Over the years that I played EVE I have seen CCP achieve some brilliant things with this game, making it really enjoyable to play. However some 18 months ago, if not earlier than that, they seemed to start down a road that took them away from their core product, and what it is really about for the majority of EVE’s subscribers, towards a vision they had of an EVE that encompassed so much more than “mere spaceships”. In doing so they began alienating the “spaceship” fans, all – in my opinion – to grab a share of the generic MMO market by offering such things as full body avatars, and things related to these as found in those generic MMOs. I lost a large amount of the faith I had in CCP, so much so that i sold off characters from my stable and let other accounts go inactive, bringing myself down to 1 active account.
A result of this, over the 18months or so that they were obviously focusing away from EVE, was a substantial drop in subscriptions, a major drop in PCU numbers and even more anger on various forums than normal, quite a feat considering how vitriolic eve related forums usually are. Player dissatisfaction really came to a head with the Incarna expansion in the summer of this year, which saw the first iteration of full body avatars added to the EVE experience, along side a VERY controversial micro (I know!) transaction store. There was much rage, and the largest sub and PCU drops to date.
This seemed to wake CCP up, and slowly, very slowly over the summer they began to make noises about refocusing on their core product, their golden goose, EVE. This culminated in a number of things:
- An “apology” from Hilmar;
- CCP making some staff redundant, and moving focus away from 3 products to 2;
- A winter expansion, that promises a large amount of changes and fixes to the core product;
- New ships, specifically chosen from some contests last year. The info on these is to be released weekly over the coming weeks. The first is the Tornado.
All in all, this turnabout is very welcome to me personally, as a 5+ year veteran of EVE, and as someone who has followed the game much longer than that, it saddened me to see the product go ignored/have half done content thrown at it, like it did. I cannot say CCP has restored all the faith I had in them, but they are doing a good job of it. I am sure that with enough time, and the items listed above are a good beginning, that they will reclaim the faith of many more people, and I hope that this is only the earliest days of a glorious resurgence of EVE.