Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Thoughts On Turning FFXIV's 4 Character Dungeons Into Solo Instances

With the launch of Endwalker's patch 6.4 last week, Creative Business Unit Three only has three more MSQ dungeons, The Drowned City of Skalla, The Burn, and The Ghimlyt Dark, to add to the Trust and Duty Support systems. By doing so, all 4-player content required to complete Final Fantasy XIV's main story questline is doable by solo players at current level. But is doing so good for the game?

I really can't say if long-term, making FFXIV more solo-player friendly good for the game. But last night, for me, I was glad to have the option. I was playing through the patch 6.4 quests and ran into the newest 4-player dungeon, The Aetherfont. After 10pm. Getting a group that late, even for a white mage, can prove difficult. Add in going in blind and the inevitable deaths and I was very happy to enter the dungeon with a party of NPC companions.

I suffer from party anxiety. That is, I don't want to be the cause of party wipes because I make mistakes. As the healer, not an uncommon occurrence. But besides the ease of finding a party, I could learn the fights at my own pace. I wiped twice to the first boss, once to the second boss, and managed to defeat the end boss on my first attempt. The NPCs know the fight, so figuring out which one to follow helps. Normally I follow Y'sthtola around, but she wasn't available for this dungeon. At least the first time through.

Another advantage is getting the drops. I can gear up using the drops from the MSQ dungeons, assuming I run enough of them. For example, my tome gear I earned through patch 6.3 is item level 620. The drops from The Aetherfont are iLevel 625. If I really want to, I can grind to my heart's content. But normally, I grind the dungeons for the more valuable tomes and sell the drops to my grand company to purchase the ventures required to fund my army of retainers.

Not running dungeons with other players does have drawbacks. For one, running dungeons takes longer because the NPCs will stop doing damage to the boss at times. Running through the latest few dungeons takes me around 35 minutes playing as a white mage. I imagine the time could decrease if I played a DPS job. Also, NPCs don't combat resurrect players. If the player dies, the boss fight resets. So no completing a dungeon while lying on the floor.

I guess even the drawbacks have advantages. One is that players will see all the mechanics of a fight. I believe a well-tuned, high-skilled group can skip some. Another is that in order to advance in the MSQ, a player must complete all the mechanics in a dungeon, most of the time twice. Sure, following an NPC helps. But is that any different from following a Dorito (a player marked with a triangle other players follow) in a trial or raid?

As I said, I don't know if the move is good for the game over the long haul. I can only speak for myself. Quite frankly, I was seriously thinking about quitting FFXIV at the end of Stormblood. I could barely complete the dungeon mechanics and I knew the fights would only get harder in Shadowbringers. Then the Trust system was announced and I renewed my subscription. While a couple of the dungeons gave me an incredibly hard time (especially Therion), I could fight through knowing I wasn't inconveniencing other people with my lack of skill.

A player still cannot fully complete the MSQ solo. I counted 25 8-player trials in the MSQ through the end of patch 6.4 that still require a player to play with others. Also, the side content dungeons and alliance raids are also not part of the Duty Support and Trust systems. So FFXIV still does not count as a solo game. The game is just a lot more solo-friendly than at the beginning of Endwalker. I think after 10 years and going into a second main storyline, such a move is a good thing. At least for me.

Monday, May 29, 2023

My Island Sanctuary: Ranks 12-14

My professional life intruded into my gaming life this past weekend, but I still managed to play some of the new patch 6.4 content in Final Fantasy XIV. I only managed to complete one quest, but my island sanctuary is looking a lot better. I wasn't able to come close to reaching rank 16, the new island cap, but I am within a day of reaching rank 15. So what's happened on my little island since the new patch launched last Tuesday?

My caretaker, Felicitous Furball, gave me a quest. She sent me out to investigate loud noises coming from the mountain in the middle of the mountain. I found a mammet just itching to dig into the mountain to investigate, if only it had the proper tools. I don't remember if I was able to build the tool required at level 12 or 13, but the resulting cave was beautiful.

Entering the cavern

Not as entrancing as my first view of Amaurot, but pretty stunning as I did not expect something like that on a side piece of content. Or is it a side piece of content anymore?

At rank 13, upgrades to buildings become available. The Cozy Cabin and granaries are the first. Of course, I didn't even think about upgrading buildings until I reached rank 14. But I wish I had as renovating the buildings gives island sanctuary experience.

The view from the workshop across the plaza

Not only has my little cabin grown to two stories, but the paths on my island are now covered in a nice blue stone. I'm not a big fan of the blue in certain locations, but I do like the cabin.

The new sales area

The ground floor of the cabin is now totally set up for business, including table that deserve the ability to place food on. Although I can't decorate the interior myself, I approve of the developers' taste. Plus, I no longer have to sleep near the sales desk!

My bedroom

My bedroom is now on the second level. Compared to regular housing, the bedroom is nothing special. But in context, I'm off the ground floor, which means no more partitions. For those wondering, yes, the bed is functional.

A level 4 grainery

Speaking of functionality, I need to get to the business side of island sanctuaries. Not only does upgrading granaries to level 4 result in giving your buildings a slightly steampunk feel, but increases the output of rare materials from 4 to 5 per day. 

A level 4 workshop

Adding to the steampunk vibe is upgrading a workshop to level 4. I'm not sure how much the upgrade adds to output, but with a new island sanctuary achievement for gaining 33,000 sea cowries introduced, hopefully the amount is significant. Oh, and from looking at the workshop UI, we will receive an option to build a fourth workshop.

New seeds in 6.4

To fuel the workshops, the developers added four new types of seeds. None have finished growing, but they are accessible at level 14. Probably at level 13 as well, but I forgot to check.

Yes, I've been busy

The devs have added 7 common materials to find which are required for the granary and workshop  upgrades mentioned above. Each upgrade requires 10 units of 5 materials. I just have stuck in my head that I want to keep at least 100 of all materials on the island on-hand for when I schedule my work jobs on Wednesdays. That practice came in handy as I had all the materials when I started the upgrades.

In addition to the 7 common materials, island sanctuary has a new rare, Island Cave Shrimp. I'm not sure what recipes I will need them for, but I am working to get my stock up to usable levels.

New shop items introduced in 6.4

"Nosy!" I can hear someone shout, "What about the loot?" At rank 13, I was able to purchase the above items from the store for seafarer's cowries. They include 3 mounts, a minion, a fashion accessory, and barding for my chocobo.

The Island Tomato King mount

I have to admit I am not a big fan of the vegetable mounts. But I had the cowries, so I bought all three for 54,000.

The Posher Otter

I am, however, a fan of the new minion. Not only does the Posher Otter lend a bit of steampunk feel to the area, but the lantern works. With an otter lamp in my indoor garden, I shouldn't be surprised, but I was.

Standing next to the Tactful Taskmaster with my umbrella

The fashion accessory was an umbrella inspired by the Tactful Taskmaster. Not one that will replace my current go-to, but if I ever want to say I've played island sanctuary without saying I've played island sanctuary, a good option. Especially in the rain.

Barding with cat ears

Finally we have the new barding. I like the barding, and not just because of the cat ears. My main job is white mage, and the coloration goes with the traditional red and white colors at level 50. Plus, I dyed my chocobo red and I think the white goes well with the color.

I have a lot more to do, but I didn't want to wait until later today when I reach level 15. Hopefully I'll have the chance to write about ranks 15 and 16 in a couple of weeks. I'm almost at the point I've caught up with gathering all the materials I will need and can go back to my normal island sanctuary schedule. Once I get to rank 16, though, I'm sure I'll want to show off again.

Friday, May 26, 2023

CIG Has Intentionally Halted Pre-Orders Of Squadron 42

Last Wednesday, reports came in that Cloud Imperium Games had removed the pledge page for Squadron 42 from its cash shop. The only problem was determining if the action was accidental or intentional as trying to access the pledge page produced a 404 error. We know have an answer. CIG has closed pre-orders of Squadron 42.

I noticed yesterday that the Squadron 42 page had changed. Instead of a "Pledge Now" button, the page now displays a "Sign Up" button.

A new label for the button

By pressing the button, the prospective customer is directed down the page to sign up for a newsletter. Users are then greeted with a fairly easy question of who plays Captain MacLaren in Squadron 42. The answer is Gillian Anderson, most famous for playing Agent Scully in "The X-Files". 

Better than a CAPTCHA

Just a warning. Those who want the custom wallpaper should download it immediately. I tried to go back and get it and failed. I can't say if I successfully signed up for the newsletter because I did not get a confirmation email at the address I provided.

The changes on the website clear up one question, but pose another. I have seen comments from Star Citizen players who don't care anything about the single player game who are rather salty that the revenue from the sale of Star Citizen merchandise is used to develop Squadron 42. As far as I can tell, CIG is now selling nothing digital related to SQ42. Has the marketing department taken that into account with this recent move?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Lancers: EVE Online's New Tech II Dreadnoughts

Today CCP released information about the newest ship class entering EVE Online in next month's Viridian expansion. The Lancer-class is the long-awaited tech II version of the dreadnought. And yes, as the name implies, CCP has fit a doomsday onto a dread hull.

Each of the four NPC empires will have a tech II dread. They are:

Amarr - Bane:

The Amarr Empire lancer is a Tech II version of the Revelation-class dreadnought, designed by Khanid Innovations. It uses the same hull design as the Revelation Navy Issue and its main offensive systems are missiles – a first for an Amarr capital ship – and the Azmaru electromagnetic disruptive lance weapon.

Caldari - Karura: 

The Caldari State lancer is a Tech II variation on the Phoenix-class dreadnought, and the corporation responsible for its design is Ishukone. Based on the same hull design as the Phoenix Navy Issue, the Karura boasts hybrid turret capacity – uncommon for Caldari capital ships – and the Steel Yari kinetic disruptive lance weapon system.

Gallente - Hubris:

The Gallente Federation lancer is a Tech II incarnation of the Moros-class dreadnought, with Roden Shipyards being responsible for its design. The base hull design for the Hubris is the Moros Navy Issue, armed with hybrid turret capability and the Sarissa thermal disruptive lance weapon.

Minmatar - Valravn:

The Minmatar Republic lancer is a Tech II spin on the Naglfar-class dreadnought. Designed by Thukker Mix, the Valravn is based on the Naglfar Fleet Issue hull. Its offensive systems consist of projectile turrets and the Atgeir explosive disruptive lance weapon.

I have spent a lot of time looking at Star Citizen lately. CIG's business model results in the company throwing out new ships and ship designs (aka jpegs) in a never-ending effort to fund development of a pair of games that together will cost over $1 billion to develop and eventually publish. So perhaps I am a little bit happier than normal to hear the developers of EVE have what I believe is a solid rationale for adding a new ship class.

Subsequently, these new ships will have a unique role, offering more variety and tactical options. As mentioned above, these ships will be specialized, as opposed to ‘simply’ being improved dreadnoughts, and are designed to fill a new niche in the capital ecosystem by specializing in area-of-effect weaponry that applies effects to the ships it hits which can drastically alter the flow of battle, opening up fresh tactical opportunities.

The new vision for the dreadnought ecosystem is to make Tech I dreads more cost efficient in dealing damage by making them have high damage with the lowest possible ISK cost. The navy dreads that were introduced back in Uprising have the highest damage output per unit although they are more expensive, making them less cost efficient while still carving out a niche role. Pirate dreads have very high damage, while still affording them their unique pirate abilities and utility. Finally, lancers will specialize in area-of-effect damage and debuff specialization.

I've played and subscribed to EVE since 2009 and still cannot fly a dreadnought. But the new weapon for the Lancer-class dreads sounds interesting.

The lance energy neutralizes the area around it when it fires, and given that it requires capacitor to fire, this makes firing them en masse from a single ball of ships difficult (plus, you're likely to hit friendlies in such an arrangement). This area-of-effect energy neutralization has the potential to encourage more thoughtful placement of capital ships on a battlefield, rewarding the side which is best able to make use of them. Ships struck by the disruptive lance beam will have their warp/jump drives disabled, tether/docking disabled, and experience a 50% reduction to incoming remote repair, all for 60 seconds.

Disruptive lance weapons also have the benefit of great existing design in their spool up time before firing and the fact that the damage they apply is based on the signature radius of their target. This lets them be tuned to be more interesting as anti-capital weapons than something that can be used as a means of punching down at subcapital fleets.

I've seen the financial documents submitted to Skatturinn, Iceland's taxation and customs organization. CCP is definitely putting in the first tech 2 capital ships since 2007 in order to make money.  But I find the fact CCP is trying to make money off of EVE by improving the game instead of directly selling skill points or bolting on web3/blockchain/NFT technology a refreshing change of pace. Hopefully the effort works and encourages the braintrust at CCP to continue down this path.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Defeating Final Fantasy XIV's Hardest Boss, Endwalker Edition

Yesterday, the time I usually use to write blog posts instead was taken up by battling Final Fantasy XIV's hardest boss. That's right, I had a billing issue and needed to use the Square Enix website.

The billing issue came about due to a confluence of issues. First, the state of Illinois charges sales tax on video game services. The second is that Square Enix' previous collection's vendor did not collect the sales tax and the new one hired in February does. The whole tax issue comes into effect due to Steam putting a limit on how much Square Enix can charge my credit card.

The issue, I think

Okay, no problem, right. All I have to do is renew my subscription. Just click a couple of buttons, maybe fill out a form, and I'm done and back in business. Except, I'm dealing with a Square Enix website. While improved from when I started playing FFXIV, the website still has issues.

How hard can clicking on an icon be?

For instance, pressing the Steam Account button resulted in having to enter my id, password, and authentication string again. Of course, because I didn't realize the root cause of the problem, the payment never went through. At least, that's what I think happened. But the behavior of the website for other things makes be believe the site wasn't working fully. Because I went into endless loops of click, enter login information, and return to the Service Account Dashboard. And after a certain number of times, I had to add doing capchas to the list of tasks to attempt to get to the next page.

I did contact support and the representative suggested a way to bypass paying through Steam and using my credit card directly. After going through the looping behavior several times, I finally was able to enter my credit card information, only to receive an error upon submission. But I was given a vital clue: change the automatic payment to a one-time payment.

I still had to zerg the boss, but I succeeded renewing my subscription after about 15 minutes of additional effort. Then I had to go through the same procedure to reactivate my army of retainers. I succeeded after about 10 minutes of effort, only to realize I had only reactivated one of my six. So into the breach I went again to reactive the other five. Thankfully, I did not need to go through a third round of activity to renew my FFXIV Companion App, which gives a free teleport site in the game.

Having gone through the experience, I can report on a couple of items of interest. First, I kept my cottage despite becoming unsubbed. The housing rules indicate one only loses a house by not entering the house for 45 days. Yesterday's incident proved that is the case. Second, if you become unsubbed and then resub before your retainers venture time concludes, you get your venture rewards. I don't know if I would have if the time expired, and I don't have the desire to find out. And finally, as mentioned before, no need to worry about connecting the companion app. All benefits were present when I logged back in.

Thankfully, due to a desire to pre-load patch 6.4 before going to work, I discovered the problem in time to regain access to my account and play the first day of the patch. But honestly, the process shouldn't have taken 3 hours, including contacting support. The website once again lived up to its reputation of being FFXIV's hardest boss.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Star Citizen's May Sales And Invictus Fleet Week

With all the technical difficulties Star Citizen has experienced so far this year, I'm a little surprised at the financial support customers continue to bestow upon Cloud Imperium Games. True, sales did not increase through the first four months of the year, but they didn't decrease either. Not bad considering 2022, with over $113 million in sales, was a record year for the company. But with technical blocks continuing to plague the developers, has the game peaked?

The world is about to find out. Today is the beginning of Invictus Launch Week, one of the biggest financial events of the year. The nature of the event is even written into the lore:

Dating back to the First Tevarin War (2541-2546), Invictus Launch Week marks the beginning of the new recruiting year of the United Empire of Earth Navy (UEEN) and is publicly celebrated throughout the Empire. 

Throughout the event, you can try Star Citizen FOR FREE, along with test drive the ships on display at the show. Different manufacturers take over the Bevic Convention Center every two days, so keep checking back to see everything the event offers.

Visitors also have the opportunity to tour an in-service Aegis Javelin destroyer and marvel at the entire Invictus fleet in flight, including the colossal RSI Bengal! Head over to and our FAQ for more information about the event.

Through the first 18 days of May, CIG recorded $3.1 million in sales. Pretty impressive for a company with 2 games in alpha and none launched. Impressive, that is, until one looks back to last year and sees CIG sold $5.6 million in goods during the same period in 2022.

This year's Invictus Fleet Week sales need to make up for the shortfall. While we don't have financial information for 2022, I figured sales needed to increase between 13.2% and 18.5% in 2023 to keep up with the company's development plans. If I'm wrong, then perhaps keeping pace with last year's sales will suffice. But either way, sales cannot go down.

How much does the Fleet Week event need to sell to CIG's customers? Last year, the event brought in almost $14.6 million over 12 days. As of right now, Fleet Week plus the following day needs to sell $17.6 million over the final 13 days of May to match 2022's sales performance. Assuming sales on the 31st match the sales of $520 thousand on 19 May 2022, this year's Fleet Week needs to increase sales by 17% to $17.1 million.

Is that increase obtainable for CIG and its incredible marketing team? Not at all. But, this is why the event is a possible indicator for the future. With patch 3.19 freshly installed on the Persistent Universe servers, the way is wide open for a record haul for the event. But if the game has peaked due to all the difficulties surrounding patch 3.18, the sales figures will give us an indication. Either way, we will know on the first day of June.

(Note: As of 1330 UTC on 19 May 2023, the pledge page for Squadron 42 still displays a 404 error.)

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Squadron 42 Purchase Page Is Down

Throughout 2022, the one bit of server tech that worked for Cloud Imperium Games was the Pledge Store. No matter what happened on the Star Citizen game servers, customers always had the ability to spend money on CIG's products. Until yesterday.

A commenter over on MassivelyOP noted that all mention of purchasing Squadron 42 from the RSI website around 1900 UTC. The report wasn't quite true, as looking on the Squadron 42 page did indeed show buttons to purchase the single player game. But I went one step farther and pushed the "Pledge Now" button. I received a 404 error. Chris Neal, the MassivelyOP writer who covers Star Citizen, confirmed my findings.

One can't pre-order Squadron 42 from this page

While the 404 page is impressive, one can't pre-order Squadron 42 from the 404 page. For those not aware, Wikipedia defines a 404 error as:
In computer network communications, the HTTP 404, 404 not found, 404, 404 error, page not found or file not found error message is a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) standard response code, to indicate that the browser was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested. The error may also be used when a server does not wish to disclose whether it has the requested information.

The website hosting server will typically generate a "404 Not Found" web page when a user attempts to follow a broken or dead link; hence the 404 error is one of the most recognizable errors encountered on the World Wide Web.

The really cool 404 error page indicates the problem is server-side, not something wrong with my laptop.

What does the error mean? My experience tells me someone was doing an update on the page. Either someone posted the update and put in the wrong link, or someone decided that showing the 404 error page for a day or two was better than posting the updated page.

Anything further speculation turns into conspiracy theory land. The theories could range from CIG is doing a price hike to coincide with the beginning of Invictus Launch Week tomorrow to the lawyers telling CIG to stop selling Squadron 42 NOW!!!. But the fact that, as I write this post, the pledge page issue has last for over 16 hours does lead to some speculation. CIG not fixing a problem that prevents people from giving them money is very unlike them.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Graphical Upgrades In EVE: Viridian

We don't know for sure exactly the form Project Awakening will take, but a game very closely resembling EVE Online would certainly help launch the game in the next 2-3 years. Also, having seen the latest financial filings with Iceland's taxing authority, CCP really needs to launch the game quickly. After all, $40 million won't last forever. 

When I woke up this morning, I saw a new video and new item from the art team about the graphical updates coming in the Viridian expansion. Next month players will get their hands on updates to 68 empire frigates (Rifters were done earlier this year) and the 4 marauders plus new missile explosions and improved volumetric clouds. If CCP wants to keep up with the giants of the sci-fi MMORPG gaming space, Cloud Imperium Games and Star Citizen, they need to up their game.

If one thing is constant at CCP, it is the art department. Aside from the aversion to the color pink, the artists working on EVE Online usually knock the quality of their work out of the park. If the powers that be decide to start with the new-player ship class of choice frigates, I can't blame them. 

Some of the empire frigate hulls will get a total VFX revamp, as the Rifter did in January this year, while others will receive more subtle updates. For example, the appearance of some hulls will change completely when they go into warp, with some changing color significantly. Many of the effects are tied to the speed of the ship, with effects getting stronger as the ship travels faster, providing the player with more feedback.

As for things that you might notice immediately, the most impactful updates are probably the ship headlights. These will be more visually pleasing and tied to the state of the ship, having been added in on hulls which may not ever have had headlights previously. In addition, empire frigates will emit smoke from lit up vents when they drop out of warp.

There are also more subtle effects added, such as the dimming and flickering of lights when an empire frigate is hit in battle and taking structure damage. In addition, a further lighting pass will ensure that areas around the ships that look like they should affect their surroundings now do so, lifting the overall visual quality of the craft. Be sure to zoom in on your favorites to find a previously unnoticed gem of an effect!

I also think those who fly marauders will also enjoy the new changes (assuming they aren't scrolled all the way out).

As mentioned above, the aim when updating ship effects and appearances in EVE is to bring them more to life and make them more visually interesting to use, encounter, and experience. The updates coming for the mighty marauders are no different, especially as a plethora of new graphical systems and components have been introduced since the last visual update to these particular ships, some of which have been employed when redesigning the Rifter or creating the new Tech II dreadnoughts.

Marauders are powerful, a statement on the battlefield, and that is primarily due to the contribution of the bastion module that this ship type can exclusively fit. This has previously been portrayed visually by the ship changing state with an animation revealing the energy reactor to space. With this update, the visuals of the engaged bastion module have been punched up to make the ship look even more aggressive and powerful. The new visuals show off the energy that is pulsing through those exposed reactors, and this has been achieved with particle effects, holographic paneling, and extra hull lighting. As a result, it will be much clearer to others in space when a marauder has activated its bastion module.

The art team's work on missile explosions are meant to help give more information during combat of exactly what types of missiles are in use during a battle. Combined with the marauder bastion changes, players won't need to have AT commentator levels of knowledge to understand what is happening around them.

In order to create the visual distinction between types of missile impact, missiles that deal thermal damage now exhibit explosions mostly based around heat, whereas missiles dealing electromagnetic damage create some crackling electricity that lights up the surrounding area, with artistic license that maintains the caustic EVE visual effects aesthetic. Furthermore, depending on the angle of attack at missile impact, the explosions are now visually directional instead of being randomly rotated omnidirectional impacts. This adds to the realism of the impacts as explosions now also spread outwards across the shield of a ship.

Finally we come to the volumetric clouds. The new sites in Viridian require new atmospheric effects.

There will be many variations of the clouds used in over 20 Homefront Operations sites when the Viridian expansion launches. Currently, clouds in EVE are very nebulous, but with these volumetric clouds, it will really feel as though you're physically flying through them, around them, inhabiting them, and passing filaments of cloud as you go.

The new clouds have been created in collaboration with the engine team, tweaking and iterating to open up the greatest number of possibilities for authoring new clouds in EVE for Viridian, and into the future. The new clouds are being generated by a gamechanger of a program called Embergen, with real-time rendering of changes and lightning-fast iteration speed compared to the past for cloud authoring, meaning that something beautiful and substantial can be achieved almost instantaneously.

Like I mentioned in the introduction, Project Awakening is probably going to launch in the next 2-3 years. A new game requires brand new, shiny graphics. If the graphics between EVE and the new web3 game are interchangeable, I am perfectly happy to let the crypto bros fund the graphical updating of the original game.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

FFXIV Is Giving Away Original Fat Chocobo Mounts

Coming from EVE Online, I still get a little nervous when a game company brings back a rare item for a promotional campaign. Yes, the controversy involving giving a batch of Gold Magnates to an in-game casino to give away will stay with me forever. But Final Fantasy XIV is a different game. 

On Sunday, Square Enix announced a monthly contest giving away 2800 of the Original Fat Chocobo whistles as part of its 10-year anniversary. The rules are fairly simple, if one already has a Twitter account.

  • Log in to your Twitter account (if necessary, first create a Twitter account for free at
  • Follow the official English (@FF_XIV_EN), French (@FF_XIV_FR), or German (@FF_XIV_DE) FINAL FANTASY XIV Twitter account from your Twitter account.
  • During the Entry Period, Sponsor or Sponsor’s designee shall post on the FFXIV Twitter Account announcing the beginning of the Promotion (the “Announcement Post”).
  • Retweet the Announcement Post.
  • Post a reply to the Announcement Post that contains each of the following:
  • The hashtag: #FFXIV10thSweepstakes;
  • Your full in-game character name; and
  • Your full in-game Home World name.

Of course, players can only have one mount, so no winning a second to sell it. Also, players who don't wish to out their characters on social media are a bit out of luck. But besides this, Square Enix is giving out 2800 mounts through August. So anyone wanting an old mount to complete their mount collections, here's your chance.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 6.4 Launches On 23 May 2023

The Producers Live Letter just finished as I type this, so I can only give the most important news as I have a real world job. Patch 6.4 will launch on 23 May, or less than two weeks from today. FFXIV's Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida stated on the stream that everyone probably knew the release date based on the timing of the PLL, but I was caught a little by surprise.

Perhaps the second biggest piece of news is that downtime for the patch will not last 24 hours. From the screenshot, downtime will last 8 hours. That means 11pm to 7am Pacific time in North America. As an added bonus, Yoshida will read the patch notes to everyone on a stream during the downtime. The audio will only be in Japanese, but that doesn't stop non-Japanese speakers from other Japanese-only audio streams like today's Producer's Live Letter.

I'll have to go over the details of the PLL next week. For now, I have to adjust my island sanctuary workshop schedule to try to get the max experience when patch 6.4 drops on the 30th.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Pearl Abyss Q1 2023 Earnings Call

On Thursday morning in Anyang, South Korea, Pearl Abyss conducted its earnings call for the 1st quarter of 2023. The South Korean corporation reported earnings of ₩85.5 billion ($65.9 million), a 16.9% decline compared to the final quarter of 2022 and 6.1% less than Q1 2022. Pearl Abyss recorded an operating profit of ₩1.1 billion ($850,000) and a net profit of ₩9.4 billion ($7.2 million). 

From the Q1 2023 Pearl Abyss Earnings Call

During the presentation, Pearl Abyss explained that a big part of the reason for the revenue decline was the lack of reporting from Pearl Abyss Capital. Pearl Abyss could not include its investment company as no separate evaluation was conducted in the first quarter.

From the Q1 2023 Pearl Abyss Earnings Call

All of the losses are not the fault of Pearl Abyss Capital, as both of PA's major gaming IPs experienced revenue declines in the first quarter. The Black Desert Franchise recorded a drop of 5.2% quarter-over-quarter down to ₩67.5 billion ($44.3 million) and a 4.8% decline compared to the first quarter of 2022. A good sign was a 21% QoQ revenue gain for Black Desert Mobile. The struggling mobile game benefitted from the introduction of new classes ahead of their introduction on PC and console. Pearl Abyss indicated they expect the impact of changes to Black Desert Online on both platforms to become apparent during the second quarter.

The fourth quarter revenue numbers for EVE Online were adjusted downward from ₩17.6 billion down to ₩17.3 billion for reasons not disclosed or asked about by analysts. The adjustment made the first quarter's revenue decline 2.3% down to ₩16.9 billion ($13 million). The year-over-year decline was 7.1%. The presentation pointed out the introduction of a Simplified Chinese language client and the Uprising expansion featuring factional warfare as positive factors that led to relatively stable financial results.

One standard subject Pearl Abyss usually addresses on these calls are their efforts to connect with players. Connected players are usually loyal customers who will continue to spend money on the company's games, especially MMORPGs like Black Desert and EVE. In addition to discussing organized player meet-ups, the following was used to describe EVE's next expansion, Viridian:

By providing enhanced content of a social side, with more personalized options, we plan to further strengthen the relationship between users and implement an environment where they can cooperate with each other.

While sounding a bit stilted (probably due to the translation), the fact that EVE and CCP is discussed as much as they were on this call is a long, long way from the days when the only mention of EVE was on the Power Point slides. Now, even factional warfare is getting mentioned.

Of course, upcoming games were a topic on the call. Crimson Desert still is on pace to finish development in the second half of 2023. The company would not commit to a release date, but plans to launch the game as soon after development is complete as possible. I took that to mean a 2024 release date sometime in the first half of the year is possible. Also, the prospect that Pearl Abyss skimps on the QA work is probably higher than normal.

Next came a question about DokeV. Pearl Abyss believes that since the game will build off of the work on Crimson Desert, DokeV could launch fairly quickly after Crimson Desert goes on sale.

A concern about development speed was sounded due to a rather large drop in the number of employees listed as working at Pearl Abyss in the first quarter. Overall, employee headcount dropped 6.7% from 1452 at the end of Q4 2022 down to 1355 at the end of the first quarter. The drop in the number of developers was more severe, dropping 9.5% down to 793 from 876 the previous quarter.

Pearl Abyss assured the analysts that the drop in developer headcount would not affect the speed of development on Crimson Desert and DokeV. The drop was attributed to two actions. The first was the end of an internship period as the interns left. The second, and more important reason, was Pearl Abyss shut down a game studio in the first quarter of 2023.

In May 2021, Pearl Abyss purchased Factorial Games, a maker of mobile games most famous for Lost Kingdom, for ₩20 billion. The company came out with a new game, Super String, in May 2021. The game shut down on 28 March 2023.

Finally, CCP's web3/blockchain game in development was mentioned a few times. Although no timing or even a name for the game was mentioned, Pearl Abyss did tell the analysts the following:

As it is a triple-A project that has received great attention since the seed round by solving problems that have occurred in existing web3 & blockchain based games. We are working hard to create a next-level eco-system. 

On the list of games under development, I would say the game known by a URL, Project Awakening, is now third on Pearl Abyss' priority list, behind Crimson Desert and DokeV but ahead of Project 8. No mention of any other game under development by CCP has been heard for a few calls now. Those wishing for a first person shooter will probably have to wait for some time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Billboard Ads In Space, Round 2

Back in 2016, CCP added the ability for player-made ads to appear on billboards in EVE Online. But over the years, maintenance of the feature waned and the same ads for alliances, corporations, and services never changed. In some circles, the result was a very good return on investment.

On Monday, the developers announced the return of player-made ads. Or perhaps a more accurate statement is, the return of new player-made ads. The specifications for the ads are listed in the Support section of the EVE Online website. I should include this by now standard disclaimer from CCP:

A critical eye will be applied to submissions to ensure that any advertisements that make it into the game are of high quality and consistent with the aesthetic of New Eden, and it must be said that this service may not be used to publicize scams or anything else that might harm players’ wealth or assets in-game; any attempts to do so will be looked upon most unfavorably by CCP.

The newly submitted ads will begin appearing on billboards across New Eden in June with the launch of the game's next expansion, Viridian. I know, not a very exciting prospect for many, if not most, players. But at least news of the next expansion is trickling out.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Converting The Pearl Abyss Earnings Calls To USD

With Pearl Abyss' next quarterly earnings call less than two days away, now is a good time to review how I convert South Korean won to US dollars. Normally my currency conversions for game sales are pretty close for the entire year. From 2019-2021, the conversions were less than 1.5% off from the amount listed in the presentation versus what Pearl Abyss Iceland reported to the Icelandic taxing authority. But in 2022, the figure was off by 10%. What happened?

History converting investor call data to actual USD

The method I chose to perform the conversion was to take the amount of won reported and use the currency conversion rate for the last business day of the quarter to perform the conversion. Then for the year, I added up the quarterly totals. For the first three years Pearl Abyss owned CCP, that calculation worked. In 2019, the calculation was off by only 0.4%. In 2020, the conversion overcounted CCP's game revenue by 1.3%. And in 2021, I undercounted CCP's game revenue by 1.5%.

But 2022 was different. Inflation and a war in Europe really caused some currency fluctuations concerning the US dollar, the currency used by CCP to conduct its financial reports. For the earnings calls, Pearl Abyss takes the figures reported by CCP and converts to won. I then convert the won number reported back to US dollars. Hilarity ensues.

I did note in my coverage last year that the currency fluctuations were rather severe. I didn't realize just how much I was off for one or two quarters, however. But people do want to see CCP's sales in USD, so I made the attempt.

Now, to address the lede I buried so well. According to PAI's financial reporting, game revenue was down 12.1% last year, from $63.8 million in 2021 to $56.1 million in 2022. Croda over at marketsforISK has already done his yearly analysis of the finances. Also, Pearl Abyss Iceland recorded a $70 million loss for 2022. From listening to the earnings call in February, I don't believe that amount was included in what Pearl Abyss told the analysts on the call. Tomorrow's call might have some surprises.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Twenty Years Of EVE Online As Viewed By The Board Of Directors

Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the launching of EVE Online. I imagine the internet will have quite a few stories about the history of EVE posted over the next few days. I thought I would take a different tack and try to use CCP's own words to tell the story. Each year, the company (and later on the holding company) has to submit financial statements to the Directorate of Icelandic Revenue and Customs. In those statements is a section in which the company records a description of the highlights (and lowlights) of the year.

I'm not sure what happened, but I was able to obtain all financial statements for CCP ehf going back to the year 2003 from the Icelandic Revenue and Customs website. I was also able to obtain the filings for going back to 2018 for Pearl Abyss Iceland ehf. I highly suspect that the $40 million round of investment capital to develop a Web3/blockchain game changed the rules on access to historical data. With 20 years of financial documentation at my fingertips, looking back at 20 years of history on the 20th anniversary became feasible.

The best part is, one can read the history without needing to have an accounting or business degree. Ever wonder what the leadership of CCP was thinking about when a decision was made? The summaries found in the yearly filings might hold the answer.

I will give a tease of a piece of information I found while ordering the documents. According to the Icelandic Revenue and Customs website, CCP's original name was Loki multimedia ehf and remained so from 1997 through 1999, only changing to Crowd Control Productions in 2000.

I did add a little information for each year that might interest the accountants and business majors who may read this post sometime in the future. For instance, from 2003 to 2006 the filings were done in Icelandic krona. For those years, I converted the ISK amounts to US dollars as best as I could. I also converted the revenue and profit/loss amounts for each year to adjusted 2022 dollar amounts. Going back twenty years, I thought some people might find the ability to review years in constant dollars 

I also made one additional choice. For many years, the records contained lists of the biggest shareholders in CCP. Since many people like to blame investors for bad decisions in video game design, I thought I would include them if available. I have my ideas of which investors may have had a detrimental effect on the development of EVE. I wonder if people will agree.

I do have to make one apology in advance. For some years the filings were in Icelandic. I did my best to translate to English, but some of the translations are a little wonky.

With the preliminaries out of the way, I hope you enjoy this little journey down memory lane as recorded by the boards of directors of CCP and Pearl Abyss Iceland over the last 20 years.

2003 - Surviving A Major Loss

Note: For EVE's first four years all financial reporting was conducted in Icelandic krona. The conversion to US dollars was performed by doing a conversion at the rate existing on the last business day of the year.

Revenue: 160.9 million kr.
USD: $2,252,600
(2022 USD: $3,582,797)

In May, the video game "EVE" was released in Europe and North America. An agreement had been made with the publishing company Simon & Schuster for the distribution of the game, for an advance payment of USD 1,400,000 among other things. Shortly after publication of the game, Simon at Schuster decided to shut down its publishing division. In November, CCP acquired the distribution rights to pie for USD 150,000. It was also agreed that the balance of the advance payment would be canceled and are they recognized as income as explained in note 4.

Income from subscriptions and sales of EVE during the year amounted to ISK. 160.9 million, but operating costs were ISK. 381.7 million. The number of jobs was on average 35 during the year and salary payments amounted to ISK. 136 million.

The company's equity is negative by ISK. 370 million at the end of the year. All development costs of EVE are charged as soon as it is established and the intellectual property rights of the company are not capitalized. It is difficult to assess on their value but | at the end of 2002, EVE was valued by the foreign publisher at USD 5.3 million. That is the company's board of directors believes that the interests of its creditors are best served by continuing operations, since the income will continue now growing. The main creditors have given the company a payment deadline until it becomes clear whether the income will be sufficient under debt.

2004 - On Its Way

Revenue: 573 million kroner.
USD $9,168,000
(2022 USD: $14,203,605)

The company's situation was extremely difficult at the beginning of 2004. Loss of operations and significant arrears. Equity was negative about 369.8 million. Despite the difficult financial situation at the beginning of the year, good progress was made in improving the business. Income almost tripled between years, the margin level improved, there were unfavorable loans refinanced on better terms and an end to arrears. At the beginning of 2005, the company is delivering good results profit from operations. For example, the profit for the month of January 2005, for capital items, was close to 9 million ISK

On December 3, 2003, CCP regained the rights to market and distribute the video game EVE. On the same day, it was decided to offer a free download of the EVE software on the game's website. This one opening together with strong marketing efforts resulted in 72,885 new subscriptions being sold in 2004. At the end of the year in 2004 there were 53,269 active subscriptions and about six thousand of them have been with the game since its inception.

Revenues from subscriptions, sole and other services to EVE during the year amounted to 573 million ISK, 29 million of which revenue came from the three, six and twelve month prepaid subscriptions that were sold late in the year and the income from them was therefore not recognized in the 2004 profit and loss account as prepaid income in the balance sheet. The company's operating costs in the past operating year were ISK 556.9 million.

The number of jobs was on average 40 during the year and the salary cost was 178, million.

Several significant milestones were achieved during the year. On April 25th, 10,396 players played EVE at the same time. This was the first time that so many people played together in one western game world. Towards the end of 2004 had this record has been bumped up to 12,258 concurrent players.

As of September 12th, the number of active subscriptions to EVE exceeded 50,000, but in the West there are only 8 other games in that group.

In November, a new version of EVE was released and it was accompanied by considerable press coverage. Detailed articles appeared including in PC Gamer, PC Zone and EDGE. As a result of the new version, there has been a significant reduction in dropouts users.

In October 2004, a new and more favorable cooperation agreement between Síminn and CCP entered into force for services, operation and hosting of EVE In London.

In August 2004, the majority of convertible debt was converted into new non-convertible loans at the equivalent coins and the company's income. The last convertible loan was converted into debt at the beginning of January 2005.

The company's income is almost exclusively in foreign currencies and is divided between EUR and USD as soon as possible to halves The significant strengthening of the króna in the fourth quarter therefore caused a decrease in income between the third and of the fourth quarter in króna, despite the fact that they actually increased in euros and dollars. The company's exchange rate gain from loans in foreign currency completely offsets the loss of income as reinforcement of the króna has caused in the year 2004.

Development costs for EVE are charged at the same time as they are incurred and intellectual property rights of the company are not capitalized.

2005 - First Profitable Year

Operating profit: 157,586,274 krona 
USD: 2,521,380
(2022 USD: $3,778,261)

Profit of CCP hf. in the year 2005 after taxes amounted to ISK. 157,586,274. It should be borne in mind that income tax credit is due of previous years' tax losses was fully capitalized during the year. According to the balance sheet except assets the company's ISK 259,968,318, but the book equity at the end of the year is negative by ISK. 193,634,542.

All the company's development costs have been charged as soon as they are created and the intellectual property rights are not capitalized. The company's income increased a lot in 2005 from the previous year, and especially in the last months of the year and the company is now operating profitably. Operating plans assume that equity will be positive in 2006.

The number of jobs at the beginning of the year was 42 and 54 at the end of the year, and wage costs were 231 million during the year.

Several significant milestones were achieved during the year. In July, a major addition to EVE Online was launched under the name “Cold War Edition”, and another in December called “Red Moon Rising.” The number of subscribers increased a lot during the year and are in March 2006, over 100,000. A major milestone was reached at the end of February 2006 when a contract was signed with Optic Communications about the marketing and operation of EVE Online in China.

At the end of 2005, there were 112 shareholders in the company, compared to 100 at the beginning of the year. Two shareholders owned more than 10% of the share capital at the end of the year, Brú Venture Capital hf. with 35.0% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 12.6%.

2006 - Expansion

Operating profit: ISK 453,963,149
USD $6,355,484
(2022 USD: $9,523,626.06)

CCP’s net profit for the year 2006 amounted to ISK 453,963,149. At year end, the Company’s assets amounted to ISK 1,040,765,303, while the shareholders’ equity was ISK 481,082,674.

All development costs are expensed as incurred during the course of the year and intellectual property rights for EVE Online are not capitalized. Revenues continued to increase throughout the year, with Q4 2006 yielding ISK 497 million in total revenue compared with ISK 227 million in the same quarter of 2005, and the company has enjoyed widening margins in tandem with this growth..

The number of employees at year-end was 135 in the company’s offices in Reykjavík, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 47 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to ISK 483 million.

The Company achieved a number of important milestones during the year. In July the Company launched, in cooperation with Optic Communications, the Chinese version of EVE Online, operated from Optic’s facilities in Shanghai. In August further regional expansions were made in the form of a German language version of the game, hosted on CCP’s servers in London. 

In November the acquisition of White Wolf Publishing was concluded. Later in the month of November a major expansion to the EVE Online universe was released, EVE Online Revelations, and was well received in the market, lifting the subscription base of EVE Online in London above 150,000.

At year-end, shareholders in CCP hf. numbered 96, compared to 112 at the beginning of the year. 

Three shareholders owned more than 10% of the shares in the Company at year-end: NP ehf. with 34.2%, Teno Investments with 16% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 12.2%.

2007 - Continued Growth

Note: In 2007, CCP began using international standards (described below) and recording their finances in US dollars.

Revenue: $37,155,107 (USD 2022: $52,442,958)
Profit: $2,998,255 (USD 2022: $4,231,917)

The Consolidated Financial Statements for the year 2007 consist of the Consolidated Financial Statements of CCP hf. and its subsidiaries, together referred to as the Company (Group). The Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as adopted by the European Union and denominated in USD for the first time.

The total sales of the Group amounted to USD 37,155,107. The profit of the year amounted to USD 2,998,255.

According to the Balance Statement the Company’s assets amount to USD 47,295,214, the year’s end book value of equity is USD 13,527,271 and the Company’s equity ratio is 28.6%. 

The number of employees at year-end was 283 in the company’s offices in Reykjavík, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 135 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 15,591,746, thereof USD 4,255,665 capitalized.

The Company reached a number of important milestones throughout the year. In March the Company became the proud recipient of the Red Herring 100 Europe Award, an award given to the top 100 private technology companies based in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region each year.

In June a fulltime in-world economist for EVE Online was appointed, making it the first time a Massively Multiplayer Game has commissioned a dedicated PhD credited economist to operate at this level of economic monitoring and research for a virtual world. 

In January CCP Asia moved to a bigger offices in the French Concession district of Shanghai and in October CCP North America moved into new and improved facilities in Stone Mountain, GA focusing on the development of the company’s next MMOG, World of Darkness. 

By the end of the year the number of EVE Online subscribers had reached an all time high of roughly 220,000. This was in large part achieved through two major expansions to the EVE Online universe, EVE Online: Revelations II and EVE Online: Trinity, released in June and December respectively.

At year-end, shareholders in CCP hf. numbered 99, compared to 96 at the beginning of the year. Three shareholders owned more than 10% of the shares in the Company at year-end: NP ehf. with 34.0%, Teno Investments with 16.5% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 12.1%.

2008 - Rolling Along

Revenues: $46,482,140 (In 2022 USD: $63,181,798)
Profit: $5,062,431 (In 2022 USD: $6,881,212)

The Company’s revenues in 2008 were USD 46,482,140. The profit for the year amounted to USD 5,062,431. Assets at year-end were USD 43,837,015, with shareholders’ equity of USD 18,841,753, or 43%. The Company employed 353 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 261 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 18,581,204, of which USD 7,344,250 was capitalized as development cost.

The Company achieved a number of important milestones during 2008 and received various accolades, including a global online award for EVE Online from the Korean Game Industry Agency (KOGIA). Early in the year the CCP Iceland office expanded by inaugurating the newly renovated 4th floor of the office building in Reykjavik. March saw the formation of the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), the first democratically-elected governing body in a virtual world. In November a partnership with Atari was announced, which will see Atari exclusively distribute boxed versions of EVE Online in 2009. Two new expansions to the EVE Online universe were launched successfully, EVE Online: Empyrean Age and EVE Online: Quantum Rise, released in June and November respectively. The two expansions helped to push the subscriber number to nearly a quarter of a million by the end of the year, or 244,551 to be exact.

The Company‘s shareholders reached 119 at year-end compared to 99 at the beginning of the year. Shareholders owning more than 10% were NP ehf. with 34.0%, Teno Investments with 17.3% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 11.4%.

2009 - Bigger Than Iceland

Revenue: $55,268,791 (In 2022 USD: $75,393,466)
Profit: $6,190,230 (In 2022 USD: $8,444,239)

The Company’s revenues in 2009 were USD 55,268,791. The profit for the year amounted to USD 6,190,230. Assets at year-end were USD 74,375,469, with shareholders’ equity of USD 43,932,549, or 59.1%. The Company employed 451 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 353 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 26,725,080, of which USD 12,096,131 was capitalized as development cost.

EVE Online demonstrated continued growth in 2009, with paying subscribers increasing by 34% in the year. What started as an early experiment to build a single shard science fiction virtual world has now developed into a leading, internationally recognized massively-multiplayer online (MMO) world. Its subscriber base has exceeded that of the entire nation of Iceland, and at the age of seven—almost unheard of in this industry—EVE Online is the 2009 PC Gamer MMO of the year. Two successful expansions to the EVE Online universe were launched in 2009 – Apocrypha in the spring, also bringing back EVE Online as a boxed product to stores around the world, and Dominion in the winter.

In addition, the Company formally announced its MMO / First-Person-Shooter console game called DUST 514, and made continued progress in the development of World of Darkness, our next MMO focused on Vampires and the Goth genre. Finally, the growth of the Company from a development and employee perspective continued. All three of our previous offices grew in 2009, and we had the good fortune of opening a fourth office in Newcastle, England, which has quickly become our center of engineering excellence.

The Company issued additional equity in December 2009, pursuant to a private placement directed to existing shareholders. The payment for binding subscriptions is receivable in two tranches during 2010, the first of which, representing approximately 60% of the proceeds, was completed in Q1. After completion of this offering, shareholders owning more than 10% are NP ehf. with 30.5%, Teno Investments with 24.0% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 10.2%.

2010 - A Bright Future, Or Hubris?

Revenue: $59,183,665 (In 2022 USD: $79,430,951)
Profit: $5,414,758 (In 2022 USD: $7,267,197)

The Company’s revenues in 2010 were USD 59,183,665. The profit for the year amounted to USD 5,414,758. Assets at year-end were USD 83,490,041, with shareholders’ equity of USD 49,770,429, or 59.6%. The Company employed 603 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 451 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 38,190,556, of which USD 16,885,477 were capitalized as development cost.

EVE Online continued growing in 2010, with subscribers reaching almost 360,000. Two successful expansions to the EVE Online universe were launched in 2010 – Tyrannis in the spring, bringing the ability for players to interact with the planets of EVE, and Incursion which started releasing in December and ended its release cycle in January 2011 with the deployment of a new sophisticated character creation system built on CCP’s Carbon technology.

The Company made continued progress in the development of First-Person-Shooter console game DUST 514 where the highlight of the year was an end-to-end playable demo on the Sony PS3 console. Another massive playable milestone was World of Darkness Year One, a first pass at touching on all gameplay features that will be shipped in the final product.

The Company joined together the various fan communities around World of Darkness at the Grand Masquerade fan event in New Orleans in the fall 2010. EVE Online Fanfest, which used to be hosted in the fall, was moved to spring 2011 to change to a cycle where each fan event is hosted yearly, one in spring and one in fall.

Finally, the growth of the Company from a development and employee perspective continued. All four of CCP’s offices grew in 2010 as the company executed its largest talent expansion plan to date.

In December 2009, the Company issued additional equity pursuant to a private placement directed to existing shareholders. The payment for binding subscriptions was payable in two tranches during 2010, the first of which, representing approximately 60% of the proceeds, was funded in Q1 and the remainder was funded towards the end of Q2 and beginning of Q3. After completion of this offering, shareholders owning more than 10% are NP ehf. with 30.5%, Teno Investments with 23.9% and S. Reynir Harðarson with 10.2%.

2011 - The Summer Of Rage

Revenue: $65,264,151 (In 2022 USD: $84,911,376)
Profit: $8,672,471 (In 2022 USD: $11,283,245)

The Company's revenues in 2011 were USD 65,264,151. The profit for the year amounted to USD 8,672,471. Assets at year-end were USD 97,614,885 with shareholders' equity of USD 59,511,731, or 61%. The Company employed 515 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 603 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 45,221,562 of which USD 27,798,365 were capitalized as development cost.

EVE Online ended the year with 351,502 subscribers. Three expansions to the EVE Online universe were launched in 2011. Incursion brought a new age of artistry to video games and gave a glimpse of the potential of the Carbon technology framework. The Incarna 1.0 expansion was the first step to avatar-based gameplay with the introduction of 3D avatars to the sci-fi virtual universe. The third expansion, Crucible, was launched in late 2011 to player acclaim with a large number of much-requested enhancements.

The Company and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. announced an agreement to bring the innovative DUST 514® video game exclusively to the PlayStation®3 console entertainment system in 2012.

The Company unveiled the results of its technology partnership with NVIDIA at the EVE Online Fanfest event in March. The Company leverages NVIDIA technology to enable its recently launched EVE Online Character Creator.

Customer and market feedback in the second half of the year triggered a review and re-evaluation of the Company's priorities and processes. This led to a reduction of staff affecting twenty percent of global positions, the majority of which impacted our Atlanta, GA office, although a number of positions in our Reykjavik, Iceland office were also affected. The focus was set on enhancing the EVE Online player experience and bringing DUST 514 to market. World of Darkness will continue in development with a dedicated core team.

The Company's Atlanta office announced the relocation of the CCP North America headquarters from Gwinnett County to the City of Decatur in DeKalb County.

2012 - Recovery

Revenue: $65,296,524 (In 2022 USD: $83,231,069)
Profit: $4,713,127 (In 2022 USD: $6,007,649)

The Company's revenues in 2012 were USD 65,296,524. The profit for the year amounted to USD 4,713,127. Assets at year-end were USD 128,316,444, with shareholders' equity of USD 66,641,684, or 51.9%. The Company employed 530 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavik, Newcastle, Shanghai, Atlanta and San Francisco, compared to 514 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 38,775,678 of which USD 18,575,346 were capitalized as development cost.

EVE Online ended the year with approximately 490,000 subscribers. Two expansions to the EVE Online universe were launched in 2012. The Inferno expansion was released on May 22, 2012 and brought a complete overhaul of the war declaration and factional warfare systems, the addition of 17 new modules and 3D models for missile launchers and missiles, along with a mercenary marketplace. Retribution, EVE Online's 17th expansion was released on December 4, 2012 and has been one of the most successful EVE expansions to date. This release most notably introduced improvements to the game's Bounty Hunting and Crimewatch systems. In December 2012 EVE Online was also re-launched in China with a new partner.

In the spring of 2012 the Company held its 9th annual EVE player gathering, Fanfest, in a new location, Reykjavik's new concert hall and conference center, Harpa. At Fanfest, a refocused plan for EVE Online was introduced and orbital bombardment from EVE Online to the Company's upcoming console game DUST 514 was shown publicly for the first time.

The Company opened an office in San Francisco, California that is operated as part of CCP North America, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

On July 4, 2012, the Company completed a convertible bond offering in the amount of USD 20 million with a maturity in July 2017. The bonds will be listed on the Nasdaq OMX Fixed Income market in Iceland.

As of December 31, 2012 there were 484 shareholders in the Company compared to 417 at December 31, 2011. Shareholders owning more than 10% are NP ehf with 30.06% and Teno Investments with 23.58%.

2013 - Peak EVE Online

Revenue: $76,721,964 (In 2022 USD: $96,382,879)
Loss: $21,347,476 (In 2022 USD: $26,818,020.44)

The Company's revenues in 2013 were USD 76.7 million. The net loss for the year amounted to USD 21.3 million. Assets at year-end were USD 104.3 million, with shareholders' equity of USD 48.3 million, or 46%. The Company employed 508 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai, Atlanta and San Fransisco, compared to 530 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 44.7 million of which USD 20.1 million were capitalized as development cost.

EVE Online celebrated its 10th anniversary in May and ended the year with over 500,000 subscribers. That milestone was celebrated when the Company held the 10th annual EVE player gathering, Fanfest, with record number of players and fans in attendance.

During EVE Online's 10th year, it was acquired for Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) permanent applied design collection in New York City, where EVE Online will be preserved for future generations to experience and study.

During 2013 the Company released its second product, DUST 514, as part of expanding the EVE Universe. DUST 514 is a groundbreaking, free-to-play, massively multiplayer online first-person shooter that is set in the EVE Universe and linked to EVE Online.

During the year the Company also began development of EVE Valkyrie, a multiplayer spaceship dogfighting shooter set in the EVE Universe. EVE Valkyrie was shown at E3 and Gamescom receiving great reviews and winning awards.

The Company completed a reorganization in 2013, which resulted in a greater focus and increased independence of each of our five main projects. Following the reorganization the Company assessed its capitalized development assets and determined that a portion of those assets would need to be derecognized as they would likely not generate future economic benefits.

As of December 31, 2013 there were 431 shareholders in the Company compared to 484 at December 31, 2012. The ten biggest shareholders and their ownership percentage as of year-end are: NP ehf - 29.8%, Teno Investment S.Á.R.L - 23.4%, Sigurður Reynir Harðarson - 9.3%, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson - 5.2%, Matthías Guðmundsson - 3.1%, Meson Holding S.A. - 2.5%, CCP Holding S.Á.R.L. - 2.2%, Guðmundur Kristinsson - 2.1%, Friðrik Örn Haraldsson - 2%, A.C.S. safnreikningur I - 1.7%.

2014 - Death Of A Project

Revenue: $68,557,562 (In 2022 USD: $84,751,424)
Loss: $65,725,333 (In 2022 USD: $81,250,199)

The Company's revenues in 2014 were USD 68.6 million. The net loss for the year amounted to USD 65.7 million. Assets at year-end were USD 33.3 million with negative shareholders' equity of USD 15.3 million. The Company employed 339 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 508 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 36.1 million of which USD 7.9 were capitalized as development cost.

In April the Company announced that it had cancelled further development of its World of Darkness massively multiplayer online (MMO) game project. As a result of this change the Company went through restructuring of its global operations to realign it with its current development efforts.

During EVE Online’s eleventh year the Company announced an upgraded development model for EVE Online. The upgraded development model marks a shift from releasing two expansions per year to around ten releases annually with the aim of delivering more content, more frequently, to its customers.

September marked the release of a full French language support for EVE Online. With an award-winning player-community that spans the globe supporting multiple languages has become an important part of bringing players together. The French localization adds to EVE Online’s previous English, Russian, German, Japanese and Chinese language support.

During the year the Company continued its development of EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer spaceship dogfighting shooter set in the EVE Universe, set to be released on next generation VR hardware. The Company also has a number of smaller concept projects under development aimed at making the Company a key content provider for next generation VR hardware.

As of December 31, 2014 there were 434 shareholders in the Company compared to 431 at December 31, 2013. The ten biggest shareholders and their ownership percentage are: NP ehf - 29.74%, Teno Investment S.Á.R.L - 23.33%, Sigurður Reynir Harðarson - 8.86%, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson - 5.22%, Matthías Guðmundsson - 3.08%, Alamina Ltd. - 2.55%, CCP Holding S.Á.R.L. - 2.24%, Guðmundur Kristinsson - 2.09%, Friðrik Örn Haraldsson - 2.01%, A.C.S. safnreikningur I - 1.71%.

2015 - Raising Money

Revenue: $65,703,397 (In 2022 USD: $81,126,786)
Profit: $20,678,818 (In 2022 USD: $25,533,018)

The Company's revenues in 2015 were USD 65.7 million. The net profit for the year amounted to USD 20.8 million. Assets at year-end were USD 79.8 million and a shareholders' equity of USD 35.5 million, equity ratio of 44%, a great improvement from last year-end were it was negative 46%. The Company employed 330 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 338 at the beginning of the year.

Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 22.1 million of which USD 7.3 were capitalized as development cost.

In March the Company finalized a refinancing of its senior debt and listed bonds, in total $24 million, with a substantial reduction in financing costs. Subsequently the Company delisted from the Nasdaq OMX in Iceland.

In October the Company sold its World of Darkness intellectual properties to Paradox Interactive. The purchase price was paid in full with cash at the time of signing.

In November the Company raised $30 million in new equity through an issue of a new class of preference shares. New Enterprise Associates led the investment, with participation from private equity firm Novator Partners LLP.

November also saw the release of Gunjack, a visually stunning virtual reality (VR) arcade shooter that is set in the sprawling EVE science fiction universe. This is the third games published by CCP and it has received good reviews from both media and customers.

During the year the Company continued its development of EVE: Valkyrie, a multiplayer spaceship dogfighting shooter set in the EVE Universe, set to be released in 2016. The Company also has a number of smaller concept projects under development aimed at making the Company a key content provider for next generation VR hardware.

As of December 31, 2015 there were 308 shareholders in the Company compared to 434 at December 31, 2014. The ten biggest shareholders and their ownership percentage are: NP ehf - 25.99%, Teno Investment S.Á.R.L - 20.39%, NEA 15 Global VC S.Á.R.L. – 11.35%, NEA 15 CCP LLC - 10.69%, Novator ehf - 7.17%, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson - 4.61%, Alamina Ltd. - 2.23%, Axis Capital Pharma Investment – 2.04%, CCP Holding S.Á.R.L. - 1.96%, Sundagarðar hf – 1.46%.

2016 - Virtual Dreams

Revenue: $79,296,730 (In 2022 USD: $96,691,282)
Profit: $21,397,723 (In 2022 USD: $26,091,533)

The Company's revenues in 2016 were USD 79.3 million. The net profit for the year amounted to USD 21.4 million. Assets at year-end were USD 105.6 million and shareholders' equity of USD 41.7 million. The Company employed 359 people at year-end in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta, compared to 303 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and related expenses amounted to USD 22.8 million of which USD 8.0 were capitalized as development cost.

During the year the Company published two major expansions to EVE Online. The Citadel expansion was published in May, giving pilots the opportunity to build staggeringly massive structures and then tear them down with imposing fleets of enormous starships. In November the Ascension expansion was published with the option to play for free and other great improvements to player experiences.

The Company launched EVE Valkyrie, a stunning virtual reality (VR) multiplayer dogfighting shooter, in March on Oculus Rift. EVE Valkyrie was published on PlayStation VR in October and HTC Vive VR in November. This is the fourth game published by CCP and it has received great reviews from both media and customers.

During the year Gunjack, published in November 2015, was released on three new VR platforms and in December Gunjack 2: End of Shift, a sequel to Gunjack, was published exclusively on Google Daydream mobile VR. Both games are developed by CCP's Shanghai studio which has quickly become world renowned as a leader in the creation of quality mobile VR experiences.

The Company also has a number of larger and smaller concept projects in development, aimed at making the Company a key content provider for next generation VR hardware.

As of December 31, 2016 there were 252 shareholders in the Company compared to 308 at December 31, 2015. The ten biggest shareholders and their ownership percentage are: NP ehf - 27.20%, Teno Investment S.Á.R.L - 21.34%, NEA 15 Global VC S.Á.R.L. – 11.87%, NEA 15 CCP LLC - 11.27%, Novator ehf - 8.46%, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson - 6.52%, Alamina Ltd. - 2.33%, Axis Capital Pharma Investment – 2.13%, CCP Holding S.Á.R.L. - 2.05%, NTP II S.Á.R.L. – 1.32%.

2017 - The End Of Virtual Reality

Revenue: $65,418,908 (In 2022 USD: $78,105,297)
Profit: $3,374,608 (In 2022 USD: $4,029,030)

The company's revenue in 2017 amounted to $65.4 million dollars. The profit for the year according to the income statement amounted to $3.4 millions of dollars. Assets at the end of the year were $107.7 million and equity was $45.1 million. Employees of the group, there were 298 at the end of the year in its offices in Reykjavík, Newcastle, Shanghai and Atlanta compared to 360 at the beginning of the year. Salaries and salary-related expenses amounted to 27.9 million dollars, of which were capitalized development wages of $10.1 million.

During the year, the company released one major addition to EVE Online. The Lifeblood add-on was released in October and provides players increased technology for obtaining resources with Upwell Refineries which increases the possibilities for mining on moons and allows players to blast large blocks off the surface of moons, drag them in and use them for lucrative mining. The company also released several smaller additions to EVE Online during the year.

In September, the company released EVE Valkyrie on PlayStation and PC. The game was originally developed in virtual reality and is the first game of its kind that spans the boundaries between reality and virtual reality in different formats game console.

During the year, the company released a new game in virtual reality, Sparc, which is played with specially designed equipment for virtual reality. Sparc is a dynamic sports game in which the player's computer equipment becomes equipment sports and competition in the game.

In addition to the above projects, the company is working on the development of various other projects.

In October 2017, a reorganization took place at the company, the office in Newcastle was sold and an office in Atlanta was closed as of December 31. Following the changes, the company will shift its focus from game development to virtual reality to the further development of games intended for smartphones and PCs.

2018 - Selling Out

Revenue: $56,289,317 (In 2022 USD: $65,602,910)
Loss: $32,704 (In 2022 USD: $38,115)

The company's revenue in December 2018 was 56.3 million dollars. The year's loss according to the income statement amounted to 0.03 millions of dollars. Assets at the end of the year were 81.1 million dollars and equity was 23.5 million dollars. Employees at the end of the year there were 276 of the group's 4 offices in Reykjavik, London, Shanghai and Adanta, to compared to 289 at the beginning of the year. The number of annual works in Iceland was 203.

EVE Online turned 15 in April 2018 and was celebrated with the EVE Online community in EVE Fanfest in Reykjavik in April and EVE Vegas in October had more than ever before.

Last year, CCP made two major improvements to EVE Online. The Into The Abyss sequel was released in May as Abyssal Deadspace was introduced to the game, a hooded, mapped Swedish bar that featured members of the Triglavian Collective. In November, the company released the Onslaught update, which improved player interaction in Abyssal Deadspace as well as new ways for players to travel around within EVE Online.

In September, it was announced that Pear Abyss had bought all shares of CCP ehf. Following the sale, CCP ehf. operated as independent subsidiary of Pearl Abyss Iceland ehf. Partner continues to run a studio in Reykjavik, London and China.

2019 - The Chaos Era

Note: With the sale of CCP to Pearl Abyss in October 2018, Pearl Abyss Iceland took over the ownership of the CCP group of companies. From this point going forward, the revenue and profit/loss figures will come from PAI's consolidated financial reports.

Also of note. Pearl Abyss owns all shares of Pearl Abyss Iceland. All shares of CCP ehf are owned by Pearl Abyss Iceland.

Revenue: $51,116,248 (In 2022 USD: $60,349,311)
Profit: $13,552,116 (In 2022 USD: $15,513,342)

Pearl Abyss Iceland ehf. is a holding company founded in 2018. In October 2018, the company bought all issued and outstanding shares in CCP ehf. CCP ehf. designs, develops, markets and operates video games. Headquarters are on Iceland, but the company owns and operates subsidiaries in the United States, Great Britain and China.

The group's income in 2019 amounted to 51.1 million dollars. The profit for the year according to the profit and loss account amounted to 13.5 million dollars, Assets at the end of the year were 291.2 million dollars and equity 203.4 million dollars. Employees the group had 188 at the end of the year compared to 203 at the beginning of the year.

In 2019, the group decided to take the EVE Fanfest events on a world tour as the EVE Invasion World Tour, sen consisted of a series of events held by the group around the world and from EVE Online thus closer its global community than ever before.

In March 2019, the group announces its partnership with the start-up company Hadean around "EVE: Aether Wars" which is revolutionary technology that addresses opportunities for more massive multiplayer in current and upcoming games of the group. The technology focuses on solving technical challenges faced by manufacturers in the crowd online multiplayer environment. EVE: Aether Wars was officially announced for the first time at the GDC 2019 show with real-time battles where 14,274 users were simultaneously connected to the same game world.

In early May 2019, the group introduced "Invasion", a massive addition to EVE Online that drew the mysterious The Triglavian race came into the limelight for the first time. At the G-Star 2019 show held in November in Busan, South Korea, the group introduced a Korean translation of EVE Online to provide better access for Korean-speaking players to important aspects of the game. During the year, the group further strengthened the gameplay of EVE Online with releases that upgrade various ships and units to ensure that combat choices and tactical decisions still play an equally important role IN the game and spaceships and their equipment. A new 64-bit version of the game was released, ensuring that EVE Online is included modern requirements of operating systems and hardware used by players.

In July 2019, the group released the first major update to Sparc, a v-spot game like no other invirtual reality games.

From August to September, the group together with Nctlasc Games held closed alpha tests in certain parts of the world for EVE Echoes, a next-generation multiplayer game for mobile and tablet. He relies on game design of EVE Online and will be released on 108 and Android in 2020. The group and NetEase then held open beta testing in December.

2020 - COVID

Revenue: $62,375,926 (In 2022 USD: $70,532,653)
Loss: $1,665,391 (In 2022 USD: $1,883,169)

The Group's revenues in 2020 were USD 62.4 million compaired to USD 48.4 million in previous year. The net loss for the year amounted to USD 1.7 million compaired to a net profit of USD 13.6 million in previous year. Assets at year-end were USD 300.6 million and shareholders' equity of USD 202 million. The Group employed 301 people at year-end compared to 279 at the beginning of the year.

In 2020, the Group began the year with a major announcement for EVE Online. In January, the Group revealed that it would be moving away from releasing twice-yearly expansions for the game and instead split EVE Online’s content release schedule for the year into four sections - Quadrants - that allow for releases, events, offers, and more with more regular cadence throughout the year.

In March, the Group was pleased to announce that EVE Online had been authorized to operate in the People’s Republic of China, in partnership with publisher and distributor NetEase Games. The game went into Open Beta soon after, enabling millions of new and returning Chinese capsuleers to take flight and chart their paths across the stars.

In June, the Group launched the third phase of Project Discovery in conjunction with Massively Multiplayer Online Science (MMOS), the groundbreaking citizen science project and mini-game found within EVE Online, embarking on a major program to understand the immune system's response to COVID-19. EVE players are now able to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 by analyzing. Within three months, Project Discovery participants had provided an astounding 41.4 million submissions for use in scientific research.

August was a big month for the EVE IP, with the release of EVE Echoes on iOS and Android after three years of close collaboration between the Group and NetEase. Launching in English, Russian, Chinese, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese, EVE Echoes enables sci-fi enthusiasts all over the world to enjoy the hallmark game experience of EVE Online on their mobile devices.

The Group rounded off the year in December with the launch of full Japanese language localization for the EVE Online client and across its web presences, including full customer support for the Japanese-speaking EVE Online community.

Note: The below paragraph came from CCP's financial statement, not PAI's.

In 2020 the Icelandic Government announced its Science and Technology Policy for 2020-2022 aimed at strengthening the framework around research, development and innovation in Iceland by ensuring that it is internationally competitive and to create conditions where knowledge-based companies can thrive and grow and attract talent from other countries. One of the first steps was to increase available refunds through government grants. This is an encouraging step that will help CCP continue to grow in Iceland and create new opportunities for innovation.

2021 - Adding Platforms

Revenue: $63,869,894 (In 2022 USD: $68,981,229)
Loss: $8,044,016 (In 2022 USD: $8,687,756)

The Group's revenues in 2021 were USD 63.9 million compaired to USD 62.4 million in previous year. The net loss for the year amounted to USD 8.0 million compaired to a net loss of USD 1.7 million in previous year. Assets at year-end were USD 289.8 million, shareholders' equity of USD 194.1 million and equity ratio 67%. The Group employed 301 people at year-end compared to 301 at the beginning of the year.

During 2021 the Group released four quarterly expansions for EVE Online introducing many updates and improvements for an elevated player experience including visual updates, rebuild of the player guide and a revamped skill system. In June the Group officially launched EVE Academy, a resource website designed to assist new players to forge their own path in EVE Online after completing the game’s tutorial. Then in September the Group released a revamped onboarding experience for new players that teaches the essential features and controls of EVE Online, leaving them with a solid understanding of how to thrive amongst the stars.

In the last quarter of 2021, the Group introduced a whole new generation of players to EVE Online with the launch of the game on the Epic Games Store as well as releasing a native Mac client harnessing Apple’s powerful graphic processing framework.

In February EVE players again broke a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD with an enormous battle that saw more than 5,000 players duke it out for territorial control in EVE Online resulting in over 3,400 ships lost in battle equating to more than $378,000 in losses. The previous record was also set by EVE Online in 2014.

In August the mobile game EVE Echoes, developed by NetEase in close collaboration with the Group, was officially released in the People's Republic of China following a successful release in the rest of the world in 2020.

2022 - Reopening to the World

Revenue: $56,105,616
Loss: $70,123,533

The Group's revenues in 2022 were USD 56.1 million compaired to USD 63.9 millions in the previous year. The net loss for the year amounted to USD 70.1 million compaired to a net loss of USD 8.0 millions in the previous year.

The main reason for the loss is impairment loss of $50.9 million on intangible assets as a result higher interest rates and lower forcasted annual growth rate compared to prior years. Assets at year-end were USD 231.5 millions, shareholders' equity of USD 127.9 millions and equity ratio 55%. The Group employed 366 people at year-end compared to 350 at the beginning of the year.

During 2022 the Group released ‘Uprising,’ a major expansion for EVE Online introducing many updates and improvements across EVE Online, including a Spanish localization enabling speakers of the second largest language worldwide to experience EVE Online in their native language.

In January, the Group and BBC Studios joined forces for EVE Online x Doctor Who, an original crossover event between the beloved action-adventure series Doctor Who and EVE Online. EVE Fanfest was held in May in Reykjavík, Iceland, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time the Group launched EVE Anywhere, a cloud-based platform based on Intel technology which enables players to enjoy EVE Online through a web browser on any computer.

In July, the Group, together with its partner NetEase, announced EVE Infinity, a localized version of EVE Online for the Chinese market run on a separate server cluster. The game was successfully launched in September 2022.

To celebrate the 2nd anniversary of EVE Echoes, NetEase Games in collaboration with the Group released a new expansion for the game in August. This was the biggest expansion for the game to date.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and related sanctions enforced on Russia, all sales to Russia based players were halted in March. The negative impact of the war in Ukraine on the Group's operations in 2022 is estimated at USD 806 thousand.

In March 2023, the Group announced that a USD 40 million financing had been secured from external parties for a full-scale development of a new AAA title utilizing blockchain technology, set within the EVE Universe. With key game systems developed on-chain, this new project will also leverage smart-contract blockchain technology, focusing on persistence, composability and truly open third-party development to create a new relationship between virtual worlds and players.