Blog Banter 28: “The Future of EVE Online, CCP and the CSM.”

“In recent months, the relationship between CCP and it’s customers has been the subject of some controversy. The player-elected Council of Stellar Management has played a key role in these events, but not for the first time they are finding CCP difficult to deal with. What effect will CCP’s recent strategies have on the future of EVE Online and it’s player-base? What part can and should the CSM play in shaping that future? How best can EVE Online’s continued health and growth be assured?”

I suspect CCP’s statistics are telling them that they have nothing to worry about.

While the conflict is real – only a minority of players are upset.  Most EVE players do not read the MMO and EVE related news sites, or the forums, or blogs, or tweets.  They just log into the game, explore, and do whatever interests them.  There is enough content to keep these players interested and busy for years.

The CSM itself is voted in by a relatively small minority of the players, and is prone to being manipulated by alliance sized interest groups. There are many reasons not to take them seriously.

So it would just be a storm in a tea cup, as the saying goes, except for the fact that the statistics don’t really tell the full story.

The small percentage of upset and disenfranchised players is certainly providing bad press – but to me the issue is more important than just that.  The players who are raging are those who are passionate about the game.  They write the blogs, troll the forums, post the videos, create the tools and applications, drive the in game content and politics.  They invest silly amounts of effort into the game – and are the core of what makes EVE Online distinctive.

They are stakeholders in the games development and success.  These are in part what the CSM represents.  These are the key players that CCP should be trying to keep in the game.

I am not sure what the CSM can do to be honest.  The powers that be at CCP give the impression that they are smug in their self-assuredness that they know what they are doing, and that they have got things right.  It would be rather easy for them to view the impertinent and self-important theatrics from the CSM as the excuse they need to ignore or scrap the group.

In part the game needs resources put into its development, but possibly more than that, it seems like the CCP senior management needs to be forced to play EVE at least one hour a day.  Maybe then they might stop coming across as so out of touch, and appreciate what the rabble rousing players are trying to say.

A list of participants (that will be updated by the owner as time permits) can be found here:

http://freebooted.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-banter-28-future-of-eve-online-ccp.html

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