There's been a lot of talk lately about CCP's new MMO project, which was revealed by way of a post on CCP's website about a job opening for lead designer. This comes on the heels of plenty of other news about CCP: Massive layoffs, the termination of virtually the entire EVE community team, CCP's abandonment of the VR market, etc., etc. In this post, I'll tell you why CCP's plan to develop a new MMO is a good thing for EVE.
But first, a few words about the mood of the EVE community. If you browse the EVE subreddit, you'll find the mood there to be particularly somber. One might think that all of those redditors had recently been ganked by members of the mighty CODE. alliance. No doubt many of them have, but there's nothing new about that. Why so much pessimism now?
I suppose it's a combination of things: CCP's downsizing, its failure to deliver any exciting new features, its failure to fix broken old features, its introduction of annoying chat buttons, the latest evidence that CCP isn't doing anything about bots, the decline in player numbers, the close of a year without any major wars, and nothing hopeful on the horizon.
I've been playing EVE almost since the beginning, and I have to say the current mood of the EVE community is unprecedented. During the Summer of Rage, people were angry, but at least they were animated and engaged. Now there's just a sense of malaise. Welcome to the Winter of Discontent.
EVE's problems may seem big, but they're easily fixed. CCP could restore the game and send it soaring to new heights. It wouldn't take much; it could be done in a long weekend. I wrote about how CCP can save itself and EVE Online in a simple, step-by-step program. So far, CCP hasn't taken my advice. No wonder people are so unhappy.
Enough of the gloom. Let's talk about why CCP's plan to create a new MMO is good for EVE Online. At first blush, it seems counterintuitive. After all, when CCP devotes its resources to a different game, that means less time and money gets spent on EVE. Right?
Well, not necessarily. Remember, you're assuming that CCP was ever going to put any of its resources into EVE. It's not, though; it hasn't for years. Review the history. CCP diverted its money from EVE subscriptions into developing World of Darkness, "Walking in Stations" (actually part of the foundation being laid for World of Darkness), Dust 514, and all the VR stuff. CCP has since given up on all of those projects.
You have to go back a long way to find a time when CCP was serious about putting its time and money into EVE. And no, Citadels and FozzieSov don't count. Both are failures. Combined with all of the non-EVE failures listed above, CCP doesn't have much to show for the last several years. It's a good thing the New Order brought the Code to EVE, or else what would be left?
An important historical reflection: Years ago, the dastardly carebear apologist and CSM Chairman Trebor Daehdoow, along with his chief disciple, Ripard Teg, aggressively pushed the idea of increasing safety in highsec as a way of boosting subscription revenues and allowing CCP to spend more money on new features for EVE. Trebor held it out as a Faustian bargain: How much risk are you willing to give up, as long as you get more features? Ripard "Jester" Teg went right along with him.
I boldly (not to brag) stood against these wicked men and their lies. I called them out on both parts of their deception: First, I argued that greater safety in highsec wouldn't boost subscription revenues. Second, I argued that CCP wouldn't use the money from EVE subscription revenues to develop more EVE features; they'd use it to fund other projects instead. I was proven 100+% correct on both counts. CCP's own scientific studies repeatedly proved me right on the first point, and CCP's many blunders over the following years proved me right on the second point.
All of this is a roundabout way of saying that CCP's new MMO project won't take away resources from EVE, because CCP was never going to put resources into EVE anyway. "Fine," you say, "So the new MMO won't be bad for EVE. But how will it be good for EVE?"
We don't know much about what this new MMO is supposed to be like, but the rumor mill says it will be a mobile game filled with microtransactions. That's speculation. We can be more confident in predicting that if this new venture fails, CCP will be in rough shape. Neither of those things really matters to the point I'm about to make, however. Caution: You might not appreciate said point, if you're too sensitive.
Here's the good news:
Once CCP has its new MMO, we can encourage bad EVE players to unsubscribe, and CCP won't lose any revenue because the bad EVE players can go to the new MMO.
I know this is a controversial topic. A lot of people get mad when we suggest that an angry, post-gank carebear should consider other games. Misguided critics say that we're hurting CCP by driving down subscription numbers and encouraging players to quit.
Now, for the record, I have never told people that they need to quit EVE, though I have told them that they need to leave highsec if they won't obey the Code. On the other hand, I have also said that it's not good for people if they play a game they don't enjoy, and that they're better off finding a game more to their liking if they're no longer happy with EVE. I've never understood why the carebear apologists think it's more humane to keep people paying for a game that they hate, when all it does is benefit some corporation's bottom line at the expense of the little guy.
With another CCP MMO in the gaming universe, we needn't concern ourselves with such things anymore. Our Agents ought to be free to openly advocate the mass-unsubbing of all the unhappy, maladjusted carebears who don't obey the Code. We can refer them all to CCP's new game.
Would CCP have a problem with that? Actually, they'd probably approve. The new MMO will almost certainly be designed to be profit-driven from day one, in a way that they wish they could've done for EVE, and almost did (remember the "Greed Is Good" article), before the Summer of Rage torpedoed their plans.
It's only natural that CCP's sole focus will be the new MMO's growth, and they'll be perfectly happy to see players go from EVE to the new game. This, in turn, will benefit EVE, because non-compliant bot-aspirants will leave highsec. It's a win-win.
And the CODE always wins. Always!