Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pearl Abyss Q2 2022 Earnings Call

Pearl Abyss held it's quarterly earnings call for the second quarter of 2022 yesterday. The South Korean game maker experienced a 2.8% increase in revenue compared to the first quarter of the year. Year-over-year, revenue increased by 6.2%, up to ₩94 billion.

Taking into account the strengthening U.S. dollar, Pearl Abyss revenue declined by $3.3 million (-4.4%) compared to the first quarter of 2022 and $6 million (7.7%) compared to Q2 2021.1

The profits for the second quarter look a little strange. For the second year in a row, Pearl Abyss ran an operating loss in the second quarter of the year. The executives on the call explained that the company runs an employee incentive program in which Pearl Abyss spent ₩8 billion, including ₩7.5 billion in treasury shares.

The net profit of ₩32 billion, or 34% of the company's revenue, seems unusual considering the operating loss. Pearl Abyss explained that ₩18 billion of the profit came from tax refunds. The figures also were related to financial gains due to currency valuations.

For the second quarter in a row, Black Desert revenue increased, this quarter by 4.8%. Year-over-year, Black Desert revenue increased 5.8%. The Black Desert IP usually gains revenue when Pearl Abyss takes over publishing in a region. With the company now publishing in South America, Pearl Abyss now publishes Black Desert Online globally.

The intellectual property experiencing the biggest declines is EVE Online and EVE Echoes.  EVE revenue declined by ₩600 million compared to the first quarter, or 3.3%. When converted to U.S. dollars, the decline was $1.5 million, or 10%. Going back to Q2 2021, EVE IP revenue declined year-over-year by ₩500 million, or 2.8%. But when won is converted to dollars, the quarter-over-quarter decline was $1.5 million (-10%). Compared to the second quarter of 2021, the decline was $2.5 million, or 15.6%.

The big EVE news was the disclosure Pearl Abyss plans on opening a new server for Chinese users in Q3. A dev blog was released on 15 July with the details on the move, with a better translation posted on the EVE Online sub-Reddit a day later. If the move works in China, would CCP start a second server in the rest of the world?

The only other news was the lack of updates on Pearl Abyss' upcoming titles. The investment analysts did hear that the company plans on releasing an in-game video trailer sometime before the end of the year for Crimson Desert. Other than that, the company may not launch another game until 2023.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

It's Asher's Alliance Now

And a war that should have been over in weeks took another 6 months. I was specifically told I was not allowed to attack, that all I could do was camp. Because even though we had one of the greatest moments in the history of wars in Eve Online there was a still a 5% chance of failure. And that 5% chance of failure was too much of a risk to lose our merchandising and our subscribers. The goal was not to win, it was only never to fail.

- Asher Elias, Goonswarm Federation Executor, 28 July 2022

With the fall of The Mittani from the leadership of Goonswarm Federation and The Imperium, a lot of people have celebrated. Some are disappointed I did not jump on the bandwagon and mindlessly support everything posted on the EVE Online sub-Reddit. Sorry, but relying on that pit of misinformation for accurate news is folly.

But I am about to break that rule. Why? Because The Mittani's replacement, Asher Elias, posted his first speech as the executor of Goonswarm Federation there. With no reliable sources of information available to cover the fall of The Mittani and what follows, I decided to listen to what sources friendly to The Imperium have to say. I recorded the words of Brisc Rubal and Merkelchen on the first The Meta Show episode following The Mittani's resignation. I think Asher's first speech to the alliance is also worthy of recording for posterity.

Hi friends. I haven’t come up here to read you a typical talk about the alliance and what it needs this week, I don’t have an itemized list from each department with bullet points to hit. Instead, I have come to talk to you about Eve Online. I think every one of us can think of another game that if you want to have fun for 60 minutes easily blows Eve Online out of the water. But if I asked you about a Halo match you had 5 years ago you couldn’t tell me a single thing about it. However if you get some Eve nerds sitting around the digital fireside you can bet that they will start waxing poetical about a fight that happened, 5 or even 10 years ago. They will fondly remember their FC and call out the time that they saved the day by landing that scram or the time their titan died and they reshipped into another titan and jumped back into the same fight. I’m an Eve romantic because of those chats around the fireside. There may be a million other games that are better to play but there none that are better to experience. Eve is the game that we tell stories about. Eve is the game where we fondly remember our comrades that we fought with and hope they are doing well, wherever they are in life.

But as time goes by we started getting bitter. It’s easy to start building up anger at this game and at our enemies. We’ve seen how the sausage is made. Everyone here has an idea for how to improve things and we’ve all been frustrated when what we would like to see change doesn’t happen. But, we have also been part of the problem. There’s a problem in video game design where if you let the player sit around and build up their walls and their weapons they will do it in such a way that they will never attack until they have no chance of failure. Until they’ve optimized every last bit of fun out of the game. How many of you here who played Age of Empires or Starcraft can say you didn’t do exactly that. When the game let you, you made your army so big that by the time you finally attacked your CPU foe they had absolutely no chance. And after you did that there was this brief, tiny moment of happiness as you watched the enemy fall so swiftly. But it’s like playing Grand Theft Auto with all the cheats on, it’s fun for about an hour then you get bored.

In our last war, World War Bee, we fought in M2- and we did what every player seeks to do. We utterly destroyed the enemy. We had their titan fleet trapped, we had their morale destroyed. And did we take advantage of that? No, we decided that instead of threatening their keepstar exit route we would sit in that same system for months ineffectually camping them in. Our intel after the war told us that our enemies were shocked at this, they were ready to crumble and they thought we would surely attack their keepstar in NPC Delve and they knew that once we did - they would have to leave.

But we didn’t do that, we let them rebuild their shattered morale. And a war that should have been over in weeks took another 6 months. I was specifically told I was not allowed to attack, that all I could do was camp. Because even though we had one of the greatest moments in the history of wars in Eve Online there was a still a 5% chance of failure. And that 5% chance of failure was too much of a risk to lose our merchandising and our subscribers. The goal was not to win, it was only never to fail.

And to me that was a betrayal. The amount of time that everyone had put into the war was immense. People made sacrifices of their friendships, their money, and their personal lives. I remember friends inviting me to see a movie on Friday night but I would turn it down because I needed to be within sprinting distance of my PC at all times in case the enemy attacked. And when I was told that we couldn’t finish the war it spoke volumes to me about what was more valued, the time and lives of the people who run it or the smallest of chances of failure of the empire. It wasn’t right. But I stayed on, I finished the war at great personal cost, and I didn’t say anything negative. I just told people I was taking a break because I didn’t want to threaten to tear apart the group that I care about, so I just waited for the right time.

And now that time is here, this is our time. It’s time for things to change. If you joined Goons because you wanted to have a totally safe titan until the day you quit the game of boredom then this is no longer the place for you. It was easy in the past to sit behind our player erected walls and have our leader insult our enemies based on the things they did out of game, based on who they were. The policy, unspoken but ever-present, was to make them so angry at us out of the game that they had to attack us in the game. This is corrosive, and it’s no way to run an alliance.

From now on we will make people dislike us because we evicted them from their space. Because we made them move three times. They will want revenge because we fought them not because we made fun of how their leader looks. You will get the chance to be part of the stories that people tell about this game. You will have the chance of incredible victory or the chance to experience failure. It’s time we start pushing in the chips that we’ve gathered. You bought a super? You built a titan? It’s time you had a chance to use those not to shoot an undefended fort but to shoot their guns in anger. To become the story.

In Eve you can’t vote for an alliance executor. But there is a truly powerful way you can show your endorsement of a leader. You vote with your feet. And I’m going to ask you to vote for me. Eve Online is a game that delivers greater experiences than any other game but it also demands more sacrifices. And when you are staying up that extra hour late even though you’d rather be sleeping because you work tomorrow your alliance leader won’t be missing it because he’s got other things to do. He will be right next to you in fleet.

So if this is the future you want for Goons, the future you want for the Imperium, I want your endorsement. I want you to resub that capital account. I want you to show up to fleets in greater and greater numbers. Be there next to me - we will create those memories, those stories together. There was a time when every one of you was a romantic about this game but slowly you lost it. You took on the title “bittervet” and you bore it proudly like armour so that no one could accuse you of loving it and make a fool of you for liking it like you once did. If you ask me if I’m bitter about Eve Online, about Goons and the Imperium. No, no I’m not. I’ve fought with every one of you and all I remember are the good memories. How can you not be romantic about Eve Online? So I thank you for the trust you’ve given me, and I ask you to be a romantic about Eve Online, about Goons, and the Imperium again with me. I’ll see you in fleet.


Monday, August 1, 2022

Cloud Imperium Games Sales Hit $5.9 Million In July 2022

Cloud Imperium Games exceeded $490 million in overall sales in July, selling $5.9 million in virtual goods last month. The monthly figure was high for a July, exceeding the $3.2 million figure in July 2020 by 84%. So far in 2022, CIG brought in $64.7 million.

In July, CIG introduced a technical improvement with increased server capacity. In update 3.17.2 released on Thursday, the server cap increased from 50 to 100 characters. I normally don't comment on technical news, but after 10 years of development, the ability to have 100 players play together is noteworthy.

Monday, July 18, 2022

The Mittani Steps Down

Folks in the chat have been attacking us saying we are both apologists. No, we’re not apologists, we are apologizing. There is a difference. We’re not trying to hand wave away what happened. Everybody involved in this process understands completely what happened wasn’t okay and it needs to be fixed, period. Things like this can’t happen again.

- Brisc Rubal, The Meta Show, 15 July 2022

I have said for years now that if the Goons were defeated in EVE Online, the causes for the defeat would come from within. The Imperium's last major defeat in The Casino War occurred due to infighting within Imperium member SpaceMonkeys Alliance. The conflict between the owner of IWANTISK and his alliance leadership eventually led to Eeep financing a war against his coalition. The result was the collapse of several Imperium alliances and the removal of The Imperium from the galactic north in 2016.

The latest political shockwave to damage The Imperium also came from within. The Mittani has resigned his positions as head of Goonwaffe and as head of The Imperium. The event was announced in an alliance ping and a post on the Goonsfleet forums.

My people, I’m afraid that the sheer amount of smears being flung my way across the galaxy are simply too much to handle at a personal level. The fact that my divorce, the loss of my dog, and a terrible number other of outright lies and falsehoods have been heaped on top of each other has resulted in me becoming simply too radioactive to continue leading Goonswarm without my presence being a net negative for the wider tribe.

The accusations that I am aware of are unsubstantiated falsehoods, and I did not sign up to be the scapegoat for the entire galaxy. You deserve better in leadership than having to continually be confronted with MITTANI MAN BAD day in, day out; I, and my partner, deserve better than to wake each day to find some new horrific slander being levelled against me. The only honorable thing to do is exit in an orderly fashion. I have transferred shares to Xttz and will be making TheAdj Interim CEO of Goonwaffe.

A challenge of this position – sitting in the Big Chair – is that the entire rest of Eve Online feels that they can, without boundaries, restraint, or evidence, fling all kinds of shit at the leader of GSF. I do not envy my successor, but hope that my exit will clear the way towards a better future.

It has been a tremendous honor to serve you these past 12 years as CEO. We have, together, built the greatest and most interesting space empire in the history of the internet, and then we have beaten the entirety of the rest of the game with it in the greatest war in the history of the internet. Your successes, your friendships, your community, and the bonds we have formed with one another through all of the madness that is Eve Online will be memories I will keep forever.

As I transfer roles and hand assets over, the current team will continue stabilizing the organization. They have been hard at work and information and announcements will be coming. Please bear with them as they have been trying to both build new systems and improve processes, while managing a very challenging and complex situation. Please be gentle with them.

As for me, I am going to touch some grass and smoke some weed. It’s been an honor and a privilege~

The story of the fall of The Mittani is too big not to give some time to cover. My problem is what can I use as a source of information? The EVE sub-Reddit is out as a source. Yes, a lot of the stories swirling around were on r/eve. The problem is, the EVE sub-Reddit is full of misinformation in the best of times. And that is what I say when I feel charitable.

As I've said for years, r/eve can suck the desire to play EVE out of a player faster than an officer-fit Bhaalgorn can drain the capacitor from an Atron. I don't say that just due to the negativity found on the sub-Reddit. I also believe r/eve is a huge anchor on CCP and EVE Online's popularity due to the types of posting I see. Will people post lies on Reddit to improve their position in the game? Yes. Will people post lies on the sub-Reddit accusing people of horrendous crimes in order to gain revenge for in-game activities? Also yes. EVE is a game where players go way over the line in the types of behavior decent people should engage in. The EVE sub-Reddit is a distilled form of that toxic behavior, made worse by the amount of players who no longer play the game hanging out on the site. In short, friends don't let friends visit r/eve.

So where to turn to? Would you believe The Meta Show? Yes, the Twitch stream often acts like a branch of The Imperium's Ministry of Truth. But even with The Mittani acting at his worst, the show is a lot less toxic than r/eve. (Admittedly, being less toxic than r/eve is a very low bar to clear). With the former space emperor no longer on the show, what would a Goon-friendly source say about the recent events? On Saturday, the show resumed, hosted by long-time host Brisc Rubal and Karmafleet CEO Merkelchen. I'll quote extensively from Saturday's show because the most sugar-coated story should come from that source.

I'll start with Brisc's opening.

Today, July 16th, 2022, the news of the day. Probably the biggest news we’ve had in EVE Online in quite a long time. The Mittani, one of the most well-known players in the history of EVE Online, has resigned as alliance leader of Goonswarm Federation and coalition leader of The Imperium. This follows a week or more of some of the toughest times I think we have seen in this game in quite a long time. Allegations of sexual harrassment, allegations of the mishandling of complaints, allegations of all kinds of things in the community, real life and in the game. 

Many of you didn’t think we were going to do the show today. Many of you didn’t think I was going to show my face or that I would come on here and defend The Mittani. Many of you thought we were going to just sweep this under the rug and that nothing would change and nothing would happen. But I think it is obvious based on what has happened in this community over the last week that this is absolutely something that we need to talk about and it is absolutely something we need to make sure never happens again.

I probably need to point out that some subjects are taboo to discuss on Twitch and YouTube. Things like pedophilia. Given some of the chatter on the Internet, "allegations of all kinds of things" is probably as close as we can expect a streamer not sure of the limits to go in describing the situation.

Next comes Brisc's soapbox segment. I'm not going to post the entire thing, but most of it will get the message across.
Ladies and gentlemen, over the last week we have seen what I think many players in our community would consider some of the most toxic behavior they have ever seen – in game, out of game – and it has come from players that you all know, players that we have all played with, people we have known in real-life and friends. This community has done what I have thought was not possible and has almost torn itself to pieces. And it is happening at a time in EVE Online when the game is in as rough a shape as it has been in the last 20 years. 

Every night on Rampage Inc, Merk and I take a look at the number of people playing and it is in the 13 thousands and the 14 thousands where just a year ago it was in the 30s. This community needs some work, folks. Let’s be honest. 

Now, what have we seen over the last week? We have seen accusations. We have seen call-out threads. Reddit has turned into – everyday something else breaks to the point where people are very concerned - that they don’t even want to look at it. They want to walk away from the game. This community is too toxic. It is the worst community they have ever seen. No wonder no one wants to play this game because look at how we treat each other. In real life and on the forums and on Reddit and elsewhere. 

We’ve seen threats of physical violence. We’ve seen, “Don’t come to an EVE meet because I’ve got a lot of fists ready for ya.” Yesterday, as you all may have known, someone emailed my work, letting them know, “Are you aware that Brian Schoeneman, the political and legislative director for this union, is on a talk show with a person who’s been accused of sexual mismanagement?”

I’m used to this. It is not the first time it has happened to me. Many, many famous EVE players have had things happen similar to me. In my time I’ve had death threats. I’ve had people mail things to my house. Someone mailed a pair of ping-pong balls to my house because apparently I needed to get a pair. And on more than one occasion people have called my office. They’ve called my wife’s office. Someone called my wife’s office and let the receptionist know how much of a piece of shit I was. This community oftentimes shows the worst of what we can see on the Internet. 

Now, that being said, I want to talk about some other things I’ve seen from this community. On Rampage Inc this community has raised more than $10,000 for charity. I have seen through the PLEX for Good campaigns, this community has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to benefit refugees from the war in Ukraine, to benefit folks displaced by the wildfires in Australia, folks who were impacted by tsunamis in Indonesia, natural disasters around the world. I have seen the best of this community. I have seen people fighting COVID by playing this videogame. I have seen people reach out to one another in times of trial and trouble and tribulation. I have seen the good that the Broadcast4Reps group has done. I have seen people rush to the aid of a player in Vegas who fell, not because he was drunk, but because he had a health issue. And I’ve seen at EVE meets from Fanfest to Vegas to elsewhere friends helping friends get around when they’ve had a little too much, making sure they get home safe. I have seen this community come out when players have passed away. I’ve seen us run GoFundMe’s for funerals and to help the families of those we’ve lost. 

Many people would say after this week that this community is in very rough shape and it needs a lot of work. And what I would say to them is a paraphrase of one of the best statements I have ever heard from an American president. There is nothing so wrong with the EVE community that it cannot be fixed by what’s best of the EVE community. 

All of us own each other just the basic ordinary human dignity of being kind. Treat others as you want to be treated. If someone in your fleet is being racist, mysogynist, sexually harassing others, stand up to them. Tell them that behavior is not okay. There is no place in this game for racism, misogyny, sexual harassment, any of those types of behaviors. No one should be felt to be ashamed because of their sexual orientation. No one should be made ashamed because of where they’re from or what they look like. 

We have to be better as people, and it starts – not with CCP, not with alliance leaders – it starts with each and every one of us deciding that we are going to be better people…
I'm sure some would like to see all people in Imperium leadership kicked immediately from the game, ensuring The Imperium's collapse. Putting on my cynic's hat, I don't think CCP will commit economic suicide in that way, even assuming a mass punishment is warranted. 

I understand why some people watched The Meta Show and felt a lot of deflection occurred. A lot did. But I believe a lot more contrition occurred than the critics give credit for. And since the apologies give some sort of scope to the issues, I'll post some more.

This segment came from Brisc about some of the past content of The Meta Show.

I see people in the chat saying, “How can you say something like this when this show when this show has been purveying hate for blah, blah blah, blah blah.” And you have Olmeca on Twitter saying “these guys are all attacking everything.” 

I have tried on this show to keep it in the game. I know that this show has failed many times to keep it in the game. And that Mittani and myself and others have crossed lines that many of you have thought were too far. And for that I want to apologize. If you thought what we were saying was too much, was too hard, it was too far across the line. That it was impacting someone in real life you have my absolute sincere apology. That was never our intention. 

Our job on this show, our goal on this show is to be entertaining and to talk about things that are happening on EVE Online, and because so many of us play this game so much that it becomes a second job or a hobby or part of our lives. For many of us we’ve been playing this game for 16 years or more – 20 years. Not having EVE Online in our life is not something we ever want to contemplate. And I know that means it is very easy to get very too attached. It is easy to get very angry and very frustrated – or very whatever you want to say – and go off and say things and do things you otherwise wouldn’t do. 

If we have offended someone – and I know we’ve offended Vily, I know we’ve offended Gobbins, I know we’ve offended many people we’ve talked about over many years on this show – and they all have my apologies. And I think as part of everything we are doing we have to do a better job. And we’re going to keep it in the game and when we talk about stuff on the show, yeah we’re going to have fun, we’re going to tease people. We’ll talk a little trash. But it’s not personal. It’s part of the game. And I hope that folks will understand that. And I hope we can keep the rest of the stuff in the game as well. 

But the reality is the last week or so has been pretty bad. And I don’t think anyone wants the game to fail. I don’t think everyone wants everybody to walk away from it. But we are in danger of that happening if we can't clean up our own messes. 

I mentioned Merkelchen was on the show but haven't quoted him yet. When asked about what leadership was doing to clean up the mess and prevent another situation like the current fuck-up, he replied:
A lot of things are happening obviously, right? You kind of touched on it. Some of the messaging is, in retrospect, incredibly embarrassing and humiliating and I can’t believe we ran with some of this shit as long as we did. We’re trimming those hedges outright because it is easy, it’s quick. We are making sure that people understand what things are okay and what things are going to be not okay. 

Little more detailed and obviously significantly more complicated is when you’ve got as many people as some of these groups do, it’s not like your old WoW raiding guild where it’s 20 people, you all know each other intimately well. It’s easy to say, “Hey, we’re going to agree to do this one thing and do it. When you’ve got thousands, tens of thousands of people getting mashed together and interacting in hundreds of different places whether they’re private channels, squad and SIG channels, a Discord over here, a Discord over there, whatever, it starts to get really really complicated. 

We spent a few days sort of circling the wagons and trying to figure out, okay what’s objective #1? A safe and inclusive community. We want to have that. We desire to have that. I think a lot of us – I’m one of these dipshits and I’ll eat that – thought we had one. Only to realize as these conversations have gone on this week that we were coming up very short on that front. 

All hope is not lost though. Just because we failed at something doesn’t mean we have to keep failing at something. We’re going to get this one right. I guarantee it. Nobody scales up shit like we do. It’s our specialty. We will bring forth a system that can handle this and can make everyone feel comfortable with where they are. So that stuff has been going on in the background... 
I know a lot of people don't want to hear what Goons intend to do to fix the situation but more about what happened. Sorry, but I figure I need to put some of what is proposed, if only to look back and judge how Goonswarm and The Imperium responded. Merkelchen added more details to the Goonswarm response:
Ideally what we want the end goal is an independent organization outside of the leadership structure that exists already. Our leadership structure is great at winning wars, at keeping jump bridges fueled, at making sure your athanor’s moon drill is where it needs to be, etc. It’s not a human resources department. It’s not a conflict resolution department. These are not people who have training or skills in interpersonal relationships or interactions, etc, etc… 

This group will work external to the organization itself. It will be staffed by people who are not in the leadership of the organization. A human resource department typically works in the interests of the company, not to go all Fortune 500 on you, but if you are talking to your human resources department rep the odds are they are circling the wagons around you basically. They work for the company and they want to keep the company out of legal trouble. 

That is not the goal in this situation whatsoever. The goal in this situation is resolve conflict, maintain the dignity of the membership, and make sure people have a place they know they can go to anonymously report problems in the organization. 

There’s a couple people in leadership who are sort of going to be adjunctsent [sic] to this group, because they have to be. On the developmental side people who can press the buttons, people who can pull into the database, people who can moderate the forums. You have to have a couple of folks like that available to this group such that they can execute their work. But I can tell you the plan is nobody’s above the law, anybody can be reported, and we’re going to just see how it goes. It’s not going to be perfect when it launches. We’re going to look to the first group of people. We’ve tried to really pull in a diverse group of people to staff this thing out of the gates. And just kind of let them come back and say, “We need X, we need Y, we need Z”, stuff like that. So they can work their way through these conflicts and ideally they will handle these things from beginning to end…
I'm not sure if I will continue tracking the story of what exactly happened. The aftermath? I can't help but do that. But for now, I'll leave this post to mark one of the major events in the history of EVE Online.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Pearl Abyss Announced Shut Down Of Shadow Arena

The sunsetting of underperforming games at Pearl Abyss-owned studios continues. The South Korean game maker posted an announcement on Steam Friday that its Black Desert inspired battle royale game Shadow Arena would close operation on 10 August 2022.  The statement also appeared on the Shadow Arena website.

Greetings, this is Shadow Arena.  

Shadow Arena was first showcased at G-Star in November 2019. After completing the fourth CBT, it was released as early access on May 2020. Since then, we've walked a journey accompanied by players for 2 years and 8 months. 

Shadow Arena made its first debut as content in Black Desert. However, we decided to make Shadow Arena into a separate spin-off title and worked towards establishing it as a new kind of “action battle royale” for players who enjoy PvP games. 

Despite our efforts to introduce various elements to the game, we thought that Shadow Arena in its current state was inadequate in offering a unique experience. With deep consideration, we regret to inform you that the service of Shadow Arena will be terminated.

We would like sincerely thank all the players who have been in support of Shadow Arena as we deliver this news. 

Pearl Abyss also announced a shutdown schedule.
July 8, 2022 (Fri) 11:00 (UTC+9)

■ Game Download Unavailable 

- Downloading the Shadow Arena Client be unavailable via official website and Steam store.  

- Game service through previously downloaded client will be available until the service termination date.  
 

■ Termination of Gcoin Purchases 

- Gcoin purchases on the official website and in the Steam store will be unavailable.  
 

■ Shop Clearance Sale 

- All items in the shop will be available for 1 Silver. 
 

■ Final Season Begins 

- Final season’s Battle Pass rewards will be significantly higher than before. 
 

August 10, 2022 (Wed) 11:00 (UTC+9)

■ Game Service Termination 

- The game service through the official website and Steam launcher will be unavailable.  

 

■ Official Website Service Termination.  

- Shadow Arena’s official website will be terminated. 

- All posts on the community page will be deleted after termination.  

- Make sure to save any information you wish to store on your PC.  

- Customer Support regarding the refund process will still be available after service is terminated. 

- Users may create Pearl Abyss ID even after the service ends. 

 

■ Official Social Media and Community Channel Termination 

- The following official social media channels of Shadow Arena will be terminated. 

- Official Youtube, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, Discord

- The Shadow Arena Steam Community will be terminated. 
Combined with last week's news about CCP shutting down all of its legacy virtual reality games brought over with the Icelandic company's sale to Pearl Abyss in October 2018, one can safely say the leadership of Pearl Abyss is closing all marginal financial operations.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

EVE Online Concurrency At Lowest Level Since Blackout

The latest average concurrent users graph from Jester is out, and the news is not good, if not unexpected. At the end of June, the seven day average reached 17,000. 

The past 12 months

The difference between this year and last is in 2021 the numbers bottomed out during July. This year, the number of average users is poised to fall to 16,000. The 10% drop in concurrent logins due to sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine certainly doesn't help matters.

2019 and The Chaos Era

The big factor that might inhibit a healthy comeback during the northern autumn season is the price hike implemented on 17 May. While the price increase may protect CCP's financial situation, fewer players in space may lead to more bored players. I've stated this for about a year now, but EVE really needs a proper expansion in order to maintain and perhaps even grow the player base. The company basically promised one by the end of the year. Hopefully we'll see something worth celebrating.

Monday, July 4, 2022

CCP Shuts Down Its VR Titles

The day finally came. CCP Games will no longer support its virtual reality titles EVE Valkyrie, EVE: Gunjack, EVE: Gunjack 2, and Sparc on 5 August 2021. The end of the line was obvious to all with the sale of CCP's Newcastle studio to Sumo Digital at the end of 2017.

Announcement of a dead game on dead forums

I'm not sure how much CCP spent to keep the game servers up, but apparently more than the games brought in. One thing we know for sure, however. With no new games on the horizon, we'll soon know just how EVE Online is doing financially. Probably in 2022.


Friday, July 1, 2022

Cloud Imperium Games Brings In $10.3 Million In June

Cloud Imperium Games, the makers of the not yet released games Star Citizen and Squadron 42, brought in almost $10.3 million in June 2022. For the first half of 2022, CIG received $58.7 million in starter packages, ship sales, and other digital purchases. Early this morning, the funding page reported total sales reached $485 million since October 2013.

The months of July through September are usually the weakest sales months for CIG. Last year, the company made under $12 million during the 3rd quarter. In 2022 though, I think CIG has a chance to reach $500 million in total sales by the end of September.

Monday, June 20, 2022

The CSM 17 Election Results

On Thursday, CCP announced the results of the election for the 17th iteration of the Council of Stellar Management. The winners (and the round of the election simulation they were elected) are below:

  • Angry Mustache - Goonswarm Federation (Round 1)
  • Arsia Elkin - Electus Matari (Round 34)
  • Brisc Rubal - The Initiative. (Round 1)
  • Jinx De'Caire - Brave Collective (Round 34)
  • Kazanir - Goonswarm Federation (Round 1)
  • Kenneth Feld - Pandemic Legion (Round 1)
  • Luke Anninan - Fraternity. (Round 1)
  • Mark Resurrectus - Turbofeed or Glory (Round 34) 
  • Pandoralica - The Initiative. (Round 33)
  • Storm Delay - Pandemic Horde (Round 28)

Turnout this year was 30,814 votes, a decline of  19.1% from CSM 16's 38,086 votes. Even when taking into account the player decline since the end of World War Bee 2/Beeitnam War, interest in voting is down. The average player user count during the CSM 16 election was approximately 20,000 accounts. During the election this year, the ACU number hovered around 18,000 for a decline of 10%. An alternative explanation is that many players, instead of abandoning the game, have switched from paying Omega accounts to free-to-play Alpha accounts. So instead of a loss of interest in the CSM, CCP lost even more money from its corporate wallet.

The results pretty much went as expected. Seven of the seats went to members of the five largest sov holding alliances in EVE. The eighth winning candidate from null sec, Kenneth Feld, is from the 12th largest sov holding alliance. The ninth winner, Arsia Elkin, is an incumbent. Incumbents tend to win, even those best known for role playing and factional warfare. The final winner, wormholer Mark Resurrectus, finished 12th last year and was primed to win with the collapse of Test Alliance Please Ignore following last year's war.

One of the questions I ask of potential CSM candidates is whether they can attract 1000 first place votes and over 2000 total votes. In the 10-year history of CSM elections conducted using the single transferrable vote system, only three who reached this number failed to win a seat: Nathan Jameson (1616/2430) and Banlish (1213/2173) in the CSM 8 election and Sort Dragon (1500/2321) in 2019. All seven candidates who achieved these numbers won this year.

One of the stories CCP tried to create on its streams was Pandoralica's popularity across the EVE player base lifting him to victory. But did Pando really come from far back to claim victory? Actually no. After the first round, Pando was in 12th place.

  1. Kazanir (met quota, elected)
  2. Angry Mustache (met quota, elected)
  3. Luke Anninan (met quota, elected)
  4. Kenneth Feld (met quota, elected)
  5. Brisc Rubal (met quota, elected)
  6. Storm Delay - 2551 votes
  7. Mark Resurrectus - 1468 votes
  8. Jinx De'Caire - 1343 votes
  9. Arsia Elkin - 995 votes
  10. Torvald Uruz - 862 votes
  11. Alasker - 746 votes
  12. Pandoralica - 744 votes

Pando had passed both Torvald Uruz and Alasker at the end of round 11 and the winners gradually pulled away for the win. Compared to the CSM 12 election, when Yukiko Kami came back to win a seat in the final round, this year's election was downright sedate.


Monday, June 13, 2022

Why I'm Not Excited About Voting For CSM 17

Today is the last full day for EVE Online players to vote for the latest edition of the Council of Stellar Management. Voting ends at downtime (1100 UTC) on Tuesday. CCP has set up a voting page where players can vote for up to 10 candidates.

I spent years covering CSM elections. But after the election of CSM 14 in 2019 I realized that with the introduction of the single transferrable vote system, the big null sec alliances were basically guaranteed 7-8 spots, with low sec, wormhole, and high sec candidates fighting over the last 2-3 seats.

The year 2019 is also noted for an important event in the history of EVE: Blackout. One of the main purposes of the CSM is to serve as a sounding board to keep CCP from doing dumb things. Needless to say, the system somehow failed.

2019 was CCP's worst year over the last 10 years

I believe 2022 is a year in which nothing the CSM can say or due will prevent the developers from making major moves I will absolutely hate. We already know CCP plans to sell internet spaceships directly from the cash shop
MADE BY PLAYERS FOR PLAYERS

A new program will soon be introduced allowing you to manufacture or purchase items, making them available for other players to purchase. Players who participate will be rewarded with heraldry, which unlocks many cosmetic items that help you establish your individual and alliance identity in New Eden. This is all aimed to lean into EVE’s player-driven economy and provide more avenues to participate in the economy, and be rewarded.
The above is the plan CCP Swift told players about when CCP removed the Prospector's Pack from the cash shop. Can the CSM do anything about the plan? I don't think so.

In the upcoming year, CCP will do many things. The big issue for me is monetization. When CCP announced they were doubling down on selling ships in the cash shop, that signaled to me the developers will do whatever they think will bring in the most money. Nothing the CSM can say will have an effect.