I can’t believe I’m writing this post. In fact, I almost wish this was a nightmare that I could just wake up, but as I pinched myself several times, this is real and that the CCPGames Company I once knew is dead and gone. Replaced by the corporate machine of greed that currently plagues not only our society as a whole, but the gaming community at large. Oh sorry, hello there. Let me back up a bit and explain briefly what is the meaning behind the post. Realize though, I am only going to go briefly into Eve Online’s latest troubles, if you wish to find out everything about this drama, check out the Eve Online general forums or other gaming news websites or the links I provide at the bottom, but there is a lot to read.
At stake here is the debate about micro-transactions or Free-To-Play games that companies are experimenting with right now. I am not in support of these ideas as companies tend to put too much pressure on premium content and not on free content. (Thus making the game much more costly than the old way) We are a long ways from F2P games replacing the old $60 one-time-fee games.
Isaac in my name is based off a character that I used in a RPG story that I had co-written with a lot of other people and later was used as a character/avatar in the MMORPG, Eve Online. This is a spaceship game where you set your own destiny in a harsh universe. It was unique that it all existed on a single shard so there is history in this game and one player’s action can have ripple effects. My character in the game was named Isaac Starstriker. After playing for a couple years, I had created some fond (and some not-so-fond) memories of the game, made some new friends and even changed my view of life, in a positive way. I had quit the game mostly out of boredom but also because I was going back as a full time student and MMOs + College rarely mix well. I had every intention of trying again some time later, but then the community gets rocked to the core after Eve Online’s latest expansion release, Incarna.
These past few days have been a firestorm of rage and anger within the Eve community. People feel betrayed by the recent changes of Incarna. Betrayed by the forced-upon 3rd party developers suddenly have to pay for their apps for no reason. Betrayed by micro-transactions that are being setup to possibly affect the sandbox of Eve. All of these changes made for what many consider to be a money-grab by CCP to cash in on the success of Eve. Especially when documents were leaked showing that CCP had a new direction in mind to milk the players for all they were worth, even one email that was made by the CEO himself, congratulating the company for a successful expansion and to ignore the naysayers as they obviously are just blowing smoke. The player feelings have erupted into a fury storm that is larger than even Star Wars Galaxy rage-quit. It will forever affect the gaming community and CCP’s reputation, which is all but been destroyed.
I’d like to emphasize that CCP was a company built on trust within its community and that they tended to listen and even change their policy because of the players. Heck, much of the content created is due to player feedback and they have a council of players elected by the community to give the developers more direct feedback. To suddenly turn your back on the player base out of greed over digital clothes is sickening. To see such a company turn out this way is disheartening and for many unforgivable. Especially with the smugness they showed everyone, as they considered their idea to be the best and that no debate could be made to change their minds. I guess having hundreds of thousands of subscriptions wasn’t good enough for them…that must be a “nice” world to live in….
I am greatly saddened by all this. CCP was a company that could have set an industry standard for MMOs. They had a great future idea coming, but instead they threw it all away for greed. Maybe this will work out, I cannot say definitively, but for me, CCP has lost my trust. All over clothes. That’s the most crushing part about it. Its not a game-balance thing, its not a lack of trying, its just digital clothing in a game. Wow.
If you read all this, congrats. I wish you the best of luck if your an Eve player sticking this out. If not, then I still wish you safe journeys to your next game/project.
Be safe everyone 🙂
-King Isaac Linksr
CCP’s CEO email leaked: Denaries’ Blog. *update: link removed due to podblogs no longer existing and the link goes to a malicious website*
CCP’s Smug Response to Vanity Store’s permanence: Eve’s Forums
Over 250 pages of players rage about CCP’s latest decisions and feelings of betrayal: Eve Online Forum
CCP’s internal document leaked: Massively Article
There are several gaming websites reporting this, such as Rock-Paper-Shotgun.