11
Apr
11

The CCP Brand

Recently, Keith Neilson wrote about his loss of faith in CCP over its recent incident. While others pointed out that it needs to be kept in perspective, the points remains that CCP is damaging its most important asset: its brand.

One of the many blogs I read is that of Seth Godin, who uses phrases such as The New Economy and Thought Workers with no discernable ironic intent. Despite that, he has many interesting things to say. In particular, he has a firm grasp of the difference between safe and bold and the ramifications it makes on a business or individual.

CCP started off bold, as all startups do, with a very different ideas about what an MMO should be, and a unique approach to accomplishing it. I won’t enumerate the risks they took, but they were substantial, and paid off handsomely. CCP is now at a crossroads; trying to continue to be bold with such things as Incarna and Dust 514, while trying to uphold quality on their existing brands. I suspect they’re spread too thin and it shows, but I also acknowledge that they must continue to be bold because that is where they must position themselves in the market.

Godin has a lot to say about many topics, but a few recent ones that struck me as especially relevant for CCP at the moment are:

Sometimes you have to remove members of your team if they are causing you damage.

When a car rental franchise rips off a customer, all outlets of the franchise suffer.

Seems obvious, no? I wonder, then, why loyal and earnest members of the tribe hesitate to discipline, ostracize or expel the negative outliers.

Feedback must be easy:

In my experience, most of the problems are caused by ignorance and isolation, not incompetence or a lack of concern.

and especially this:

For any other good or service, the value of a free alternative that was any good would be infinite–free airplane tickets, free dinners at the cafe… When it comes to content, though, we rarely compare the experience with other content at a similar price. We compare it to perfect.

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7 Responses to “The CCP Brand”


  1. April 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    It all about the experience of EVE really. Is the experience of playing EVE a good one? Is it worth my time to participate in that experience?

    Lag comes up so often as a major gripe because it breaks the flow of play, the immersion and suspends the experience. Massive fleet battles might be fun, but when lag strikes you don’t get to experience that fun and feeling cheated vent your frustrations. It’s like buying a Ferrari and finding it can only do 30mph.

    The forums are a part of EVE in so much as they form the backbone to its social experience. We laugh when we think of players whoring the forums all day – but some literally do just that; communicating within the context of the EVE universe.

    The forum issues are damaging in so much as the forums are a part of EVE, not distinct from it. The great irony being that CCP almost certainly recognised this fact in their attempt to more closely integrate the forums with EVE through EVE Gate. The conceptual idea I think is still relatively bold, although other developers are catching up with the idea of melding the game with the social community around it.

    CCP will recover I think from the forum fail in the same way that the boot ini incident or T20 passes into the memory of the community but slowly dilutes as the old guard leave and new fresh players arrive.

    C.

    • 2 Spyres
      April 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

      I think you overstate the issue. There is a core attraction to EVE which makes issues such as developer corruption, forum woes, sov mechanics and ship nerfs eventually superfluous. At almost every point where significant change has been introduced into the game, players have expressed outrage, indignation, disbelief etc and predicted the demise of the game they are obviously so passionate about.

      The reasons they eventually come back is that the changes force wholesale adaptation and secondly, it is the fundamental fear of loss and the thrill of domination that elicits such emotional ties to the game. If CCP were to mess with this aspect then I too would predict dark days ahead.

      Insecure forums however are just one of the idiosyncrasies that come with (what was once) a small independent developer. I kind of like the fact they make stupid errors like this as it reminds me that they are not an opaque mega corp like EA, which if they were, the passion they inject into EVE would surely be lost.

  2. 4 Random
    April 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Sreegs was required to write something due to people propagating FUD.

    • 5 Serpentine Logic
      April 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      And I note that he has been consistently patient and level-headed in his interaction with people on the forums. This could have exploded into a threadnaught and while it’s still a long thread, the angst level has really died down.


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