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I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

QOTW: More isn't always better

This week's Quote of the Week comes from an interview CCP Manifest gave to EDGE magazine:
In fact, there have always been more people working on EVE than the year prior (to match our growth) and our continuous expansion releases for over eight years show that.
The full interview is worth your time if you're interested in some insights into the internal dynamics of CCP as a company.  As an interview about the game itself, the piece is a very, very light.  I assume that's due to EDGE magazine's focus.

Manifest made the full interview available on the EVE-O forums, which is a good thing, because this magazine is freakishly expensive: almost $10 U.S. per issue, or $76 for a one-year subscription.  It's a pretty clear case of "more isn't always better"... which is a good way of looking at both the QOTW and the interview as a whole as well.  ;-)  Let's start with the quote itself.

Manifest's quote is easy to scoff at if you're an EVE player.  We're now in the final month of :18months:, and fortunately those 18 months ended a little bit early with the development work on and release of Crucible.  But now that they're over, it's easy to forget that during those 18 months, when players were begging CCP to work on "EVE", CCP could (correctly) state that they were working on "EVE".  It's just that when players said "EVE", they meant "spaceships" and when CCP said "EVE", they meant avatars.  This is something that I've covered at some length on the blog before.

However, it's therefore just a tiny bit disingenuous for Manifest to make the claim that more people were working on EVE in 2011 than were in 2010, particularly when the context of the question was so different from the answer given.  For the record, here's the question that Manifest was answering:
It shows, too, that in the era of games as services - of which you are at the forefront - you can't just ship one project and move on to another. How does this affect your plans for growth, and what do you think it means for the industry when so many resources have to remain on project one despite work on project two?
And that's a pretty clear-cut question asking how allocation of resources away from project one can hurt or break project two.  The context gave me a bit to think about over the weekend, because to date, I've been writing this year that CCP had been working on three projects during 2011: EVE Online, DUST 514, and World of Darkness.  But in reality, they were really working on four: EVE Online spaceships (yes, they were, a little), EVE Online avatars, DUST 514, and World of Darkness.

Put into that context, it's no surprise at all that CCP fragmented in 2011.  It's a second clear case of "more isn't always better."

And there's a third example as well.  Manifest's position in CCP is "Public Relations and Social Media".  Darrow Hill, on the first page of replies to EVE-O forum post regarding this interview, sums up a tiny, little problem Manifest has during this interview:
Brevity, dude.

BREVITY.
Um... yeah.  You can amuse yourself a bit by reading his answer to the question, "How much of what has happened can you attribute to the fact that there wasn't exactly a best practice guide to follow?" and playing a little game of "count the cliches."  I counted 14, one of which was used twice.  ;-)  Manifest's still pretty new at this interview thing, though, so as he gives more of them, this will improve.  It's no coincidence that his strongest answer is also his shortest.

2 comments:

  1. CCP are doing the rounds with UK games magazines. Another short snippet in Games™ (yes, really). Some sections are worth quoting:
    "After committing much of the studio to another expansive MMO, numerous delays stalled the release and recently CCP has scaled back development. After continued feedback from the community, EVE Online has undergone several radical changes over the last few years, but none bigger than the arrival of CCP Games' second full title ... Dust 514 is CCP's most ambitious title to date. A PlayStation 3 exclusive with content stretching across onto the PS Vita, it's the extension to the EVE universe players have been craving for years ... With Dust 514 and WoD on the way, it looks like little stands in CCP Games' way."

    As a subsciber to both, I'm disappointed in the magazine "report" and any assistance/writing provided by CCP.

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