When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
I’ve written a bit about how Pearl Abyss has been talking about embracing blockchain and pay to earn in their quarterly earnings calls. I have even made a rash prediction that we’ll be getting some sort of pay to earn scheme announcement for EVE Online at Fanfest in early May.
A voice in the wilderness, I know.
But CCP has already toyed with the crypto idea, making NFTs part of the Alliance Tournament back in November. They were not IN the game, but they were OF the game, and CCP’s slow pace of work means they often look like they have cleverly boiled the frog in hindsight. This was likely the first step towards crypto in New Eden.
So my eyes have been on EVE Fanfest and what we might expect to see from CCP there.
But then GDC happened up in San Francisco last week, and it was full on “Crypto is the next big thing, jump on board fast!” panels and pronouncements.
I am borrowing that image from Jason Scott, who posted it to Twitter. I hope somebody will put together a score card to see how many of those company’s still exist in five years.
Of course, the Atari logo is in there. There is no bad idea that the owners of that name won’t jump on. Likewise UbiSoft, though at least they create games that are popular, making them a stand out on the list.
A bit surprised to see AMD at the top center of that image, but I guess they make good money selling video cards to crypto miners rather than gamers.
Anyway, I am willing to let the market decide winners and losers on this one, as it did when MMOs, Facebook games, and VR were the next big things at GDC in past years. Just because some new idea is hailed at the conference doesn’t mean it is a good one, and it certainly doesn’t mean everybody who jumps on board with some half baked idea is going to win big.
Of course, Eden Holdings is all about crytpo and the metaverse and has a bored ape avatar. (Have you not heard about the Bored Ape Yacht Club? Lucky you, though that probably makes the title of this post doubly confusing, as it references that and a specific ship in EVE Online that I am almost certain you’ve never heard of.)
Also mentioned in that tweet as being a part of the meeting was Yield Guild Games, whose profile says the are about Play to Earn, NFTs, and the metaverse.
There was also Delphi Digital, an investment firm into advancing the understanding and development of digital assets, that last being shorthand for crypto and NFTs.
And, finally, there was also BITKRAFT Ventures, another investment firm into Web3, which is another way of saying crypto and the metaverse these days.
Quite the little get together, Hilmar and various crypto proponents all huddled in a suite talking about their favorite digital asset fantasies… and how much money it will earn them.
So why am I bringing this up? Am I stalking Hilmar and his crypto pals? Am I that obsessed with crypto?
Not really. The GDC stuff just came through all of the usual gaming media I have been following for years. I don’t follow any of these accounts on Twitter, except for Hilmar, and he barely tweets anything. He certainly didn’t have any comments on GDC.
And why do you boost a message about a meeting between the CEO and some crypto investors on that account? Because crypto is coming to EVE Online maybe? (Edit: The EVE Online twitter account has since undone this retweet.)
Am I reading too much into one retweet? Probably. Somebody on the community might just be instructed to retweet anything that mentions Hilmar. He likes the attention.
But there is that CCP history to deal with, their ongoing experiments with boiling various frogs, and that quote up at the top of the post. Are they showing us who they are?
The best outcome I can imagine from this is that they might announce another title that is focused on crypto at Fanfest, leaving EVE Online alone to suffer from resource depletion as their new venture follows the path of every new title they have released since 2003. It will still hurt the company, which will be bad for EVE Online, but at least it might not ruin the game.
The other route, in which they try to bolt crypto and/or play to earn onto EVE Online, ends less well.
EVE Fanfest may be interesting for some of the wrong reasons this year.
- Massively OP – CCP Games CEO joins a private meeting with crypto company heads
- Reddit – r/eve thread on this retweet