Throw enough mud and you get mud everywhere

There are a couple of articles doing the rounds about CCP and more retrenchments. If you are already in a poor head space about EVE and CCP and don’t want to feel any worse, you should probably ignore them.

The first has quotes from an unnamed source/s, an annoyed past employee, and reads a little like they have an agenda as opposed to reporting just the facts.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/05/world-of-darkness-the-inside-story-mmo-ccp-white-wolf

The second is something we should see an official announcement about, but the reporter heard about it early from an inside leak.

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/5/5782190/ccp-iceland-layoffs-eve-online

In summary, the (apparent) final phase of the already announced restructuring and retrenchments at CCP are occurring now, and the management of the development of the World of Darkness MMO lacked cohesive direction.

 

Reading the articles did make me stop for a moment and think about where EVE is at.

. There is steady and constant improvement to the game

. There are fixes to the current game to look forward to

. There are new features and content to look forward to

. The development of EVE doesn’t seem to be particularly dysfunctional

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I’m not particularly worried at the moment about the game EVE.

 

It does however put me in the sphere of a pet topic of mine. For the last 20 years I’ve been working for Consulting Companies – providing mostly remote support for the IT infrastructure (databases and ERP software) of clients. I have had extended dealings with more than 80 organisations – from Local Governments to the smallest Mining company to the largest Retail conglomerates in my country. (By extended I mean frequent contact for anywhere between 6 months and a decade). Out of all those organisations, and the companies I have worked for, there have only been 3 or 4 I have thought were actually managed and run well. Many more of the companies were successful – but I would not have attributed senior management as the key reason for that.

I am not actually suggesting I could do any better – but there seems in my mind something wrong with the corporate culture and effectiveness at the most senior levels.

That does not excuse CCP for its habit of stumbling and making mistakes – or the fact that you don’t really seem to hear about the senior managers being highlighted as failing and suffering any appropriate consequence. In my mind however it isn’t really just a problem with CCP, or the Game industry in general. It is probably much wider than that.

You should have a couple quiet days from me. On the road again.

4 thoughts on “Throw enough mud and you get mud everywhere

  1. Yes, I could not agree more. I want to enjoy EVE and not get dragged down into the swamp of negativity. But, like you, I have quite a bit of experience with technology management. I must say that CCP’s management seems particularly arrogant toward their employees, customers and the rest of the market. Maybe its the Icelandic bullheadedness (sp?) or its just locker room bravado, the climate at CCP appears toxic and not conducive to real innovation.

  2. Yeah, to really enjoy EVE, I have to employ some tunnel vision, because there’s too much that’d bug the hell out of me if I paid attention to it, probably to the point of quitting. The layoffs today (and in May and December) are troubling, as are the hints we get about CCP management attitudes and corporate culture.

    I focus on the things I like: mainly, the people I knew coming into EVE and that I’ve met since then, and the creative and software-geeky aspects of the game. I’m a software engineer, so I like figuring out how stuff works.

    I’ve got a strong competitive streak IRL, but I channel it carefully because I know from experience I’ll get caught up in the moment and then feel horrible later about steamrolling right over people. Being competitive feels to me like *work* and serious business — so it’s not appealing to me much at all in my leisure time. One day job is enough for me. Heh.

    It’s possible that someday the suckiness of EVE will grow to the point that it overwhelms my ability (or willingness) to tune it out. But as they say in the movies, “today is not that day.” 🙂

  3. As an older player I very well remember the attitudes and actions of SOE in the EQ1 era of dominance. They could do no wrong and acted like it. They got blindsided by new company coming into the MMO space and doing all of the things they would not and could not do. I see a lot of similarities between CCP and SOE of that early era. It may very well be that if one of the many kickstarters takes off in the EVE niche that CCP’s decline may not be a gradual one.

  4. I completely agree. I have two accounts which I’ve paid a year’s subscription for which sit mostly idle. Most times I logon, I ask myself why I subject myself to such negativity. I recall many MMOs rise and fall, from Ultima Online forward. I see poor management being the core of each game’s demise. I suspect that the problems that have been recently exposed have existed for a long time now. The “We Can’t” and “We Won’t” attitude that CCP takes with EVE is dissapointing.

    I hope for the best, but fear that this may be the beginning of some sort of end for CCP/EVE as we know it. Where CCP fails, competition will hopefully succeed. One can hope.

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