EVEOTORIAL: Why CCP is Bad for Eve

(You really should read Part One of this series before reading Part Two. Part One is below this one. Don't worry, we'll wait.)

TL;DR: CCP is overextended and this is really bad for Eve. In fact, it could kill it.

As expected, yesterday's post generated some good natured discussion, thought and reflection. All good things for the smartest readers in all of Eve, my readers, to engage in.  So let's continue the thought process today by taking a look at why CCP is bad for Eve.

First though, more about the CSM. Apparently, judging by some of the comments and Twitters from yesterday, some of you missed the large scale of my point. So let's review before we move on, shall we? Believe me, these points relate directly to CCP as well.

Any institution that comprises more than a few individuals is subject to incredible pressures that "vision" founded institutions often are not. In other words, committees rarely generate the expected result. I'm not going to bother backing that up, plenty of sources for the truth in that statement.

Throw into that mix the pressures of e-fame, immaturity, virtual responsibility, corporate recognition and everything else that goes into the CSM and the projected path of that entity is expected. In fact, we are living it now. The purest expression of the fact of this statement was the "election" of three Goons to the CSM. In fact, Goon Prime (who's name is not written on this blog) has as much as admitted to this fact on several occasions.

I wasn't blogging when the CSM was formed, but had you asked me then I could have told you where it was headed. It's as inevitable as the sun rising in the east.

Every coin has two sides however and the CSM is not alone in sharing responsibility for their actions, or inactions, or frustrations, or conflict generation. The partner in this is clearly CCP.

On one side we have a CSM clearly committed to their own agenda, an agenda increasingly self-centered. Previous CSM's are not without their share of this process, to varying degrees ( like many of you I haven't forgotten either). But let's focus on the present. On the other side we have a corporation that is increasingly distant, expanding, under pressure, unmoving, and often cold.

Those two forces are rapidly moving further and further apart. The fact that they are doing that is bad for Eve. With me so far?

Why is CCP acting the way it is? I have no idea. I'm not privy to the inner workings of CCP, but I do happen to have several decades of experience advising corporations just like them. So allow me the chance to address several forces potentially at work here.

CCP is maturing as a corporation. Part of that path is expanding profit centers beyond the "all the eggs in one basket" foundation that happens to be Eve. Hence, Dust and WoD, and even MT and Vanity Items. I can also imagine that CCP has capitalized significant debts in the development of these entities. These two assumptions, while they may not be 100% accurate, are true for most corporations. And they exert a tremendous amount of pressure on any institution in this phase of their growth.

I call it "thining" but I'm sure others call it something else. Thining occurs when a Corporation is extended, under pressure and growing. It is a state that occurs typically when new revenues have not yet taken hold, investment is high, and debts are accumulating. The result is, during this phase, the Corporation grows thinner, unable to hire fast enough to meet demand, unable to purchase their way to stability, they are left with no other recourse than to thin the ranks - spread resources.  This is an extremely critical time.

I admit I'm guessing here, but everything matches what we are experiencing.  Distraction settles in. Sound familiar? (if it isn't thining it is something else like it, either way the results are the same.)

Throw into this mix the development of an entirely NEW engine in Eve - Incarna (WiS) and the results can be extremely confusing to us the players.  Sound familiar?

All of this is good for CCP. Or it will be hopefully, let's assume it will for now. The alternative is horrible to contemplate. But it also happens to be bad for Eve. Eve is not getting the full undivided attention it used to get, it is not getting the full resources it used to get and it is certainly not the highest priority on the ever growing list of priorities.

No one from CCP will ever admit to the above, they shouldn't be expected to. I wouldn't advise any admission or recognition, to the outside world (the players in this case) everything is under control. But we see the results, forgotten paths within the game, fanfest dates moving, increasing patches, delays, moving targets, missteps in communication, all the signs are there. Clear as the nose on your face.

So what does it all mean? Best case scenario this is all temporary. The release of Dust will be a huge success allowing CCP to fill in the "spread", devote increasingly significant resources back to the game we love and get things back on track. All of which should be relatively transparent to us. Except we have that CSM thing to amplify their shortcomings.

Worst case scenario? Dust hits the shelves as fast as it is forgotten, regulated to the Game Stop trade bin. CCP, having bit off more than it can chew, is left with few options. And none of them are all that great for Eve.

The truth will lie somewhere in-between. In the meantime CCP needs to focus on the "monkey". The monkey is something they can do to help the players believe once more that they are dedicated to Eve and its survival. While WiS, the Null Sec fixes and SC Nerfs are all well and good, none of those are monkeys.  I would advise something purely insane, a day without Concord, an invasion of Jovians, a complete re-design of Caldari Battleships, I don't know, but something that says to the players "Look at the monkey!"  We're still here, inside we are still the same old group of nuts. Remember us? We remember you.

Remember when CCP would show up in ships in local? Remember when crazy stuff would sometimes happen without good reason? That was the CCP I liked, that was a CCP I could believe in. We put up with lag, with bugs, with bad ship models, with lots of nasty things because we believed we were both on the same journey... together. The players and CCP. Somewhere along the line, we stopped believing that. Or a lot of people did. At the very least, our confidence in the shared goals of Eve have been damaged.

It isn't too late though. It's never too late, until it finally is. And no one knows when that day will come. As for me, I hope it never arrives. For that would be a very, very sad day.

Part 3 tomorrow: Why all this bad stuff is ultimately good for Eve