Invest in space popcorn!
-Bree Royce, Massively OP comment
Last week’s announcement from CCP that Brisc Rubal had been removed from CSM13 and his accounts permanently banned from EVE Online was a bit of a bolt out of the blue. Many people were stunned. Some were saddened that a CSM member who spent so much time trying to reach out to the community turned out to breaking the rules. Others were less surprised that a lawyer and lobbyist… read politician… might somehow be corrupt. Brisc had more than his share of detractors who were unhappy with his background, style, or lack of deep knowledge when it came to the mechanics of the game. And being yet another null sec member of the CSM made him a target of opportunity for those who remain angry at the over representation on the body of that part of the game.
There has been current in the community that feels CCP doesn’t ban enough people, botters, RMTers, cheaters, or whoever. But at least you could assume that this was because CCP was being very careful about handing out bans. As I have said before, banning people who do not deserve it is the worst outcome as it is a very quick way to make a happy customer unhappy with your service.
So I was a bid dismayed by the CCP announcement yesterday:
Interim Statement on Brisc Rubal Follow-up Investigation
Last week, on April 8 2019, we announced the permanent banning of Brisc Rubal and their ejection from the Council of Stellar Management. We also issued one-year bans to two other players involved in this incident and confiscated their associated in-game assets and ISK.
Following this statement, we have held further discussions with the affected parties. We have also been conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence available to us and evaluate our handling of the situation. We intend to share a full follow-up statement next week.
Transparency, fairness and trust is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’re issuing this brief update while also taking the time to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation. We understand that there are many questions lingering over the incident, and we want to assure you that we take this matter very seriously. Both the sanctity of the CSM and the relationship we have with our players is of paramount importance to CCP.
As should be expected, we will issue a full and frank apology for any mistakes for which we are responsible, as well as provide appropriate reparations to those affected by any erroneous actions we’ve taken.
My assumption that CCP would have done a full and thorough investigation before leveling accusations and banning a member of the CSM in a very public fashion was apparently wrong.
This has, of course, opened a can of worms. The forum thread for responses to the dev blog gives a view into the spectrum of responses to this revelation.
Some people are happy that the whole affair is getting a review, perhaps ignoring the implications the need for said review for the moment.
Others are immediately hitting on the fairness issue. If you’re banned by CCP they tend to not be very responsive to inquiries after that. But now Brisc is getting his case reviewed. Is that because he is:
- A CSM member?
- From Null Sec?
- A Goon?
- A Lawyer?
- Kicking back some of that sweet, sweet RMT money?
- The real victim here?
And then there is the question about how we got here. This whole affair was set off, according to CCP, based on information “brought to us by the CSM themselves.” While that sounds like an all-inclusive phrase, I suspect that 9 members of the CSM turned as one and pointed a finger at Brisc.
The problem with the CSM being a mostly null sec entity is the real possibility of null sec politics entering into things. We saw in the past information sufficient to have a CSM candidate remove from the ballot leaked out, allegedly because he was a proponent of shield supers and a group heavily invested in armor supers did not want that voice in the ear of CCP.
So, while we will likely never find out, one wonders if the information provided to CCP was simply incorrect, misunderstood, exaggerated, or deliberately planted.
And none of this reflects well on CCP. If, after an investigation, CCP sticks with their initial decision, they’ve only managed to look incompetent in the eyes of the community. And if they revoke the ban, well then they are really incompetent, showing favoritism, and whatever other conspiracy theories you care to spin.
Plus, what does Brisc do then? Is he back on the CSM? Does he run for CSM14? Does he wash his hands of all of this and just remain a regular guest on the Open Comms show?
There is word that the elections for CSM14 are coming soon, and this will no doubt cast an additional pall over what some already consider a suspect organization.
Back when the ban was first announced there were jokes thrown around about wanting to see the Mueller Report on the incident. And now there actually will be a follow up report! And what we will end up hearing will likely be an extremely redacted version of it which will, as in real life, only lead to more questions and people jumping to conclusions.
Not a bright and shiny spring day for the team at CCP.
I stated in my own blog post that after the initial Dev Blog we would hear no more about this from CCP. I was certainly wrong on that count.
Other coverage of this: