding and satisfying gameplay experience.

Old Moon Book

The Old Moon Book subscription is a unique option in Black Desert Online that offers a variety of benefits related to life skills. Players with this subscription enjoy increased energy regeneration, reduced cooking and alchemy time, and increased chance of obtaining rare items while gathering.

This subscription is perfect for players who enjoy the life skill aspect of the game and want to excel in activities such as cooking, alchemy, and gathering.

Convenience Items

One of the key aspects of Black Desert Online’s monetization model is the inclusion of convenience items. These items are designed to enhance the player’s experience and provide them with additional benefits. Here are some of the most popular convenience items in the game:


Pets play a crucial role in Black Desert Online as they assist players in various activities such as gathering resources, looting items, and even providing buffs. Players can acquire different types of pets, each with its own unique abilities.

These pets can be obtained through in-game events, quests, or by purchasing them from the Pearl Shop, the game’s virtual marketplace.


Maids and butlers are another set of convenience items that players can obtain in Black Desert Online. These NPCs can help players with a variety of tasks, such as storing items, repairing equipment, or even buying potions.

By having maids and butlers, players can save time and focus more on their adventures in the game.

Inventory Expansions

Inventory expansions are essential for players who want to carry more items during their gameplay. Black Desert Online offers different ways to expand the inventory, such as purchasing additional slots from the Pearl Shop or completing certain quests.

Having a larger inventory allows players to collect more resources, craft items, and manage their belongings more efficiently.

Weight Limit Increases

Weight limit increases are another convenience item that players can invest in. In the game, each item has a weight, and if a player exceeds their weight limit, they will become encumbered and unable to move at their normal speed.

By increasing their weight limit, players can carry more items without worrying about being slowed down. This is especially useful for professions like gathering or trading, where players need to transport large quantities of goods.

Other Convenience Unlocks

Aside from the aforementioned items, Black Desert Online offers various other convenience unlocks. These include things like character slot expansions, instant resurrection options, and skill resets. These convenience unlocks provide players with more flexibility and freedom to customize their gameplay experience.

It’s important to note that while these convenience items can enhance the player’s experience, they are not necessary to enjoy the game. Black Desert Online offers a wide range of activities and content for players to engage in, regardless of whether they choose to invest in these convenience items or not.

Pay-for-Power Concerns

As one delves into the intricate world of Black Desert Online, a popular MMORPG developed by Pearl Abyss, it becomes evident that the game’s monetization model is multifaceted. While the game offers a stunning open-world environment, immersive gameplay, and a plethora of activities to engage in, there are certain aspects of its monetization strategy that have raised concerns among players.

Artisan Memories

One of the key elements in the monetization model of Black Desert Online is the use of Artisan Memories. These items, which can be acquired through in-game purchases, allow players to enhance their gear more efficiently.

While some argue that this provides convenience for those who may not have as much time to invest in the game, others worry that it creates an imbalance between paying and non-paying players. The ability to quickly upgrade gear can give paying players an advantage in player versus player (PvP) encounters, leading to concerns about pay-for-power dynamics.

Outfit Bonuses

Another aspect of the monetization model that has raised eyebrows is the inclusion of outfit bonuses. By purchasing certain outfits, players can gain additional benefits such as increased experience gain or reduced stamina consumption.

While these bonuses may seem enticing, they can give paying players an edge in various aspects of the game, including leveling up and resource gathering. This has led to debates about fairness and whether these bonuses create an unfair advantage for those who are willing to spend real money.

P2W Stigma

The debate surrounding pay-for-power mechanics in Black Desert Online is further fueled by the stigma associated with pay-to-win (P2W) games. P2W refers to games where players can gain a significant advantage by spending real money.

While the developers of Black Desert Online have made efforts to address these concerns and create a balanced gaming experience, the perception of the game as P2W persists among some players. This stigma can impact player satisfaction and the overall reputation of the game.

It is important to note that the concerns and debates surrounding the pay-for-power aspects of Black Desert Online are subjective and vary among players. Some may argue that the game offers enough content and enjoyment for both paying and non-paying players, while others may feel that the monetization model creates an unfair advantage.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual player to decide how they engage with the game and whether they are comfortable with the pay-for-power elements it offers.

In-game Events and Giveaways

One of the key elements of Black Desert Online’s monetization model is the implementation of exciting in-game events and generous giveaways. These events and giveaways not only add a layer of excitement to the game but also provide players with opportunities to earn valuable rewards and enhance their gaming experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which the game incorporates these features:

Log-in Rewards

Black Desert Online offers log-in rewards to its players as a way to encourage consistent engagement with the game. By simply logging into the game on a daily basis, players can receive various rewards such as in-game currency, rare items, and even exclusive cosmetics.

This not only incentivizes players to regularly log in but also allows them to progress in the game without feeling pressured to make additional purchases.


Another aspect of the in-game event system is the introduction of challenges and achievements. These challenges often require players to complete specific tasks or meet certain objectives within the game.

By accomplishing these challenges, players can earn rewards such as special equipment, consumables, or even unique character customization options. This adds an extra layer of depth to the gameplay experience, encouraging players to explore different aspects of the game and strive for accomplishments.


Black Desert Online also frequently runs promotional events that offer players the chance to obtain rare and valuable items. These promotions can include limited-time sales on in-game items, discounted bundles, or even special events where players can participate in activities to earn exclusive rewards.

These promotions not only provide players with additional incentives to engage with the game but also create a sense of excitement and urgency within the player community.

It is worth noting that the in-game events and giveaways in Black Desert Online are carefully designed to strike a balance between rewarding players and maintaining the game’s economy. The developers take into consideration the impact on the in-game market and ensure that the rewards obtained through these events do not disrupt the overall balance of the game.


While monetization in Black Desert Online is multifaceted, the core strategy revolves around reducing friction and tedium for engaged players rather than selling straight power. The complex interplay of various monetization mechanics provides an array of options for all commitment levels.

For true free-to-play gamers, avoiding the pay-for-power pitfalls is difficult but very possible with knowledge of the systems. For other players with more disposable income, the game provides avenues to essentially ‘pay for progression’, reducing the grind in various ways.

Overall, the monetization landscape matches the complex nature of the game itself. And while it may seem daunting initially, understanding each aspect provides the knowledge needed to navigate this MMORPG and its many interconnected systems.

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