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CCP offering discount subscriptions to fleeing EVE vets

Fri 14 Oct 2011 8:17am GMT / 4:17am EDT / 1:17am PDT
OnlineDevelopment

Players who let accounts lapse over controversy are offered olive branch

CCP is offering a significantly reduced subscription rate to players who have let accounts lapse over the controversial decisions of the last few months, a fee of just $4.95 for 30 days.

Many veteran players quit the company's flagship MMO, EVE, after a run of decisions from management upset the game's highly involved and active community. Features intended to monetise the game beyond subscription fees were revealed to player when an internal document was leaked, infuriating many and leading vast numbers to quit.

"As a subscription-based golden goose, Eve needs to incorporate the virtual goods sales model to allow for further revenue - revenue to fund our other titles, revenue for its developer: you," read one section of the document.

5,511 players had let accounts lapse at the last count, costing the company an estimated $1 million.

EVE lives or dies by its incredibly Byzantine and fragile economy, which CCP had attempted to augment with new charges for in-game items and services. Players responded by attempting to undermine and crash the economy.

Since then, a player delegation has elicited a full and frank apology from CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson.

The extra funds generated from the microtransactions were thought to used to pay for CCP's other projects, including the forthcoming PS3 EVE tie-in, Dust 514.

For a fuller picture of the background of the story, read John Bedford's in depth analysis of the crisis over at Eurogamer.

19 Comments

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

82 28 0.3
You know CCP are doing something terribly wrong when the longest standing players start quiting in large numbers like that. Eve has a small but loyal fanbase with an almost religious zeal and its this that is keeping the paychecks coming in.

First step to kill a golden goose? Get greedy.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
As much as I hate the term "Whales" it is worth noting that even without digital goods, Eve had it's own version. When I was reading up on the controversy, I saw many players saying how they were thinking of stopping all 8 or 10 of there accounts. So even on a pure subscription model where you in theory had a £10 a month flat rate, some people were finding a way to spend £100 a month.

In this regard I question whether there was much benefit to virtual goods, as Gamesbrief points out it allows people who love your game spend more, but it seems with Eve that was already happening.

Posted:2 years ago

#2
I'm not sure if the Horse has already bolted...for the stable doors to be closed

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Mihai Cozma
Indie Games Developer

123 34 0.3
Some business people need to learn when to stop pushing for growth in their businesses. By failing to see that your business reached its maximum potential, you can easily start its premature decline.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Sergiu Badau Wittenberger
QA Tester

25 31 1.2
Uhm , why is this news ? They have been doing such things with accounts since forever. If your account was deactivated for more than 3 months (I think), you would get an email stating to come back at a cheaper price. This has been around 9,95eur for 2 months, now it's 5 eur for 1 month... really ? this is news ?

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Pablo Santos
Developer

23 18 0.8
@Sergiu Well, it is new coming from CCP - I am an old Eve player myself, and the farthest CCP went to encourage me to get back for the last few years was to offer me a "5 days for free" promo.

As to the article, I think that a game that has the in-game economy as its backbone (as Eve does) should avoid monetizing content.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Sergiu Badau Wittenberger
QA Tester

25 31 1.2
@Pablo

Indeed it seems I was mistaken. What I got before was 5 days for free and an option to subscribe for 2 months at 20eur not 10. My bad.

Posted:2 years ago

#7
I don't think most eve players give a damn about a first person shooter so why should they be asked to fund it's development.

I think they may well loose those players forever once the cold turkey period is over.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Sean Warren
Inspector

34 0 0.0
Keep the change CCP.

I can't tell you how venomous and hostile I feel toward the new CCP.
I truly believe and stand by the statement that prior to purchasing WoD, this was the greatest game company to ever exist next to Palladium Books and EGOSOFT. Now, with their missteps they have ruined that. They have cast their lot in the wrong direction and I am relieved they are paying for what they have done... It shows that there is at least a sliver of justice out there in the market.
I only wish they would fall wholly for such a lack of integrity, I'd see them working in call centers and fast food drivethroughs, like the rest of the commoners they betrayed... perhaps then, they can see if the content and price points are indeed reasonable.

Sadly, CCP and the rest of the privelaged kids, with their boatloads of cash, will float forever and recover just fine, as always... that justice I alluded to is, after all, only a sliver at best. I hate to paint such a loathsome picture, but at the very worst, the spoiled darlings will simply part out their holdings and move onto something else, leaving the huddled masses oblivious that they are patronizing the same corrupted turds they cursed not but 5 minutes earlier. I know I have no chance here, but I will remain weary. I will keep my eyes pealed, and will have nothing to do with anyone that has anything to do with them, so far as I can track them in their movements.
How's that for venomous?

Live and learn ladies and gentlemen, for I, and many others just like me will never give them another dime, let alone 4.95, content be damned. These are games folks, meant to be fun... if forget that, if you attempt to capitalize on gamers, if you fail to respect the artistic medium, then those of us that do appreciate it, will imagineer our own good time without you petty, traitorous SOB's.
So, remember... it could have just as easily have been any of us. That's assuming of course that any of us can have more greed than love for our community.
Pathetic.

Apologize to someone else, for I have no sympathy for you at this point. I find your apology disingenuous, and a measure of poorly masked corporate damage control. As soon as you can, you will fail your community again... but next time, I wont be there.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Sean Warren on 14th October 2011 10:52pm

Posted:2 years ago

#9
hey, i hear another icelandic volcano worse than the previous one coming around the corner. coincidence?

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Sean Warren
Inspector

34 0 0.0
@Dr. Chee Ming Wong
Please, let it be technoviking...

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Kristoffer Sandberg
Studying Computer Games Development

5 0 0.0
@John Owens
That seems like a strange mindset, because that's how it's done by all games companys. The money you make from your first game will fund the development of the second, I just can't figure out why people are surprised and angry about this. It would be like being angry with Apple because they "betrayed" their loyal costumers by spending their money developing music players and phones instead of computers.

Posted:2 years ago

#12
Gamers are a funny herd. Esp Subscription based ones...

Posted:2 years ago

#13

James Ingrams
Writer

208 72 0.3
It's about time PC gamers got a voice! For example, as a PC gamer, I supported Bioware when it was a small PC publisher. Without my and other PC gamer's money they could not have survived. Yet what have they done with the million's PC gamers have given them? They have produced console orientated Action-Adventures, like Jade Empire and totally deserting the PC market!

You can multiply this 20-30 times over with other publisher's like Bioware, where 10-12 years or so ago they were PC only games publishers. They did not produce on the Sega, Nintendo or Playstation 1, just the PC. Every penny they made was from PC gamers. Yet by 2005 they were using that money to release "streamlined" console titles with generally poor or non-existent PC versions! It's gone downhill since, which is why PC game sales from Bioware is declining, whereas £old-school","non-handholding", "PC orientated" titles, like STALKER, Gothic and Witcher sell more and more copies of their PC only games.

This "desertion" of the PC format by the large U.S. publishers/developers, is now coming back to bite them in the ass, with declining U.S. sales on all formats, while PC titles out of Europe just sell more and more units! The Witcher 2, released in May, for example, has sold more copies on PC than Gears of War 3 on 360, and where as GoW 3 sales will drop off in 3 months, Witcher 2 sales will continue, with release of the 2.0 version last week, and a PC expansion and 360 version in 2012.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Stefan Pettersson
Specialist Consultant

79 19 0.2
Been with EVE since launch May 2003 but recently cancelled my subscription which will expire in January 2012.

The latest changes with in game-items was half the reason I decided to cancel, the other reason was Dust 514 to which I was looking forward became a PS3-exclusive. Of course I have a PS3 and love playing games like Little Big Planet, Uncharted and Demon's Souls on it.

But all my EVE-friends are on the pc and Xbox 360. Not one single person in our corp of 30+ people owns a PS3 (we did a poll this summer). I wonder if CCP has researched what consoles EVE-players in general owns before they turned PS3-exclusive?

No wonder people get angry when they're supposed to pay for something they won't be able to use. To me and at least three other corp members (all since 2003) this was the game killer.

Oh, and I have (had) two accounts which is like the minimum for EVE-players.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Stefan Pettersson on 15th October 2011 11:12am

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Brian Hannah
Studying Bsc Hons Computer Games Software Development

12 0 0.0
I started playing EVE a couple of months ago when I saw a video of how CCP brought in a few of the players to act like a kind of government and I though what an awsome company. I'm sad too see so many leave.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Kessia Thomas
Studying 3D Computer Animation

16 1 0.1
@Stefan CCP chose the PS3 because only SONY would open their network and allow it be connected to and third party, Microsoft declined when they were asked. But I agree I let 3 accounts lapse because of the screw-up with the 'extras' and because DUST was console only and as I an PC gamer that pished me right off. Take note game dev peeps the vast majority of gamers use a PC rather than a console, case in point, the Bodycount flop by Codemasters friend of mine was on the dev team and I told him way before release that locking down to console only was a bad idea.

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Russell Watson
Senior Designer

82 28 0.3
I had 2 accounts playing from start of 05. I had to cancel my subs this time last year, I was going to reactivate but won't bother now.

Posted:2 years ago

#18

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

477 434 0.9
James, not sure which numbers you're using, but a cursory search on Google shows Witcher 2 sold around 1 million units in its first four months, and Gears of War 3 sold 3 million units in its first week. Both worldwide figures, as far as I can tell. Witcher 2 sold almost half its copies in its first week on sale too, so it's hardly a slow burner.

The STALKER series has sold an impressive four million units, but that's across three titles in four years, and the next one is going to be on PS3 and 360 as well as PC. By comparison, the Gears of War trilogy has done somewhere north of fourteen million in a similar period.

Posted:2 years ago

#19

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