Sometimes I feel like I'm just gathering clues until CCP Seagull reveals the future of the New Eden universe at Fanfest 2016. Sometimes the information leads to speculation in strange directions. Other times, the information confirms an opinion I held for months. Such a moment occurred on Saturday when I listened to a special edition of New Eden Update. Wiggles attended EVE NT over the weekend and interviewed CCP Fozzie and CCP Guard. I found this exchange quite instructive:
Wiggles: From the perspective of a business creating a game designed to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, how do you as a developer try to balance the ideas of, quote, "what is good for the game" versus "what is good for the business," because the two can be mutually exclusive at times?
Fozzie: They can be. Ideally they're not mutually exclusive very often. They usually go hand-in-hand because what's good for the game usually gets people excited and they're having a good time, which is then good for the business. And in a lot of cases, what it may be more about is good for business short-term versus long-term, and that sometimes can be a trade-off.
Guard: That's what all companies have to watch out for. And I think like for us too, because, I mean something that can seem very good for business as us getting a lot of money in the short-term can mess you up for the long run.
Fozzie: And a good example of that would be allowing input multiplexing.
Fozzie: It was good for the business short-term, but we ended up believing that it wasn't good for the game which is what business needs for the long-term. So that is where we made a choice that it was not about deciding between the business and the game. It's about deciding between the short-term business and the game which is then the long-term business.
Guard: Absolutely. I think that CCP is actually pretty decent at recognizing these trade-offs and making the right decision. We've been running a game for a long time and it's a game that's thought of as a very long term project.
I found that the subject of input multiplexing, otherwise known as the use of ISBoxer, as the prime example of something that could bring in a short-term profit but really screw up EVE in the long run very interesting. I figured that the neutering of the multi-boxing software was necessary due to CCP's future plans, and I think Wiggles' interview with the pair is as close as we will get to confirmation.
Personally, I think the question once again illustrates that CCP over the past year or so was willing to forego short-term gains in favor of implementing fixes needed to ensure the long term health of EVE. On Monday I went over many of the fixes CCP implemented over the past 14 months instead of creating expansions or implementing Jesus features. I think we may hear a little more about the future from CCP Seagull at EVE Vegas, but I don't expect to hear CCP's extended vision for New Eden until Fanfest. CCP is taking a long view on the future and I don't think they are ready to reveal their hand quite yet.