[GAME] 'Pearl Abyss' Sincere Efforts to Represent 'Korea' in the Game:

Such efforts have not been accomplished in a short period. Pearl Abyss has consistently entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with government organizations to depict the essence of Korea in their games.



Date : 2023. April

Photos : Pearl Abyss

Viewing Pearl Abyss as the 'Land of Morning Calm'

Korean Respresentative Online Game Developer <Pearl Abyss> has been making efforts to incorporate Korean culture into their games for some time. In 2021, they released a surprising trailer for "Goblin (๋„๊นจ๋น„)" that captured the contemporary landscapes of modern Korea in the game.

Recently, they updated their game "Black Desert(๊ฒ€์€ ์‚ฌ๋ง‰)" with a new continent called "Land of the Morning Calm". This land is inspired by the Korean Dynasty nation of 'Joseon'. Cases of attempts to accurately portray Joseon culture and Korean scenery in games are still relatively rare.

It's different from visual media such as dramas and movies, where historical or fusion historical dramas are easily found. In the MMORPG genre, it is even rarer to see such elements implemented in 3D graphics. Pearl Abyss has made various efforts to incorporate Korean backgrounds into its games in such a unique gaming environment.

Panokseon of Joseon's Navy

Familiar background for Koreans

The terrain of the Land of Morning Calm is designed to be familiar to users interested in the natural landscapes of the Korean peninsula or domestic travel. For example, the initial appearance of the Land of Morning Calm is modeled after Gogeum Island(๊ณ ๊ธˆ๋„) in Goheung County, Jeollanam-do.

In addition, efforts have been made to capture scenes and sounds familiar to Koreans, such as backgrounds inspired by the Damyang Bamboo Forest, or the blooming landscapes of azalea flowers that can be seen at scenic spots from late March. Screenshots exploring the terrain of the Land of Morning Calm are quickly uploaded to the community, with responses such as "It's great to see familiar landscapes in the game" gaining traction.

Such efforts have not been accomplished in a short period. Pearl Abyss has consistently entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with government organizations to depict the essence of Korea in their games. In 2021, they signed an MOU with the Korea Tourism Organization for "Cooperation in the Promotion of Game Hallyu and Activation of Hallyu Tourism. In 2022, they signed an MOU with the Cultural Heritage Administration for "Promotion and Dissemination of Cultural Heritage Content through Games.

In addition, Pearl Abyss recognized the support of various local autonomous governments, including Gyeongju City, Goseong County, Danyang County, Damyang County, and Buyeo County, for the creation of the 'Land of Morning Calm'. They also collaborated with the Cultural Heritage Administration to meticulously authenticate details, even to the point of modeling pottery and artifacts.

Authentic Korean landscapes

While not the case with "Black Desert," there are instances where Pearl Abyss has received recognition for its meticulous attention to detail.

In 2021, when Pearl Abyss unexpectedly released a trailer for "Goblin," the Twitter account "Our Architecture Story" commented, "Traditional roof tiles are an essential element, but are often omitted. It's very pleasing to see them in a homegrown open world game."

Therefore, it can be another source of joy to explore how traditional Korean clothing, patterns, and daily life are meticulously researched and recreated in Land of the Morning Calm. For example, the use of a "ki(ํ‚ค)" (a device for filtering impurities from grain) and carrying salt was common in ancient Korea, and this has been implemented in the game.

Accordingly, the "Goblin Worker" in the game is depicted using the "ki". Soldiers in the Land of Morning Calm wear shields with patterns similar to those of the Joseon Dynasty's Paengabsu (one of the military units of the Joseon Army). Buildings are adorned with daedulbo (traditional Korean wooden scaffolding) and juchothdol (traditional Korean millstone), while poles for prosperity and jangseung, a kind of guardian spirit, stand in front of villages.Through these details, Pearl Abyss aimed to give players the feeling of being in a traditional Korean village, similar to visiting a folk village.

There is also residential content that uses Korean elements. In the Land of Morning Calm, you can rent houses such as the "Samhyangjae(์‚ผํ–ฅ์žฌ)," which is built in the style of a Joseon tile-roofed house, or the "Neowajib(๋„ˆ์™€์ง‘)," which has a roof covered with wooden planks.In addition, 131 pieces of furniture tailored to Korean culture have been added.In addition, Black Desert features a sailing content where you can build and navigate the 'Panokseon(ํŒ์˜ฅ์„ )' at the Joseon Shipyard in the Land of Morning Calm. The developers stated, "A beautiful and sturdy Panokseon has been added to match its appearance. With 150 rooms available, it features a strong deck cover structure, high defense, and substantial damage output through its advanced collision technology".

The Panokseon authentically represents the thick shields of planks built around the existing deck, with another deck placed on top, making it extremely robust despite being a wooden ship. The Panokseon's crew during the Imjin War was reported to be over 125, and later over 160, making it a well-researched portrayal.

In addition, the main story of the Land of Morning Calm is based on Korean folk tales such as the story of the Virgin Ghost, the Bari Princess, Jeju's Jin Guktae legend, and the Gold Pig legend. Inspired by "Byeoljubujeon(๋ณ„์ฃผ๋ถ€์ „)," the game also introduces the character "Mudangryeong," which consists of a rabbit and a turtle.

Finally, "Black Desert" is a global service game. The trailer for the Land of the Morning Calm was unveiled at the "Calpheon Gala" held in Los Angeles in December, attracting the attention of global users with its Korean concept. In a way, "Black Desert" has made the leap into an MMORPG that properly showcases Korean culture and aesthetics to global gamers through an open-world setting.

Based on the Bamboo Forest in Damyang County


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