EVE Online Boss Grovels For Forgiveness After A Summer Of Fiascoes

Wracked by boneheaded decisions involving game expansions and the sale of virtual goods, EVE Online's community has been in an uproar for several months. The outrage was so loud that the game's publisher has prostrated himself begging forgiveness, with a 1,500-word self-flagellating unconditional apology.

"The estrangement from CCP that many of you have been feeling of late is my fault, and for that I am truly sorry," writes Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, the CEO of CCP, in a groveling note that in no way mimics the faux-humble so-sorry that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tossed out to derision three weeks ago.

There seem to be two problems here, the first is "Captain's Quarters," a mandatory singleplayer mode that was not well received and, in the end, came off like a partial beta of an upcoming world expansion. "Forcing players into a mandatory single-player Captain's Quarters experience was a mistake," Pétursson wrote, saying the extension's features showed that CCP "had fallen out of touch with our community."

"We underestimated our development time, set impractical or misleading expectations, and added insult to injury by removing something in which players were emotionally invested," Pétursson wrote.

More egregious was the infamous virtual goods rollout, something Pétursson charitably describes as "underwhelming." In reality, it offered such cosmetic doodads as monocles at real-world costs upwards of $US70. A stupefyingly tone-deaf defence of brand-name virtual good purchases spasmed the EVE community further, to the point full-blown rioting broke out in June. The crisis required a special session of the goddamn real-life parliament governing EVE, convened in Iceland.

"We also didn't do enough to assure you that this wasn't the beginning of a 'pay to win' scenario in EVE," Pétursson wrote. "Let me be blunt: Unless the MMO business changes radically, our virtual goods strategy for EVE Online will remain limited in scope and focus on vanity items ... The investment of money in EVE should not give you an unfair advantage over the investment of time."

Pétursson closes his mea culpa by vowing that "[W] e've taken action to ensure these mistakes are never repeated. We have reexamined our processes, hired experienced industry professionals for key leadership positions, reassessed our priorities, moved personnel around and, above all else, recognised our limitations."

I don't claim to know the mind of an EVE player or the culture in which he participates, but as far as surrenders go, this one looks rather unconditional. Will it matter in the end?

A Letter to the Followers of EVE [CCP]

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Comments

    Unconditional humility when things are clearly drastically a mistake is kinda... refreshing. Better than getting defensive, I guess. Though that's no guarantee it'll be taken in good faith, for some unreasonable people even an apology wouldn't ease their sense of betrayal.

    I just love that they have a real life parliament convening in Iceland.

    I don't play eve, but for any CEO this is a ballsy move, and I respect it.

    If only Bobby Kotick would admit this about diablo 3 : ( ,anyway eve is still pay to win with the eve character bazzar and plex being tradeable for isk so i realy don't get why the players chucked a hissy fit.

      The concern was over items that could only be purchased through Auran purchases that would provide a advantage in the game mechanics that could not be achieved any other way.

      What you've described - the ISK/PLEX trading market and Character trading - is not pay to win, it's merely offloading your time investment onto somebody else and paying them with ingame currency or subscription time only - somebody else has still spent the nominal gaming time to "produce" them, and they offer no advantage over somebody who has spent the time to do it themselves.

        I get what your saying but I think you missed my point, the ability to purchase a 3 year old + character by way of isk is still putting you at the same level as someone who has played for that amount of time. So either you made your isk in game and still paid real money to CCP for your monthly sub or you bought plex from ccp directly with real money you still are "paying to win". Whilst ill admit there is the third option of earning the 390+ million isk in game for the plex then raised the isk (some 30 billion +) it is very remote occurrence and would need some 40+ game hours a week to achieve.

    Flurp:

    I hope you mean 40 hours a week when you first start in order to earn enough for a plex. A 3-4 month old character should have no problem clearing 400 million ISK in 10 hours or so a week. Even less for more advanced players. There are some people in my corp who earn 400-600 million in a day.

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