CCP – If The Players Won’t Create Drama, The Company Is Happy To Step In…

CCP stands for “Crowd Control Productions,” and never was a company more aptly named these days.

There have been more snippets from the EVE Online maelstrom about… I’m not even sure what it is really about.

Incarna being crap, cash shops, over-priced monocles, bad faith, broken promises, and divergence from the spirit of what makes EVE Online the game it is… these ideas and more have all been thrown around in various posts that are… well… everywhere now.

New item of the day for me is this message from CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, which I snipped from Winterblink’s post on the subject. (And which has two previous messages from CCP, if you want some back story or quotes for truth.)

We live in interesting times; in fact CCP is the kind of company that if things get repetitive we instinctively crank it up a notch. That, we certainly have done this week. First off we have Incarna, an amazing technological and artistic achievement. A vision from years ago realized to a point that no one could have imaged but a few months ago. It rolls out without a hitch, is in some cases faster than what we had before, this is the pinnacle of professional achievement. For all the noise in the channel we should all stand proud, years from now this is what people will remember.

But we have done more, not only have we redefined the production quality one can apply to virtual worlds with the beautiful Incarna but we have also defined what it really means to make virtual reality more meaningful than real life when it comes to launching our new virtual goods currency, Aurum.

Naturally, we have caught the attention of the world. Only a few weeks ago we revealed more information about DUST 514 and now we have done it again by committing to our core purpose as a company by redefining assumptions. After 40 hours we have already sold 52 monocles, generating more revenue than any of the other items in the store.

This we have done after months of research by a group of highly competent professionals, soliciting input and perspective from thought leaders and experts in and around our industry. We have communicated our intention here internally in very wide circles through the Virtual Economy Summit presentation at the GSM, our Fearless newsletter, sprint reviews, email lists and multiple other channels. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Currently we are seeing _very predictable feedback_ on what we are doing. Having the perspective of having done this for a decade, I can tell you that this is one of the moments where we look at what our players do and less of what they say. Innovation takes time to set in and the predictable reaction is always to resist change.

We went out with a decisive strategy on pricing and we will stay the course and not flip flop around or knee jerk react to the predictable. That is not saying nothing will change, on the contrary, in fact we know that success in this space is through learning and adapting to _what is actually happening_ and new knowledge gained in addition to what we knew before and expected.

All that said, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished as a company, changing the world is hard and we are doing it as so many times before! Stay the course, we have done this many times before.

The train of progress is coming, get on, get out of the way, or get run over.  I guess that is the message here.

Twitter, which has been alive with comments on the subject for days now had three choice responses that I’d like to share.

Who is amoral, who gets destroyed, and who is a sucker… well, I suppose we shall see what comes to pass.

But 52 monocles sold already?  This surprises even my jaded outlook.

33 thoughts on “CCP – If The Players Won’t Create Drama, The Company Is Happy To Step In…

  1. noz

    Hi, I’m not an EVE player and only follow related news a bit. So could you explain what exactly is the problem here? Apart from devs spending time on clothes instead of more desired features. I know Global Agenda has two Troll Head helmets you can buy – one for 20, the other for 50 euros. But seeing them in store didn’t freak me out. I won’t buy them. Rather I’m looking forward to actually seeing someone wearing one and thinking “you got trolled by HiRez” =)

    Like

  2. Barix

    @noz: Best I can tell, it’s a strong parallel to the Sparkle Pony furor in WoW. Vanity items at prices most people wouldn’t pay for them but a few would, and the fear, justified or not, that this will set a precedent for having game-affecting items similarly for sale.

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  3. noz

    Well, if one monocle costs four times the monthly subscription price, and a month has 720 hours then they got the monetary equivalent of 2880 new subscribers for the price of developing one monocle =D

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  4. noz

    @Barix Sure, if it’s game-affecting then I’m against it. Otherwise it’s just speculation, fear and not wanting others to wear what you can’t afford.

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  5. Aufero

    /boggle

    If I were Eve’s Community Manager today, I’d be giving the CEO an ultimatum – either apologize and shut the heck up, or fire me.

    Like

  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Nox – Well, as I said in the post, I’m not sure there is some single, unifying theme to the outrage. The veteran players seem pissed about any number of things, and the price of monocles in their local currency only seems to be a small part of it.

    The thing is, CCP seems to be fanning the flames higher repeatedly.

    They are going to become Crowd Out-Of-Control Productions soon.

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  7. anon4cec

    This is going to be an interesting experiment in MMO community/dynamics/business.

    The vocal/blogging/oldtime EVE community that I monitor is 99% outraged, unsubscribing, etc., but even if they carry through and do all quit, will that have a noticeable effect on the game?

    I have read about seemingly (to me) similar dust ups after changes (Trammel? NGE?) in games I didn’t play/follow. I wonder if they’re a useful indicator?

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  8. Random Poster

    Think everyone posting missed the “Greed is Good” internal document from CCP where they discussed microtransactions and the lead game designer was advocating selling in game advantages on the store,

    They followed that up by essentially calling their customers a bunch of morons (which if you read it the lead game designer said the same thing in it already).

    link to scans of the document (which CCP has confirmed as real)
    http://www.eurogamer.net/gallery.php?game_id=1676&article_id=1373277#anchor

    And a link to someone who pulled out some nice qoutes.
    http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1534552

    Like

  9. Random Poster

    Bah forgot to mention not everyone in the document advocates MT, but given how the store turned out it looks like they lost.

    So yeah when the lead designer is saying “we should milk them for every penny they have, oh and let’s sell in game advantages to people while we are at it” combined with the RIDICULOUS prices of the store you might see why people are just a bit upset.

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  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Luk – Well, I can certainly see a lot of people screaming like their hair is on fire pointing in the direction they say CCP is going… and CCP doing little to calm anybody.

    But over in the MMO Quests comment thread you were trying to tell me that Dust 514 being PS3 only was a sign of their new direction. That still seems to me to be a realistic play in the light of the realities of the console space and the relatively small size of CCP.

    Of course, my sense of detachment probably stems mostly from the fact that I re-subbed, saw what Incarna had to offer me, and cancelled my account again in the space of four days. I’m not invested, just an interested observer.

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  11. Luk

    @Wilhelm
    Realistically Dust514 should be part of EvE and on PC platform where the game belongs. Taking it to PS3 exclusevly shows that CCP is not interested in expanding EvE and wants to break into gaming console market instead. That was just a hint of the new direction the Incarna, macrotransactions, FU memofrom the devs brought to bear on EvE customers.

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  12. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Luk – But they said that Dust 514 was going to be console only back in 2009 when they announced. The only big surprise, to me, was that they went with PS3 rather than Xbox 360. (Somehow I got it into my head, whether they said it or not, that the 360 was going to be the platform.) So if this is part of the new direction, the new direction is nearly two years old.

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  13. Random Poster

    I think part of the reason is that currently MS won’t let them do a MT model on Xbox Live (though if rumors are true they are thinking about it in the future for F2P games), whereas Sony currently has no rules against it. Given the contents of the memo, and the email that was leaked that, plus Sony having a more open network policy (insert your own joke here)would sort of point to why they went PS3.

    And while MS does DLC, so far it has not been on the same level as what you would find in a MT store in a typical F2P game.

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  14. Luk

    @Wilhelm,
    Point taken, I guess this is how long Incarna was in the making and nobody believed that back then anyway. Only now it became obvious that instead of making EvE better, CCP is just using it as a tech test platform for its other games like WoD or a promotional material for DUST514 that might as well not exist in EvE universe.

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  15. Dril

    Lulz.

    I said in the licence fee thing that I’d be sad if this was the beginning of CCP becoming greedy bastards and ruining EVE; I didn’t think it would happen so soon.

    Colour me a sad panda, and bring on ArcheAge.

    Like

  16. Angry Gamer

    best quote of the year

    “Kinda funny, CCP taught us to be amoral bastards, and now I’m freaking out because they’re being amoral bastards.”

    Like

  17. p@tsh@t

    Haven’t been reading all the threads hither and yon, but I’m surprised to see 20 comments here without “slap in the face” coming up.

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  18. Random Poster

    I will say this couldn’t have happened at a better time for me I was getting ready to take a break from WoW and try and put some serious effort in to Eve, find a corp (since none of my friends like Eve) learn the PvP side of things. I basically got myself in to a Raven after 3 yrs of off and on play with the skills to fly it and more, then promptly quit because I got bored of missions >.<

    So this happening BEFORE I gave them money was rather nice, typically this kind of crap happens almost the second I hit "submit payment" option, lol

    Like

  19. wizardling

    Well I’ve cancelled my subscription, and will be protesting as hard as possible for my remaining 47 days (ironically someone with an ancient buddy invite just paid up). Then I’m on to play other MMOs and games for a change. After six months or so of that, I might check back in on Eve to see if anything has changed, but going on the leaks and devblog attitudes, I doubt it will. Farewell Eve. Screw you CCP!

    Like

  20. Kevin Auld

    Funny, everything I ever read about EVE seems to encourage the win at any cost mentality.

    And yet the playerbase turn out to be WoW Level whiners, when what they do, gets done unto them.

    Pot, meet kettle. Black?

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  21. wizardling

    Kevin – I’m trying to see more than a troll post in your writing above… and failing. Generously I’ll just assume you don’t understand the situation.

    Moving on – I’ve found it interesting how many protesters have remarked the last few days of rioting in Eve have been the most fun they’ve had in ages. It makes me think if Eve survives, CCP and the playerbase on it’s own might give serious consideration to more positive large scale events that bring us together and inspire such enthusiasm.

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  22. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Wiz – Hilmar Pétursson announces, “We’re going to sell double effective ammo in the cash shop… unless you get 1,000 players in the Amarr system and shooting at the space monument by 18:00 tomorrow!”

    Like

  23. Random Poster

    WIth the amount of people protesting how has Jita not crashed? I thought the crippling lag and disconnects was inherent to large scale operations in Eve nowadays.

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  24. wizardling

    Jita (largest trade hub in Eve) has an upper limit on the number of players allowed in through connecting jumpgates, therefore the goal is to reach that limit and lock it down.

    Like

  25. SynCaine

    I’ll echo PotShot, 31 comments now and no “I just quit and made my entire 1000 man Corp quit too.” comments? This blog might be good for Pokemon, but man does it suck for comment dramalama.

    Oh and that’s a pathetically low amount of monocles sold. Only 52 pretty little princess players play EVE, when WoW had 140k of them standing in line?

    Like

  26. Pingback: How much for a sparklepony with a monocle? « Hardcore Casual

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