Forever space friends,
EVE is truly a wonder of the world and anyone who has ever lingered beyond the EVE Gate knows exactly what I mean by that. It‘s not the code or the features or the visual beauty (although all of that is pretty amazing), it‘s the things that happen and the people you meet, who become part of your life, and unpredictably change its course forever.
My EVE story is unique like everyone else‘s. EVE unexpectedly became part of my life after I decided to put my classical singing studies on hold and answered a job ad in the local paper in late 2002. Previously I‘d mostly heard about EVE through Icelandic news media where a couple of young guys I‘d later come to know and respect talked some big talk about making the biggest virtual universe ever… out of Iceland. Without a history of launching games. Well, they did, and they needed Gamemasters to fight the early fires and start building a support culture for EVE Online. If I‘d known back then where this unusual customer support job would take me, I would have skipped sleeping to get there faster.
I got good at talking to customers. I specialized in dealing with complex cases, bad losses, big disappointments, hard disputes. I enjoyed finding a way to help people or failing that, try to reach mutual understanding. I also got involved in investigating exploits, chasing bots and other forms of space policing (woop woop). I made Senior, I made Lead, and eventually got poached by our Marketing department in 2011 to serve on the EVE Community team, where I got to communicate with a lot more people at once and release my playful side once or twice. For the good of the people of course.
Looking over all the projects I’ve led or been involved in, I‘m most proud of the relationships I helped build with enterprising members of the community, the true heroes of this story. I gave a talk at GDC called “Manning the oars, or raising the sail” - about how gaming companies shouldn’t be afraid to trust their communities, moreover how helping them express their creativity and passion is most often the best use of our time. I’ve tried to live by that philosophy in my work with EVE‘s amazing event organizers, both inside and outside the game. I’ve loved working with the streamers of Streamfleet who selflessly entertain and mentor others in a game once said to be (very wrongly so) impossible to stream. Big shout out to all the wonderful writers and artists of EVE whose creations I’ve excitedly highlighted on social media or dragged them into some crazy schemes like getting their spaceship graphics zooming around the biggest nightclub LED system in Las Vegas.
From dumbstruck awe at CCP LoxyRider’s ability to put together live streams when starting out as a host, I somehow graduated to both hosting and producing The o7 Show , where we tried to equally represent EVE‘s development progress and player achievements. I also produced and developed our major broadcasts from Fanfest and EVE Vegas which wouldn’t have been the same without talented player hosts and crazy video commercials from corps and alliances. I was trusted with writing and delivering keynote presentations at Fanfest and EVE Vegas… and of course I quickly offloaded half the work to some poor player. Restructuring and running the Council of Stellar Management for the past few years has been immensely rewarding. The CSM has taught me a lot personally but I’ve also seen from close up the positive and immediate effects the CSM can have on the development of EVE Online. Then there are happy little accidents, like The Permaband and other offbeat ventures that to me have always shown CCP‘s willingness to be different and foster creativity outside roadmaps and KPIs (Permaband is turning 10 this year btw).
Whew… I guess I can‘t delay this any longer. After sixteen amazing years at CCP I recently got a new opportunity. After a lot of thinking, I decided to jump on it and will be starting a completely different adventure - in a completely different industry - in a few weeks time.
I want to try to convey my thanks. I’ve been embraced by so many of you! Mostly without really understanding why… but you guys are smart and I trust you so I rolled with it and as a result you‘ve given me so many life changing experiences. I’ve travelled the world, met more interesting people than I knew existed, made friends for life from the EVE community and CCP, gotten to work with an army of brilliant people and had the privilege of serving a community that I truly believe is absolutely, 100% unique and unmatched in the history of the multiverse. Seriously. Ask me when I‘m officially off the payroll and I‘ll proudly say it again
I know some of you will wonder why and it‘s important to me you know this is purely a part of my own personal journey through time and space. I’ve worked for only one company for a long time. This was basically my first real job and I was practically not an adult when I started working here. I’ve grown up here, I’ve learned a lot of things and it‘s natural to be curious about how all that would apply in a new context. And there‘s only one way to ever find out! Plus… have you seen a fifty year old rap?
My best way to explain it is that I simply got this crazy idea in my head - that I should get up from the place where I‘m happy, appreciated (most of the time heh) and safe, to do something completely different where I don‘t know all the answers and can only rely on myself and the skills I’ve picked up along the way. Hashtag YOLO!
It‘s also important for me you know that I‘m not leaving CCP because of <whatever it is someone in the community might be unhappy about at this time>. I’ve been through hard times in my career here but now is not one. I’ve worked through those times and tried to be part of improving what needed improving and I will always be proud of that.
As hard as it is to make the decision to drop fleet (which I’ve not fully digested by the way), leaving on a high note feels like the way to do it. CCP is in great shape and in great hands! Pearl Abyss is the best thing to happen to CCP, they‘re smart, patient and they have real respect for our work with the EVE community through the years. I‘m confident you‘ll all come to see what I already know from being on the inside through all of this. The Community Team is growing (even factoring in my departure), our marketing teams and dev teams are full of energy with smart new hires all over, exciting plans and heads full of great ideas for the future of EVE.
You may or may not have respect for me personally depending on how much you like bad puns and great hair, but if you do, I ask you not to use my personal decision to theory craft or to wield it against my colleagues who, unlike me, will continue to work hard for you to develop and improve EVE. People come and go but EVE is forever, yo.
And… like a wise man once said… you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
I will always be part of this crazy, beautiful space family and nothing will ever take that away. I‘ll also be around for a few more weeks in my official capacity, plus if any of you are planning to be at Evesterdam (kicking off the Invasion World Tour 23-25 March, buy your tickets before they sell out) I‘ll be there and I look forward to spending my last official EVE event with you as CCP Guard.
In a way you could say I‘m being promoted from dev to player! I look forward to seeing what it‘s like to play EVE without being a dev (I know all the shitty tricks, come at me Peligro lol jk dont ban me plz). I also really look forward to rocking up at future Fanfests or wherever the Friendship docks around the world, as one of you guys, having a beer in the middle of the day and watching presentations without knowing what‘s in them!!
It‘s hard to say the right words to express all the things I feel so lest I ramble on for another sixteen years, I just want to end this for now by iterating I‘m still here for a bit and will do my best to help you get in touch with the right people if you‘ve ever relied on me as contact for anything. Please reach out.
Thank you for everything and see you in space o7
Your space friend forever,