CCP accused of “running Eve Online into the ground”
Management at Eve Online developer CCP has been accused of neglecting the popular MMOG and its users, doing little to arrest a stall in growth of subscriber numbers brought on by the controversial Incarna update, and of being "hell-bent on running Eve Online into the ground."
The claim comes from Alexander "The Mittani" Gianturco, chairman of the player-elected Council of Stellar Management (CSM), who in a lengthy blog post accuses CCP of ignoring Eve Online after shifting focus and resources to its World Of Darkness MMOG and the Eve-linked online shooter Dust 514.
Gianturco and other members of the CSM were flown to CCP's Reykjavik offices in June for an emergency meeting in an attempt to quell player uproar over the Incarna update, which added human avatars and put greater emphasis, and prices, on microtransactions. An uneasy accord was reached at the meeting, but Gianturco's harsh words make it clear that peace has been well and truly breached.
"CCP is a schizophrenic organisation," he writes, praising the work done on Eve Online – known internally at CCP as Flying In Space (FIS) – by current developers CCP Soundwave. "In other areas, particularly upper management, the company seems hell-bent on running Eve Online into the ground to try to make a reality out of the foolish business decisions they made," a reference to its taking on of World Of Darkness and Dust 514 when it already had its hands full with Eve Online.
"In the past, Eve expansions were based [on] the desires of the players, to augment their behaviour," he continues. "Player-owned stations exist because CCP noticed players stockpiling goods in safespots in GSCs. Outposts were added based on the obvious attempts to build more infrastructure in 0.0. Wormholes provided a place for players to indulge in a no-local environment and explore the unknown." Incarna, he claims, was not only the expansion that broke this trend by being designed to benefit the developer rather than its community: it didn't even work.
"Usually after an expansion there is a surge in players who join the game," he explains. "These create peaks and valleys in user numbers as people kick the tyres on the new content and either stick around or leave. Incarna, which has taken a tremendous amount of development and marketing resources, essentially had no impact."
It appears the CSM's complaints are being met with limited success, with Gianturco saying: "Our interactions with CCP's upper management in the aftermath of the emergency summit have shown us that the suits are not treating the players with the gravity they deserve; our willingness to negotiate with the FIS teams is being misinterpreted as a sign of weakness and compliance."
In other words, the CSM has had enough, and in closing Gianturco says it is ready to act to safeguard the community it was elected to represent. "So the gloves come off," he writes. "In the coming weeks we are going to be making some extremely loud statements regarding the neglect of FIS, the failure of Incarna, and the need for CCP's management to pull the game out of this stall. We need something new to do, not something new to wear.
"We will not stand idly by as an alliance while our subscription money goes to waste, watching the game we pay to play spiralling into entropy due to the folly and neglect of CCP's management. It is not yet time to start a fire, but get your gasoline ready."