She's seen me doing things in EVE from time to time, and this past Christmas, she asked if she could "play that space game." This involved me putting her into a destroyer and finding a few nice full level 1 missions. She gets a kick out of "warp drive active" and out of pressing F1 and watching the explosions. But she's never going to be a Skye Aurorae.
But give her an iPad with Minecraft on it and she's remarkably good at it. You guys want to talk about console kiddies? Maybe we should be talking about tablet kiddies.
This becomes relevant because as I'm sure you've heard by now, CCP Unifex, Executive Producer of EVE Online, is going to be taking a new position heading up CCP's mobile strategy. And interestingly, right in the announcement, Hilmar says that CCP is going to be looking outside the company to back-fill him. Here's the job listing if you want to apply for it.
This of course raises an interesting question: what is CCP's mobile strategy? Does CCP have a mobile strategy? Here's what Unifex had to say about this topic back in December during the CSM summit:
Unifex: If I had it my way, I'd take Planetary Interaction out of EVE, the game, and put it on that [gesturing at Seleene's iPad] as a fully-fledged game in the EVE Universe. If I want to land on a planet and pull out a gun and shoot someone, I have to ask, does it make sense for me to do that in EVE Online the game? Or in the EVE Universe but through a different interface point?At the time I read this, I wrote in my notes: "Unifex's duties are focused around EVE, but which 'EVE' would that be, exactly?" I never got around to blogging about it until now. But it's still a relevant question.
UAxDEATH: So it’s all doable?
Unifex: It's all doable. Take planetary flight, for example. That will be available when Dust launches, because you'll be able to cruise around in dropships over planets. CCP is growing up to the point where we no longer have to put every single thing in the EVE universe into EVE Online if it doesn’t make sense. Some of these things should really just be different games. We shouldn't be trying to put all games into EVE Online. We could be trying to put more games into the EVE universe, however.
Which "EVE" would that be, exactly?
Let's get one thing out of the way right now. This move shows that ambition is returning to Reykjavík. You don't put one of your most senior people in charge of your "mobile strategy" unless you have a pretty good idea of what that mobile strategy is going to revolve around. And sure, we might see some ship fitting tools, we might see a nice EVE mail mobile app (what I wouldn't give for one of those), and we're definitely going to see some DUST 514 mobile apps. Know what all of those things don't have in common... probably?
You can't make a lot of money with them.
You also don't put one of your most senior people in charge of your "mobile strategy" unless there is some plan in the works to make some money off your mobile strategy. So I expect everyone involved in this move is being a little bit coy, and we're going to see some very interesting announcements on this front in a week or so. I'll have my tablet with me.
There was another Twitch TV broadcast today with CCP Guard, CCP Unifex, CCP Seagull, CCP t0rfifrans, and CCP Ripley. CCP Guard and the others pushed the Fanfest stream more times than I could count. And it's becoming increasingly clear that CCP is saving lots and lots of announcements for the big show. It's amazing how little can be said in a one hour broadcast, but Unifex did have this to say about the transition:
And then obviously May 6th is the tenth birthday of EVE Online. And then, at that point, we're going... we've got a big transition planned for how we actually make sure that everything continues very smoothly. We've got the people in place now... which is great. So I don't see any problems on that side of it."We've got the people in place now," do we? Quote of the week, right there. Unifex also slipped a bit and mentioned "new faces" in some positions, then corrected himself and changed it to "familiar faces." Kind of begs the question of what that job listing is about, then... ;-)
There was also some chit-chat -- mostly focused on CCP Seagull -- about the role that the CSM performs but Mat Westhorpe did a good job of covering that in a piece he wrote today. The rest of the video? Quite honestly, kind of frustrating. There are some hints here and there. For instance, I'm almost positive from torfi's comments that one of the announcements next week will be the triumphant return of the EVE Store which has been shut down since last October. And about several big questions, all Seagull had to say was "buy the Fanfest stream."
In the meantime, in a month or so, this leaves Unifex out there managing the mobile strategy. I'm not sure how much money there is to be made from a PI tablet game, or a ship fitter, or an EVE mail app. And I'm definitely not sure how much money there is to be made from my niece from this sort of thing. But when it comes to mobile, casual gamers is where the money is. Unless CCP wants to charge us money for things we can already do in EVE Online, this mobile strategy is likely going to have to revolve around a new audience for CCP's products... and what those products are is likely to evolve as well. Know what else CCP is looking for? A Producer to lead their Monetization team.
As I said before, ambition is returning to Reykjavík. It's a good thing that Seagull has a lot of confidence in the CSM stake-holder process, because whomever is on the CSM is going to have to remind everyone involved not to forget about their spaceship game. Which "EVE" would that be, exactly? ;-)