One or the Other

Just an aside – I’ve noticed that when I sit down to play a game for the day, it tends to be either EVE or World of Warships, but rarely both. My recent sudden burst of mining in EVE saw me not log into World of Warships for a week. Playing with the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare the last few days has seen me not log into EVE.

I’ve done two posts related to CCP’s latest round of retrenchments. One wondering at the culpability of CCP’s management decision making, and a second wondering about the relationship between CCP’s management and the EVE Community. A third common thread in people’s discussions is how this relates to the EVE is dying mantra.

Kirith Kodachi suggests we might be in the Sunset phase of EVE Online. It is not dying yet, but it is not thriving anymore.

There is sense to that from the statistics we can see, particularly apparent if you are a veteran of the game. If nothing much changes, it is probably an accurate assessment. A long and slow death, one that many of us probably wouldn’t be around for. Those that are would mostly be able to adjust. It might even come as a relief.

The glitch in the concept however is if CCP introduce changes to the game that suddenly reinvigorate the old players and positively enthuse the new. I don’t have some worthwhile example – if it was logical and obvious CCP would likely have tried it. Maybe they open up new space along with new mechanisms of exploration, resource gathering and taking ownership that people absolutely love. The game – in theory, could be more alive than ever.

While the game is being maintained, refreshed, updated and evolves, there is always the possibility of a resurrection.

I think a more accurate way of looking at the situation currently is to consider how healthy your EVE game is. Splatus said it very well when he announced he was taking a break recently. “EVE is not dying, but “my” EVE is dying”

CCP’s focus on group play and mechanics has negatively impacted my hermit game style. That’s my EVE – not EVE itself. While I suspect the jury is still out on CCP’s latest focus, it could feasibly make the game better overall while leaving me at the wayside.

What the latest round of retrenchments have done however is remind me of another risk, and a fate worse than the slow death often discussed.

The mistakes of senior management at CCP could kill EVE. A failed investment, carrying too much debt at a bad turn in the economy, messing up the basics and not being able to raise enough short-term cash, allowing control of the company to be wrestled away by those skilled in stripping value and leaving an unsustainable carcass, or even a decision to move resources away from EVE and onto something that has proven to be more profitable.

A sudden and premature death, possibly with little notice. How impotent would our conjecture and arguing about EVE dying be in such a situation?

I don’t have a view on how likely or not that is. It does seem at least a vague possibility. That is why I find the big rounds of retrenchments to be disquieting. As I remarked in an earlier post, was it a sound decision made on the back of appropriate boldness and risk, or did they just stuff up big – again.

3 thoughts on “One or the Other

  1. I think what’s so unsettling this time is that the layoffs feel lake they come out of nowhere. The VR experiments seemed to be doing well. EVE itself has been making good money. EVE Vegas was filled with positive vibe as we saw the Devs announce alterations to the road map to accommodate player concerns (balance team implementation, Upwell 2.0). Lifeblood appears reasonably well received and, perhaps more importantly, not riddled with incomplete “we’ll iterate later” additions. Sadly, layoffs aren’t at all unusual in the gaming software industry but one doesn’t expect them following so much good news. For me at least it’s brought out a “wait a minute, what’s really going on under the hood” pause.

  2. Though i don’t necessarily keep up with everything going on, I still read bits and bits and I find these articles of late rather interesting. Not on the game itself, but the management decisions and happenings affecting it and its effect on the community.

  3. My play style is slowly being replaced. I too am a hermit, so I agree, my Eve is dying. Whether that is symptomatic of the entire game only time will tell.

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