Eve Online’s drama over Incarna, Arrum, and the NeX store.

I really haven’t kept up much on the whole CCP Arrum NeX store, but apparently it’s exploded in the last 24 hours.  EveNews24 broke the news with a “leaked” internal newsletter from CCP titled “Greed is Good” where they discuss views on their NeX store (where you buy items for your character with real life money).  The Eve Forums have been threadnaughted with angry Eve players.  The main concerns aren’t just the fact that a stupid monocle costs $60, but that CCP may begin introducing items that affect the game itself.  Similar to “Gold Ammo” in World of Tanks (WoT is an awesome, free, microtransaction supported game that you should all go play right now).

Today another “leak” came from CCP, claiming to be an e-mail from CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson.

Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 18:16:54 -0400
To: [email protected]
Subject: ccp ceo global msg sent today
From: [email protected]
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=.UTF-8.
Message-Id: <[email protected]>

sent by hilmar to ccp global list-


We live in interesting times; in fact CCP is the kind of company that if things get repetitive we instinctively crank it up a notch. That, we certainly have done this week. First of we have Incarna, an amazing technological and artistic achievement. A vision from years ago realized to a point that no one could have imaged but a few months ago. It rolls out without a hitch, is in some cases faster than what we had before, this is the pinnacle of professional achievement. For all the noise in the channel we should all stand proud, years from now this is what people will remember.

But we have done more, not only have we redefined the production quality one can apply to virtual worlds with the beautiful Incarna but we have also defined what it really means to make virtual reality more meaningful than real life when it comes to launching our new virtual goods currency, Aurum.

Naturally, we have caught the attention of the world. Only a few weeks ago we revealed more information about DUST 514 and now we have done it again by committing to our core purpose as a company by redefining assumptions. After 40 hours we have already sold 52 monocles, generating more revenue than any of the other items in the store.

This we have done after months of research by a group of highly competent professionals, soliciting input and perspective from thought leaders and experts in and around our industry. We have communicated our intention here internally in very wide circles through the Virtual Economy Summit presentation at the GSM, our Fearless newsletter, sprint reviews, email lists and multiple other channels. This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Currently we are seeing _very predictable feedback_ on what we are doing. Having the perspective of having done this for a decade, I can tell you that this is one of the moments where we look at what our players do and less of what they say. Innovation takes time to set in and the predictable reaction is always to resist change.

We went out with a decisive strategy on pricing and we will stay the course and not flip flop around or knee jerk react to the predictable. That is not saying nothing will change, on the contrary, in fact we know that success in this space is through learning and adapting to _what is actually happening_ and new knowledge gained in addition to what we knew before and expected.

All that said, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished as a company, changing the world is hard and we are doing it as so many times before! Stay the course, we have done this many times before.

I really don’t know what to think right now.  I know #tweetfleet is exploding with people cancelling their accounts.  I really think this could be CCP’s “NGE” moment, and I’m not sure if CCP is taking this seriously enough.

I guess I can just lean back and watch the fireworks. I’m not planning on cancelling my accounts at this point, but if CCP introduces things that allow people to get an edge up if they pay real money to do so, I may just conveniently “forget” to renew.


Edit: My buddy @winterblink posted a great summary of the eve-o drama over at his Warp Drive Active blog.

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