Behind the Curtain



This is my Fan Art player presentation at Fanfest 2015. I am the first non-CCP affiliated artist to EVER officially work with CCP Games. At that Fanfest my posters were sold as a pilot program to see how well they would be received. They sold more than any other item in the Eve Store. I missed a lot of Fanfest to sell posters because I felt it was worth it. Those in charge of such things selected a company in California called QMx Online to sell the posters thru, despite QMx not having the ability to ship Internationally. I was happily under contract with CCP and the contract seemed fair. CCP would share with me monthly sales reports against which I would be given a small percentage of those sales. After six years of trying to climb that mountain, I had finally made it.

Roundtable
Andrew Cohen, CCP Spitfire and Me at a Fan Art Roundtable Fanfest 2015

Except I never did see one of those Monthly Sales Reports. Not one. To this day I only have one person's word for how many of the posters have been sold. At least up until January 2016.

January 2016, at the height of my own desperation, and at the end of the debacle known as the Fountain War Kickstarter, and after months of not being paid and seeing the posters being sold at Eve Vegas - I was told the contract would be cancelled. As part of some over-arching "house cleaning", but - and this is important - CCP would buy my posters from me for a flat fee. In addition, and at the time this was extremely important to me, they'd also like to buy eight MORE posters from me. I was heartbroken that the contract was going to be cancelled, but not surprised after the KS had failed. There are always consequences. But at least I would see something out of it, and as you all know, at the time I really could've used the additional money.

Today, a year later, none of those things happened. I put together a proposal for additional posters, for buyouts, and nothing came of them. The contract was cancelled, under what I consider at best false pretenses, and I was left with nothing. The posters are still being sold right now and have been for the entire year, and at last year's Fanfest and Eve Vegas again.

For those of you out there that think this is about money, let me be even more clear. In total I made right around $600 selling posters with CCP. 1,100 posters were sold at Fanfest in 2015 from which I saw nothing. This has never been about the money. For me this has always been about my own love for Eve and the passion I have for the community. Plus, y'know, thirty years of proven professional marketing and creative success behind me. Our game should be bigger. It should be more involved and more open and more tolerable and more encompassing. And I believe that art can have a huge role in that. But it doesn't.

Does that strike anyone else as odd?

For all the talk last week from Hilmar about how well CCP is doing, let's not forget one little guy in Pennsylvania that got screwed over at the one moment in his life when he could least afford it.

This isn't about money. It isn't about any legal issues. Or copyright. Or Intellectual Property. I don't want money, or anything. I've even worked with CCP since the contract was cancelled. They called me to do the London office opening and I got paid for that work. If CCP calls me tomorrow to work with them on another project I would in a heartbeat.

What do I want then?

Nothing. I don't want anything.

This Fanfest I'm going to enjoy as a player. Just me and my friends hanging out all week in Iceland.

I'm looking forward to it. I have a lot of FREE goodies to hand out.

PS: A few people seem to have gotten the idea that I am printing my own versions of the posters and bringing them with me to Fanfest to give away for free. As much as I think that would be an awesome idea, I simply can't afford to do that. What I am bringing is a bunch of stickers and some other things to give away for FREE. I don't want to spoil the surprise.

4 comments:

  1. To be honest, I would be angry with CCP. They are quick to point to anyone stealing their property (in whatever shape or form) so it only seems right they should respect yours. Double standards? I expect better of them.

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    1. I am angry and disappointed in a few people certainly. But there is little I can do about it besides bring it up every so often and move on. As always, I strive to be the better person.

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  2. I'm surprised there isn't a community section to the eve store where you creators could sell your work. It could all be funneled through CCP, but I'm sure the logistics and manufacturing hurdles are insane, but there has got to be a solution out there. So many people want to help other players and support each other's hobbies, but also pay our respects ($$$) to CCP to help keep the mothership afloat. It's a bummer, but I'm glad people like you are at least testing those waters and not getting bent out of shape when corporate shenanigans happen.

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    1. I made several proposals to CCP over the years regarding on-demand storefronts and custom management solutions in regards to the Eve Store, all of which were rejected so we could wait three years for this horrid solution we have now. There are so many ways to serve the community needs and I'd welcome the chance to run something like that in partnership with CCP. But they have no interest in it.

      So that's why I've decided to just ignore them and do it myself.

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