Last week the universal community of EVE Online exploded into rage over the release of high-priced virtual goods and a leaked internal memo that suggested developer CCP planned to monetize the hell out of everything they could put a price tag on in the popular space MMO. Thanks to a brilliant plan that involved flying key community members to Iceland, everything is all better now.
The mere suggestion that CCP would eventually offer "pay-to-win" virtual items for sale in EVE Online was enough to kick off massive riots in the online game last week, with players flooding the game universe's major trading hubs, bringing its robust economy to a standstill.
Sensing something amiss with their fan base, CCP jumped into action. On a regular basis the company allows players to elect a group of their own to represent them in player/developer disputes. This Council of Stellar Management is the players' voice to the game developer, a direct link to the game makers.
But email wouldn't cut it this time. The players were too angry.
So CCP invited members of the Council to come spend a couple of days with them in Iceland. There they met face-to-face, discussing player concerns in a historic two-day summit held June 30 to July 1. Various player concerns were addressed, and in the end, CCP and the Council seem to have come to an accord.
In a recent entry in the EVE Online development blog, senior producer Hrafn Gylfason passes out a few mea culpas and explained how the Council helped the developers see their side of things.
CCP acknowledges that the reaction following the leaked internal communication could have been handled better. Good communication and trust between CCP and the EVE community has always been a fundamental priority for CCP and will continue to be so.
It is CCP‘s plan that the Noble Exchange (NeX store) will be used for the sale of vanity items only. There are no plans, and have been no plans, as per previous communication and CSM meetings, to introduce the sale of game breaking items or enhancements in the NeX store.
The investment of money in EVE should not give you an unfair advantage over the investment of time. The CSM, under NDA, has been presented with CCP‘s plans for continued evolution of the business model and agrees that nothing they saw breaks this principle. CCP has committed to sharing their plans with the CSM on this front on an ongoing basis.
In the same article, the Council of Stellar Management explained that they felt issues had been resolved to their satisfaction.
We are convinced that CCP has no plans to introduce any game-affecting virtual goods, only pure vanity items such as clothing and ship skins. We have been repeatedly assured that there are no plans for ‘gold ammo', ships which have different statistics from existing common hulls, or any other feared ‘game destroying' virtual goods or services. We have expressed our deep concern about potential grey areas that the introduction of virtual goods permits, and CCP has made a commitment to discuss any proposals that might fall into these grey areas in detail with CSM at the earliest possible stage.
It bears noting that the Council of Stellar Management representatives also got to go to Iceland, most likely not on their own dime. I only mention that because. aside from anything video game related, I would endorse the hell out of any product that involved me getting a free trip to Iceland, up to and including Hitler Flakes, the world's most ill-advised breakfast cereal. What, you say Hitler Flakes punched my mother in the face? She probably had it coming.
I'm not suggesting the Council was swayed by the special treatment. I'm mainly expressing my jealously. Jerks.
Accord reached at CCP's special summit [EVE Online]