Mwa, CCP was forced to learn the painful lessons of the WW/WoD drama’s in relation to knowledge gaps, experience base and micromanagement. Strange as this may sound, particularly venture level is strictly professionaly now, product level as well, but has barely enough insight in strategy or conditions. It’s how you run a venture the smart and cheaper way.
I’ll agree that there is a big element of marketing, both in managing product level and customers, but that is unsurprising. In part it fits with culture and organisation, in part it’s also necessary when managing a role & mandate transition in an acquisition process.
I find it strange that the Devs find time to talk to you every day when none of them can be arsed to post in these forums.
As for your (and others) declaration that PA are not interfering, well if I bought a company for $425m you’d better believe I’d be interfering and calling the shots about the game and company direction etc, anybody thinking that they’re keeping out of EVE/CCP is just plain stupid.
So maybe the devs aren’t saying anything for the simple reason that they value their jobs, and they could also be under a NDA, an NDA that if broken could cost them their career, not just a freebie to Iceland as a CSM member.
Lastly, stop thinking you’re special and you have their ear, to CCP you’re just a member of the CSM, and CSM members come and go all the time. It’s probably only a matter of time before PA pull the plug on it anyway.
Technically, more correct, PA is not a game company. It’s an investor relations agency which focuses primarly on the gaming industry for which it engages in acquisitions & partnerships for studio level deliverables which are then managed through publisher structures.
BDO is basically an instrument of marketing as a segment of organisation, in order to facilitate entry as industry brand outside of its original markets.
And yet it is correct. There is no interference. There is business. You don’t interfere, micromanage or bluster. You set goals, provide concept definitions, set directives. That’s venture management, not interference. Very much facilitated by Hilmar and Robin seeing eye to eye on vision, scope and market perspectives. They’re a solid match.
If you were to say that the changed nature and type of investor relations has subtle yet intrinsic consequences for CCP as a former studio with broad independance now removed, that I would agree with. You achieve more in acquisitions by being subtle than by interfering. It’s a long game, and the arena is not that of this or that product.
Ok, so maybe there isn’t direct control via a PA employee sat in the office, but subtle goals set and directives sent by email is still PA taking control and deciding the direction of the company for the future.
People can deny that all they want, but it’ll be happening as we speak and nobody will convince me otherwise. I’ve been part of too many takeovers in my life to think nothing will happen and they’ll be left alone to carry on with no changes.
I’m not certain how to phrase this, but “duh”? PA bought out CCP’s former investor relations. It’s an acquisition. So yes, naturally they are in control, and logically they define goals, definitions and targets. By default they set the directives that translate in direction, method and product strategy choices.
This isn’t rocket science, it’s business. There is nothing new or shocking in any of this. A studio is an asset, nothing more. Independant subsiduary: independance to run studio management (company structure, staff, etc) as a subsiduary which is provided goals and directives.
As for change, that is one of the few constants in any life, thus also in and around virtual life such as EVE.
Indeed, there is no scenario of a hostile takeover. In truth, there was no takeover whatsoever.
This was just an investment acquisition. PA didn’t buy out CCP, they bought out CCP’s effective financing and owners (or rather, are buying out, it’s a stepped proces). As such, they left CCP’s corporate organisation (!) intact, and incorporated it as a studio asset within their corporate structure.
What happens after the proces is fully complete is in the future.
Basically, they bought CCP as a) asset and b) tool with c) established product just stable (and static!) enough to provide for a roadmap of recouping costs of investment while d) putting a + b to use outside of the scope of established product.
How this turns out in practice depends on how well CCP performs as asset and tool, pure and simple. Performance in accordance with strategy goals? Keep going guys. Failing performance? Well guys, here’s what we need you to do. Either way, CCP as a studio is now asset and tool following at best guidance, at minimum carefully calculated goals and targets.
I think a lot of the confusion comes from the perception of CCP ever having been independant. Was it a company? Yes. But was it independant? Yes but also no. CCP didn’t just have owners, it also had investors and investor relations. As any entrepreneur will tell you, you’re only ever as independant as enabled by your results.
What has changed is the distance, form and nature of the investment and ownership relation. CCP always had a lot of room, but that room gradually became less, until the investment was sold off. Then PA was found (!). I do think it’s important to remember the timeline. It does say a lot.
In an ideal world, sure. In the real world it’s math, the ocean is big and there’s plenty of types of fish. What leaves would be hard to replace in absence of meaningful change that incorporates lessons of post-mortems. But if you stumble long enough with that, you end up like CCP where ultimately you can only pick up the boat and toss it in another ocean where you are able to replace what is lost by turning the fishing boat into something else.
Why people of old / current leave matters less now than the math on what to change to trigger what type of predictable and desired consumptive behaviour of another type of fish.
CCP doesn’t want the pro-active verbal immersion types. They cost too much, they represent risks.
It is a possibility, but there is no definitive proof of it. If the theory doesn’t stand up to legal scrutiny then we can’t assume that the theory is definitive. I know you didn’t say that and I’m not putting words into your mouth just in case anyone asks.
There are other theories out there. But just like your theory, the one I have doesn’t have definitive proof either but is still well within the realm of possibilities. The only difference here is that one of these theories are a little more likely than the other.
I’m an industrial player who has been around Eve Online since 2008. I have mined, build, traded, mission ran, and pvped since then. It’s hard for me to not notice these changes in the market across 11 years of playing.
Before I continue, I need to remind you that Pearl Abyss made an official statement that they will not be micromanaging CCP’s studios. CCP may no longer be independent from a business perspective but they are still independent from an operational perspective. In fact, Pearl Abyss said the reason they bought CCP is because need a studio that is familiar with the Western perspective of microtransactions because PA acknowledged that the Asian perspective of microtransactions is vastly different from that of the Western perspective.
Anyways, back to my theory:
After the implementation of skill injectors, multi-character training, and game time redemption, the price of PLEX has eventually stabilized to around 3.2 million ISK per PLEX unit. It has increased significantly before that point and I do recall PLEX once costing a total of about 800 million ISK or less but that was years ago. But eventually it did settle down but at a higher price point.
Knowing the behavior of Eve players, greed will get the best of us here. There were rumors circulating that the PLEX prices skyrocketing was the result of some rich-ass players colluding with other rich-ass players with way too much ISK in their wallets and too much time on their hands. The idea was to intentionally withhold their current stockpile of PLEX and other high-ISK commodities from being posted on the market. If enough of the players did this it will artificially inflate the prices of said items.
We can rail against CCP for all I care all year long, but don’t ignore the players who may or may not have the best intentions. This is Eve Online after all.
Of course, like you said, we can’t ignore CCP either.
They also stipulated that the investment was an acquisition, they also stipulated payment of the acquistion to be in two parts, the second part conditional on achieving goals by directives. They also stipulated that CCP as an organisation is independant but as a studio it is a subsiduary.
Always be careful with media messaging, it is after all mere marketing There’s a lot more tangible to find on places beyond venturebeat in industry media, even more in VC media / publications. Worthwhile to note, Korean and Chinese publications contain messaging and information formats very different than found in western media.
Also, let’s be honest for a moment. In every acquisition the prime part of the playbook is to not rock the boat and impress the sentiment that there will be no change, and if there is change, it will only be positive change. It doesn’t matter whether it is an acquisition in medical services, a motorshop, a digital services market or any type of economic activity. And it always follows that functional and fundamental change is required.
Hint: an acquisition never is about buying the beast of burden to leave it unchanged on its own field, it’s always about buying it to use it to make money for your own field. It follows that both the beast and its original field must be brought in line with the new field for that
Obviously, but there’s a bit of a trap in this line of thinking. How hard is it to see and admit that gamified behaviour is triggered behaviour. In other words, consumer behaviour follows from triggers placed by the product owner.
At the end of the day, players have choices, but a lot of those are within constraints designed to direct choices. That limits role and scope of accountability / responsability for cumulative effects for players as it comes right back to where constraints and triggers are created and inserted. CCP.
One thing I will say, it’s wrong for people to go off on CCP’s product level. It’s the wrong level to address, it’s also the wrong level to find culpable for the directions and forms of change, for those who can’t find a match with the changing dynamic of EVE. There’s ample comparative history and research on it, devs take the flak, but they’re not the cause.
And that’s why it’s unlikely you will ever buy a company. These weren’t some kind of vulture capitalists who are trying to buy up dying assets. They bought a company that was performing and profitable and they want to make sure their investment generates revenue. The best way to screw that up is to come in and start changing things. The best way to ensure they get a return on their investment is to let CCP keep doing what they’re doing.
That’s not likely. Given how many different devs there are and how passionate many of them are about the game, if PA was coming in and screwing around, we’d hear about it.
I’m not thinking that I’m special. I’m thinking that I have better access to the folks making the game than you or the guy who did this video. And I think it’s more likely that BDO gets a CSM before Eve loses a CSM.
You’re not sorry at all, let’s straighten that stick for a start. Clearly people who no longer play have a valid opinion, whether you like it or not. The fact is that they don’t agree with you, and that’s what you don’t like.
You love sweeping generalisations, don’t you?
You do, but it’s ok.
Again, they aren’t.
You’re very welcome, young man.
See, we can do ‘polite’ whilst clearly being sanctimonious too.