It was only a matter of time before players obtained the public financial records of CCP for 2010. And really, isn't it fitting that the records are on a web site owned by Chribba for safe keeping?
So what do the records tell us? First, although Wikipedia will need to have its entry on CCP Games updated after yesterday, Bjorgolfur Thor is the biggest investor in CCP. The investors with the largest stake in CCP are the Bjorgolfur Thor-owned NP ehf. with 30.5%, Teno Investments with 23.9% and one of CCP's founders, S. Reynir Harðarson, with 10.2%.
The second is that CCP's profits for 2010 are a bit inflated. While CCP's total profit for 2010 was $5.4 million (USD), due to a $3 million tax credit it received, $1.7 million of that profit came from a governement.
The item drawing the most player scrutiny on both Failheap and the official forums is the $11.8 million loan due on October 28th (p. 31). Much is made that at the end of 2010 CCP only had $11.2 million in cash on-hand. And the decision not to pay out dividends this year definitely indicates that CCP expects to have a cash-flow problem this year. But I'm not sure if at the beginning of 2011 CCP was really in that bad of shape. Looking a few pages farther into the document (p. 34) shows that while CCP's total liabilities due for the year was $22.2 million, it was expecting to receive $18.4 million in loans and receivables throughout 2011 (p. 37). Still, that gap of $3.7 million was greater than CCP's non-tax profits in 2010. If CCP could maintain its growth of 2010 (where gross profit rose by 11%) then CCP will have no problems.
That is why last week's mess is so critical. Instead of expanding sales, Incarna and the Noble Exchange is driving players away, something CCP cannot afford if it wishes to continue with its development of both DUST 514 and World of Darkness. An intelligent introduction of a cash shop should eliminate the cash flow problem. But in my opinion CCP isn't acting intelligently in this manner, as both the outrageous pricing for the virtual items and the refusal to rule out "pay to win" items shows. Hopefully the emergency meeting with the CSM will allow the policy makers a chance to get back in touch with the player base and retrieve the situation.
Related: After The Layoffs: CCP Is Not Dead Yet