CCP CEO Says A Big Sorry

By Jim Rossignol on October 5th, 2011 at 10:22 pm.

Apologetic Icelandic Man.
As keen as I am to poke CCP in their collective eye for being rubbish about Eve things, it’s true that CCP’s CEO Hilmar Pétursson is a decent chap. And it seems particularly okay of the flame-haired Icelander to post an extended apology to Eve players on the game’s site. Dwelling on recent debacles, he says: “Somewhere along the way, I began taking success for granted. As hubris set in, I became less inclined to listen to pleas for caution. Red flags raised by very smart people both at CCP and in the community went unheeded because of my stubborn refusal to allow adversity to gain purchase on our plans. Mistakes, even when they were acknowledged, often went unanalyzed, leaving the door open for them to be repeated. You have spoken, loudly and clearly, with your words and with your actions. And there were definitely moments in recent history when I wish I would have listened more and taken a different path. I was wrong and I admit it.”

He also observes that words mean little next to actions. It’ll be interesting to see just what actions the pioneering MMO studio end up making. There doesn’t seem like any easy way out.

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63 Comments »

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  1. TreeBeard says:

    Wow Jim, you’re efficient! Appreciate the reply to my email, too late though I was.

  2. Premium User Badge

    AlwaysRight says:

    Now, if only we can get politicians to do the same…

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    mpk says:

    It’s a bit slow in coming, and a bit of an empty gesture to my mind. He’s acknowledging all the slings and arrows that have been thrown his way, but it’s what CCP do in the next two-to-three expansions that will interest me.

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      Biscuitry says:

      The proof of the pudding being in the eating, and all that. Still, such an unreserved apology is an unexpected step in the right direction.

    • Gesadt says:

      http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=2428

      “As we said we are planning something unparalleled. A significant part of that plan is the immediate refocusing of all the EVE development teams on EVE’s core gameplay: spaceships.” etc.

    • President Weasel says:

      After various other promises from CCP I’m sure a lot of people will take this one with a pinch of salt, but it certainly seems like a refreshing change – a move to reassure the bittervets that theri complaints have actually been heard, rather than a “fuck ‘em, we’ll get some casual players in” which seemed to be his attitude a couple of months ago.
      So cautious hooray, I reckon. I’d say “pioneering MMO studio” was a well-earned description and EVE is unique and worth cherishing, so I would like to see CCP get EVE back on track and doing well. Still not sure the Dust game is going to work, mind.

    • anduz says:

      It’s likely slow because they weren’t sure their subscriber numbers had dropped because of their crappy behavior and empty updates or because of summer.

      Now they know.

  4. hjparcins says:

    He’s extremely well-spoken.

    I respect the guy for that alone.

    • luckystriker says:

      Oh, I’m sure a PR man wrote that. The CEO just approves the message.

    • kyrieee says:

      You’re wrong about that

    • Nice Save says:

      I doubt any PR professional would release something with that amount of “I was wrong” in it.

  5. JackDandy says:

    Well, that’s nice. I have nothing to do with EVE, but the shitestorm that erupted back then was certainly noticeable everywhere across the web.

    Hoping they’ll straighten up from now on.

  6. oldmanbob says:

    In his own words, from the end of the blog:

    “We all know that much quoted phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s what you do,” that will make the difference here.”

    EVE’s winter expansion will be key.

  7. Nesetalis says:

    thats nice… um… still not interested in EVE… and CCP can go to hell :P

  8. Jae Armstrong says:

    Hooooooooooooooooooleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawkiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

    Have I fallen thrown a hole in the world and into some bizarre parallel dimension? Can this possibly be true? I am agape in shock.

    And a leetle skeptical that they’ll follow through here; CCP’s word isn’t worth a great deal at this point. But, speaking as a player with 30m SP in Gallente/Blasters/Armour-tanking, a focus on ship balancing/FiS is very welcome.

    • dsi1 says:

      Speaking as a video game player in general I’m awe-struck that any large developer has had the balls to admit they fucked up before it’s all gone down the drain.

      EVE is soaring to new heights even when it begins to death spiral. (and at this rate I certainly hope it doesn’t go down)

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    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Okay. An apology is more than I was expecting. Carry on Mr. Pétursson, I’ll be watching.

  10. Durkan says:

    Wow…. Very interested to see what they do next.
    If they perform the level of volte face he’s indicating – that’d be extraordinary.

    I can’t shake the nagging feeling we all need CCP to succeed – else be devoured by and endless barrage of empty calorie, free to play, “kill ten X to level up” WOW clones.

    I hope they’ll reconsider the Dust 514 not for pc’s decision as well – “Planetside:Eve” would be glorious.

  11. westyfield says:

    More lasers please.

  12. vecordae says:

    Good first step, there, Hilmar. If your bite’s as good as your bark I will declare you a Merry Chap Indeed and resume playing your spacing-ship game.

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      wyrmsine says:

      I’d be back as well. It’s sort of unprecedented to have an apology like this, and I really hope it’s not just an empty gesture. I miss doing my Han Solo bit, for one thing…

  13. BeamSplashX says:

    I hope CCP proves itself to have peaks greater than its valleys. That’s at least better than “We Feel Okay About The Same Stuff, Always!”™ image most companies end up with.

    Besides, EVE needs to succeed so we can see whether we might eventually want to play World of Darkness (and maybe DUST).

  14. michal.lewtak says:

    I wish any of this concerned me, but their installer tries to install the game on my almost full C: drive instead of letting me select the E: drive where I have free space allocated for this game.
    Oh well, I’ll wait for a year or so and try it again to see if they did something about that.

    • Cunthulu says:

      I’m sure if you concentrated a bit harder, I bet you’d see you can install it anywhere you’d like. Even your dog, if you’re into that kind of stuff.

    • Paul2724 says:

      You can put the install directory anywhere you want – copy it to other PCs etc – just create a shortcut to \bin\ExeFile.exe and you’re good to go. I started Eve in 2004 and have never had to do a full re-install.

  15. mmorpg games says:

    well words mean nothing, but a nice thing to do. Facts on the other hand…

    Time will tell. They are still making Dust for consoles? lmao…

    • matrices says:

      Console, actually – PS3 exclusive. Can’t even begin to fathom the decision-making there…

    • Kelduum Revaan says:

      Probably that XBOX live doesn’t allow much in the way of patching or updates without users paying for it, and won’t let them connect to anything outside of the LIVE network.

      Well, plus the PS3 arguably has a more fanatical FPS userbase worldwide than the PC, which is known for the thinking stuff.

      They have mentioned it may turn up on PC sometime, and/or 360 if MS ever open the thing.

    • marach says:

      The reason? Cash, by the bucket load even Sony basically picked up the entire bill for Dusts remaining development.

  16. LGM says:

    They should be apologizing for being the most pretentious people in gaming. I mean really, they fly their “governing body” to bloody conferences in Iceland or something. Ridiculous, pretentious, insane.

    • Michus says:

      It’s called leadership.

    • Jan Zhizhka says:

      You don’t really know what pretentious means, do you?

    • Nick says:

      He very pretentiously does not.

    • MD says:

      Just for the record, this is not the kind of thing I had in mind when I defended the word ‘pretentious’ in a comment here yesterday.

    • LGM says:

      Pretentious – “Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed”

      Yup, that pretty much sums up EVE Online and their governing body and CCP.

      Remember the whole $75 monacle debacle? Yeah, pretentious is putting it mildly.

    • anduz says:

      It’s not really called leadership, it’s called marketing. The players have had very little actual influence but it looks very nice in the media.

      This email might just be the same thing. CCP has done similar things in the past and then worked in a completely different direction despite it. Which is kind of why they’re in the predicament they are in now.

      I mean when you have an internal letter telling your employees that there will be a shit storm you need to ride off you’re pretty ballsy, and who is to say that an official apology isn’t just part of riding off the shit storm.

      Time will tell if they actually change their development focus and start working on the actual gameplay instead of silly 3d chat rooms and other games.

  17. Heisenberg says:

    I fervently believe with all my heart that we’ve not even scratched the surface of EVE’s potential

    QFT

  18. Berious says:

    Very predictable feedback.

  19. ukpanik says:

  20. Asuron says:

    All we need now is a montage of him saying sorry in nice settings.
    Should make everything all better right?

    • luckystriker says:

      If this was supposed to be a reply to Upanik then I see what you did there. If not, then omgsynchronictylol.

  21. evenflowjimbo says:

    Haha! I bet the people that were calling the so-called bashers “cry babies” are eating their words.

    *wakes up*

    Son of a …

  22. sinister agent says:

    As people have hinted, what actually happens next is important, and I’m not familiar enough with the game or details of the situation to judge that.

    But either way, it takes real character to admit a mistake and apologise, something that it’s very easy to see as rare in the world, particularly in business circles. Much respect is due for that, I feel.

  23. Azhrarn says:

    It’s a start…

    My account will remain in stasis until I can see that they’ve actually turned their act around.
    At present my distrust of their previous actions still vastly outweigh the positives like this apology by the CEO. I will wait, and perhaps resub once they’ve demonstrated their ability to improve.

    What I’d like to know is if they’ve fired their CFO, because that’s the man most responsible for this, and since he’s managed to escape any consequences by bailing from the Citibank group just before the government needed to step in I hope they get him now. :)

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    neofit says:

    Oh, he finally read the e-mail from the bean counters about subscription numbers falling down?

  25. bill says:

    I sincerely apologise for attempting to make our game the way we want it. I realise now that the mere fact of us making the game in no way gives us more rights to control it than the people posting on message boards.
    Clearly we were wrong for attempting to make a profit, and for attempting to make other games. We should have realised that making a game that so many people enjoyed was an act of great evil, and we would have to atone for it for all the ages to come.
    Please don’t all quit or go on strike because the game you’ve enjoyed for so long isn’t exactly what you wanted after all. Clearly you are entitled to more.

    • Ovno says:

      More like we apologise for dumping a mega ton of unfinished new features into the game with every expansion and then moving on to making more and more new features instead of polishing the turds we’ve been dropping onto the community from a great height…

      Very nice attempt at completely misunderstanding the situation though…

    • arccos says:

      @bill

      CCP can make any game they want, but if they’re charging monthly for access, you and they shouldn’t expect players to continue throwing money at them if the players are no longer enjoying the game. Much of the community was on the fence before the latest updates, and this just pushed them to click the unsubscribe button.

      For most players, it wasn’t sunshine and roses before this update, like you seem to be thinking.

    • Josh W says:

      Clearly you don’t know how actual business works.

      Real businesses don’t just go for short term profit and say “like it or lump it” to their suppliers, their customers and their business partners. Real businesses build relationships with those people who support their cashflow.

      Because business is all about expectation and trust. That is why we are having a recession right now, because of damage to expectations/predictability and trust. Real business people communicate with customers and negotiate, and when they say they’ll listen, other people expect them to listen. When their customers threaten to boycott or staff threaten to go on strike, it’s because that trust and feeling of equity between partners has broken down, because no one likes being taken advantage of, in that situation people negotiate, they get to the root of the problem and resolve it.

      Real businesses don’t do repeated business with people who give them the lowest price then mess them about. They black-list them. Businesses who feel they are getting a raw deal because of focus on other customers consider going to different suppliers. Because there is much more to business than cost and profit!

      So yes, they may have a desire to make a profitable business, or to expand and diversify their business, but they do not have a right to do that any more than their customers have a right to their product. In fact legally their customers have far more right to the product than they do to profit or to ever making a different game again, because they said they were going to improve the game!

      But that’s another story, the point I’m after is that neither the players nor ccp can just stand on their right to x, instead they need to work together to get there, and if ccp has started being ignorant of their players and disregarding their actual interests for notional future customers and market trends, then it is reasonable for them to refocus if their customers demand it.

  26. Maxheadroom says:

    Is it shallow of me that, as a casual player of around a month who probably isnt going to resubscribe, after reading that I thought “Oh I hope I get some free shit from this before my sub runs out” ?

  27. Ovno says:

    After reading the various dev blogs…

    Good to hear they say they’re going to focus more on eve rather than all this vanity shit.

    Time dilation as a solution to combat lag is the best idea I’ve heard so far and something that I think has a good chance of working, the only other feasible solution I’ve heard of was making the combat turn based in times of lag, which is pretty equivalent, though the reinforcement timers not being effected by it is a bit odd, though understandable from a scheduling point of view, I think perhaps a better method would have been the time in the effected area area running faster to catch up afterwards…

    And if they actually fix the big list of stuff in the second blog then I ‘might’ come back to eve at some point, though probably only for factional warfare due to not having the time to play an mmo properly any more…

    • Danny252 says:

      I can see why reinforcement timers are unaffected – giving someone the ability to change how long your tower is reinforced for (hence moving it from your native TZ to theirs, or whatevs) just by lagging out the system for a bit would be slightly gamebreaking.

  28. pistolhamster says:

    Remind me again, what was all this Space Opera-Opera about? Highly melodramatic, doors slamming, fat ladies singing arias, Tristans and Isoldes not getting each other and what not: CCP did what, now, and why did it give us Angry Internet Men?

  29. Berious says:

    Alternatively, if your livelihood is based on recurring subscriptions don’t give the appearance of taking your subscribers completely for granted while you beaver away at new exciting projects they’re also paying for.

  30. KFJ says:

    I interviewed Hilmar once for the Hafnarfjörður Media Group, and he really is a great guy. He was a very nice host when I first started dipping my toes into the world of journalism, and was even willing to let me borrow a ridiculously expensive pair of microphones for the interview.

  31. RegisteredUser says:

    Clearly the next step is: GOLD MONOCLES FOR EVERYONE!

  32. buzzmong says:

    That entire message is just very clever crowd pleasing and quite frankly, I’d take it as hot wind for now.

    CCP has been slowly killing the game with bad ideas and decisions since 2007 (Titans and later) despite the community saying such things were bad once they got to play with them on SISI.

    CCP has some great guys in it, sadly lots of them aren’t in the high roles due to CCP’s unofficial “Icelandics in management positions only kthx” policy.

    I just hope someone over there gets Nathan “Oveur” Richardsson back into the full production control of Eve as it’s obvious the current production staff are useless.

  33. DarkByke says:

    Awful game model, awful business model…
    I took my money back and unsubscribed a long time ago. I’m not going to support a company like this at all. Good riddance !

  34. DarkByke says:

    I took my money back a long time ago.

  35. Emeraude says:

    It is said every time, but if EVE is even a fraction as interesting to play as it is to read about, it must be one hell of a great game.