Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is CCP Rowing in the Same Direction

"You know, Gina, Apple is like a ship, that ship is loaded with treasure, but there's a hole in the ship. And my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction."
-Gil Amelio (CEO of Apple 1996-1997)

Last June, as Incarna hit Hilmar game a presentation at the Game Horizon conference. I suggest all of you interested in what is going on watch this video:

Hilmar Veigar Petursson - CCP Games from Codeworks Ltd on Vimeo.


For those who don't have the 60 minutes to watch it Hilmar gives a great history of EVE Online and where it is going. A lot of it focuses on thier 'Carbon' engine and using it in EVE and World of Darkness. There is a mention that some things don't make sense in EVE but are implemented since they can be capitalized across the portfolio of games (i.e. World of Darkness). It is a very optimistic view of CCP where EVE is but one of three AAA products of CCP. CCP is a brand, it is an experience, it is the difference between getting coffee from McDonalds, and getting coffee from Starbucks. You come for the spaceships, you stay for the Monocles!

Compare this to the most recent interview with Hilmar in Eurogamer:http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-10-21-eurogamer-interviews-ccps-hilmar-petursson-interview

Probably the most important part is the end...
Hilmar PĆ©tursson: We are back in the spaceship business.

As a player who pays real $$ for my subscription I feel that each month I am investing in EVE. Nearly three years of $15 per months x two accounts is quite an investment. After Incarna I felt like I was holding 2002 Nortel stock. After this past week I feel that I may be holding 1997 Apple stock.

Question remains however, is CCP all rowing in the same direction? When Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 the first thing he did was kill off dozens, hundreds of faltering products. To be an Apple developer at Steve Jobs' first developer conference was a painful event. But by cutting the crap and focusing on delivering what it's customers wanted Apple turned around and is now the most valuable company in the world. Not everything is perfect. DUST 514 should be on the PC, not the console. However that is more due to contractual obligations I suspect then anything else. Otherwise, based upon the recent devblogs, it seems that CCP is finally heading in the right direction.

I suspect based upon the massively article things are pretty chaotic at ccp. Insiders report that "All prior release planning is basically in the trash," and "also realise that people have heard too much bullshit". Development seems to be focused on easy wins for FIS that will make players happy. About time!

Not surprisingly there is a lot of resistance from management at CCP. Attitudes like "and say we have just hit a bump because some bad players refuse to see the awesomeness of our vision. We're told that it is not our fault." are toxic and completely contrary to the attitude needed for CCP to return. It seems that the CEO is on message however. With luck the rest of management will either come onside, or be replaced. Vikings were great rowers... they rowed across the Atlantic to settle in Labrador. I am sure they will come around.

Now back to shooting stuff...

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