Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Almost Over

The joint communique from CCP and the Council of Stellar Management just about ends open hostilities between the game company and the player base.  Like them or not, the CSM did help to diffuse the situation in Eve Online in which players responded angrily at everything from melting graphics cards to the possibility of the introduction of non-vanity items to signs of disrespect from the highest levels of CCP.

I still see two items of business still outstanding before we can declare that only a "cold war" exists between players and CCP.  The first occurs Tuesday when CCP will hold unprecedented news conferences, one with Eve Online fan sites and a second session with the general gaming press.  Eve Radio's DJ Funky Bacon is one of those invited and he stated on his Friday show that he will try to upload a podcast on the situation on the Eve Radio website before his normal Friday night show next week.  As we have seen since the deployment of Incarna on 21 June, CCP has mastered the art of sticking both feet in their mouths and so the possibility exists of a blunder that reignites the blaze.

The second involves the stories published by Eve News stating that Sony Online Entertainment is purchasing a significant stake in CCP.  Personally, I believe that the higher-ups at CCP would have needed to have lost their minds to get into such a relationship.  However, two weeks ago I would have said the same thing about talk of $70 monocles and $1000 pairs of pants.  So I did a little research and I can see the logic of it, especially since CCP does not have to sell the stock.  Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, who owns over 30% of the game company, owes billions of dollars to creditors due to his role in the Icelandic banking collapse in 2008.  Would he sell part or all of that interest to SOE if the price was right?

For those who do not believe CCP's denial of the rumor, they will receive an answer to this question Thursday night and the answer statement will not come from Iceland.  SOE's Fan Faire begins 7 July and SOE CEO John Smedley will deliver the annual Community Address at 7pm in Las Vegas (or 1am on 8 July GMT/New Eden time).  In an interview with Massively.com about the closing of Star Wars: Galaxies, Smedley teased that, "We're super excited about the future of sandbox gaming. Let me just leave it at that!"  If SOE is going to release any news about any connection with Eve Online, the Community Address is where Smedley would make the announcement.  No announcement and we can bury the story once and for all.

The fallout from the events of the past two weeks will be felt for months to come.  But the crisis is just about over barring any unforeseen missteps over the next week.  While the increased traffic was nice, I just want things to get back to normal.  Although in Eve Online, is anything ever "normal"?

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