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

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.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Cloud Imperium Games Earns $20.7 Million In May

Just a quick post to record the remarkable month Cloud Imperium Games, the makers of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, had financially in May 2022. The month recorded the second highest month in ship & equipment sales in the 10 year history of CIG, registering $20.7 million. The catalyst for the revenue growth was the annual Invictus Flight Week ship sale with $14.8 million in sales over the 12 days of the event. Last month's revenue was only topped by the $21.5 million recorded in November 2021.

Through the end of May, the counter on the Roberts Space Industry website has increased $48.6 million so far in 2022. Over the 12-month period of 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2022, the amount publicly recorded increased by $104.8 million, cementing itself as the #1 sci-fi MMO, at least financially. No wonder other game companies are proceeding with their own plans to sell internet spaceships

Overall, the known total income reported by Cloud Imperium games over its 10 year history is $542.2 million split into three categories:

  • Pledges/Counter: $474.7 million (through the end of May 2022)
  • Subscriptions: $22.8 million (through the end of 2020)
  • Other income: $44.7 million (through the end of 2020)

When including the $63.2 million in minority investment CIG accepted in 2018-2019, the total funding for Star Citizen and Squadron 42 so far is $605.4 million.