Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Greed is Good in Eve Online

Thousands of players gathered in protest few months ago for several reasons, all of which related to the Incarna expansion. Some were upset over the lack of content in a full fledged expansion. Some were upset about their computers overheating. The vast majority were upset about the new cash for game items store CCP added. Items in the store range from $30 to $80 in cost at present moment. To make matters worse, an internal CCP memo titled "Greed is Good" and discusses all the ways the developers can exploit players for money was leaked.
CCP has responded to complaints with a blog in which they defend their position that people pay up to $1000 for designer Jeans. This has only inflammed players even more.

CCP Blog Defending Incarna:
Dear concerned citizens of New Eden
This week has seen quite a controversy unfold. In almost the same instant as we deployed Incarna - which by the way is one of our more smooth and successful expansions, not to mention absolutely gorgeous - an internal newsletter with rather controversial topics addressed leaked out. To further compound the confusion there was a clear and rather large gap in virtual goods pricing expectation and reality with a large segment of the community. I‘m going to address both these issues right here.
Fearless is one of our company values. It‘s also the name of an internal newsletter that has been designed and developed specifically to catalyze discussions on controversial topics. One of the biggest elephants in the room these days, not just for EVE but for the gaming industry as a whole, is virtual goods sales and microtransactions. Therefore we dedicated an entire issue to exactly that topic. It‘s worth mentioning that the topic of the issue was "Greed is good?" as a way to ask a question that would then be debated back and forth and often exaggerated purposefully to draw contrasts and make points. The result of that is now widely available on the internet. The opinions and views expressed in Fearless are just that; opinions and views. They are not CCP policy nor are they a reliable source of CCP views as a company. The employees who submitted articles to that newsletter did exactly what they were asked to do, write about theories and opinions from an exaggerated stand. While it‘s perfectly fine to disagree and attack CCP over policies or actions we take, we think it‘s not cool how individuals that work here have been called out and dragged through the mud due to something they wrote in the internal company newsletter. Seriously, these people were doing their jobs and do not deserve the hate and shitstorm being pointed at them. 
Pricing structure
People have been shocked by the price range in the NeX store, but you should remember that we are talking about clothes. Look at the clothes you are currently wearing in real life. Do you have any specific brands? Did you choose it because it was better quality than a no-name brand? Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop. Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50? What do other people think about you when they see you wearing them? For some you will look like the sad culmination of vainness while others will admire you and think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Whichever it is, it is clear that by wearing clothes you are expressing yourself and that the price is one of the many dimensions that clothes possess to do that in addition to style and fit. You don't need to buy expensive clothes. In fact you don't need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are. We will gradually introduce items at other price points, definitely lower and probably higher than what‘s in the store today. We hope you enjoy them and are as passionate about them as you are of the current items that are for sale. I hope I‘ve addressed your concerns and cleared up a lot of the issues you‘re having. We‘ll continue monitoring the forums and other communications channels and pick up and reply if there are concerns not covered by this blog.
Thanks, Arnar Hrafn Gylfason, Senior Producer of EVE Online

This video shows hundreds of protesting players shooting an invulnerable structure in Jita, the most popular trade hub in the EVE universe. The system is so full of players CCP keeps shutting down gate traffic and forcing people into other systems. Hundreds of players wait on gates to enter. Thousands of players are also protesting in other popular such as Amarr and Rens. EVE game time code value is currently plummeting.

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