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Thursday 9 November 2023

Pearl Abyss Q3 2023 results

Pearl Abyss has released its Q3 results (July - September 2023).  The webcast and link to their presentation is on their website.


Revenues were down 12.7% Q3 2023 vs Q3 2022 and up 8.3% vs Q2 2022.

A small operating profit was made though this is still down 82.5% vs Q3 2022, and at the bottom line the net profit was still down 29.6% vs Q3 2022.

Focus on the Revenues and Operating Profits - they tell the story.  The Net Profits has all sorts of things going on that don't really relate to gaming.

The big news was the delay to the launch of Crimson Harvest.  It had been expected to launch in mid 2024, that has been pushed back to 2025.  This has surprised many people - Pearl Abyss was talking about the 2024 launch as recently as August at Gamescom.  Also, this follows on from prior delays to the game launch - so worries setting in that there is a problem.

This has pushed back other games as their developers focus on Crimson Harvest.  So DokeV now pushed back to 2026.

In all 2024 revenue hopes will likely need to be almost halved from where anyone thought they would be been before this update.

The net effect of this is that Pearl Abyss profits remain reliant on Black Desert and Eve Online and so profits will be very small, at best.  Black Desert continues to be in decline, so Pearl Abyss could see losses.

The share price fell 8% which makes it flat over a week - so the shares gave back what they had made on some more optimistic hopes from one broker.  That said, sentiment has turned negative on the shares.

What did Management say about Eve?

As usual, not much.

No hard numbers other than revenues (see below).

In the narrative they said:

"For EVE Online, we saw a slowdown in revenue in Q3 due to the base effect of the Viridian update we launched in Q2. However, we continue to see the strength of the EVE IP with new updates, and most importantly, the largest EVE Fanfest ever held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of service.

Notably, the event not only announced news about updates in the second half but also new titles in development, including EVE Vanguard and the EVE Galaxy Conquest. It was an opportunity to showcase EVE's new roadmap for the next decade, carrying on a successful legacy of 20 years in service."

"EVE will also be providing various contents to service. Most notably the new expansion pack EVE Havoc is planned to be released soon, which will support more diversified game play compared to the as-is with new story elements to add more fun to the game."

"We are also preparing for the soft launch of EVE Galaxy Quest, which we announced at Fanfest. EVE Galaxy Conquest is a casual mobile version of the EVE IP that combines exploration, diplomacy, and PvP combat. We're checking those metrics after the soft launch, with a global launch plan for sometime in 2024. Also EVE Vanguard, an FPS expansion pack designed to bring EVE from ship scale to human scale, is undergoing preparations to be made available to select users from December.

EVE Vanguard has been designed to create an organic relationship with EVE Online that goes beyond just playing an FPS game. It took the best parts of Dust 412, a different version of FPS of the EVE IP, and fixed the weak spots. And it has been designed to be both an expansion pack of EVE Online and have its own VM. We expect to see energy with EVE Online sales as well as increased sales of the EVE IP in the future."

Focusing on Eve online - the numbers

Literally, this is it:

In Q3 2023 Eve generated 16.0bn Won in revenues vs 20.2bn Won in Q2 2023 and 19.4bn Won in Q3 2022.

Focusing on Eve online - some analysis looking at the movement in Omega Accounts

Firstly, right off the bat, what we don't know is how the revenue is split between paid monthly subscriptions and other revenues such as paying for Plex, Injectors, etc.

But lets assume, for a moment, it is mostly subscription and the movement in revenues can be explained by pricing and volumes.

When thinking about is 16.0bn Won good or bad, we have to compare the prior year to get a fair comparison (i.e Q3 2022) because that irons out seasonal issues.

In Q3 2022 Eve generated 19.4bn Won.

We have to remember that in Q2 2022 CCP increased the subscription price by 30%.  Lets assume therefore that the Q3 2022 revenues had the full price rise in as does the Q3 2023.  Therefore, the difference between Q3 2023 and Q3 2022 will be currency and Omega Account numbers.

Quick check on currencies:

The average rates of Won vs USD, Euros and GBP moved +6%, -2% and -5% respectively between Q3 2022 to Q3 2023.  Lets therefore assume the overall currency effect was 0% - makes the maths easier.

Therefore, that implied that Omega Account numbers fell 17-18% between Q3 2022 and Q3 2023.  That is sort of what we estimated when we looked at the Q2 2023 numbers three months ago.

That is Omega Account numbers, not player numbers.  A player can drop Accounts or downgrade Accounts from Omega to Alpha but still remain a player in the game.

Comparing to pre-pandemic

We also know that gaming companies benefited from the covid lockdowns.  So it will be fair to compare Q3 2023 (where everyone is out of lockdown) to Q3 2019 which is the last Q3 before the pandemic.

In Q3 2019 Eve generated 14.6bn Won.

Since then the subscription price has risen 30%.

Quick check on currencies:

The average rates of USD, Euros and GBP moved -11%, -8% and -10% respectively between Q3 2019 to Q3 2023.  Lets call it -10%.

Therefore, in constant currency the revenues from Q3 2019 to Q3 2023 fell 2% (= (16.0/14.6) x (1-10%) -1)

However, between Q3 2019 and Q3 2023 there was a 30% increase in subscription prices and therefore that indicates that Omega Account numbers fell by 24% (= (16.0/14.6) x (1-10%) x (1/(1+30%)) -1)

The complete (translated) Transcript of the webcast is below:


  1. I know just about everyone didn't believe Pearl Abyss when it said most of the year that CD would launch in the second half of 2023. I'm just wondering who's reporting on a push back of the date to 2025.

    1. so far, only in Broker reports (reports by Investment Banks, for their equity investor clients, on companies they follow). They had been expecting the launch in Q2 2024 but now pushing that out to Q2 2025. I don't see any of this reporting in the main stream media. Always a good chance that the Brokers are kitchen sinking it and perhaps the launch in Q4 2024.