Boom: CCP Fire 20% Staff, Focus On Eve

By Jim Rossignol on October 19th, 2011 at 4:42 pm.


Bleak news from CCP:

“…we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff. We estimate that around twenty percent of global positions will be affected by this process. These will be predominantly in our Atlanta, GA office, although select positions in our Reykjavik, Iceland office will be affected.”

More on this below.

This comes about, according to CCP, because “we have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size. Developing EVE expansions, DUST 514 and World of Darkness has stretched our resources too thin.”

It seems that World Of Darkness will suffer most in the wake of this decision, and will of course be delayed:

Following this reorganization, we must do a better job by focusing on these priorities:

- For the immediate future, our mission is to enrich the vast EVE Universe by strengthening the continuous development of EVE Online while preparing to bring DUST 514 to market on the PS3. We do this in order to realize our ambitious and challenging plan of joining the two in a cross-platform, truly massive online world.
-World of Darkness will continue development with a significantly reduced team. This team will continue to iterate and expand on the gameplay and systems they have designed. We will also redeploy creative teams in Atlanta to support the launch of DUST 514.

This sounds like a major blow for the development of WoD, which is disappointing. Of course I am in no position to comment on the current state of either project, especially since neither of them are much in the public sphere so far. Nevertheless, the idea of concentrating on a PS3-only sci-fi F2P shooter hooked into a totally different genre on another platform, rather than concentrating on a Vampire-driven MMO, strikes me as folly. Personally it’s my feeling that DUST514 was the wrong project for CCP, and will remain so.

Of course WoD is not dead:

World of Darkness lives on. Its concepts are revolutionary. CCP continues to believe that it will alter the landscape of the MMO as significantly as EVE has done but we need more time to continue to develop them before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market.

Let’s hope this part of the statement is true, and that CCP making the next big step in MMOs (rather than trying to break into consoles with a shooter) is still what happens.

Our thoughts are, of course, with all those people who will lose their jobs.

, .

100 Comments »

  1. Torgen says:

    Wow, guess the EvE boycott *did* have an effect.

    • plumbob says:

      This probably isn’t the way to raise any good will in the wake of that boycott either.

    • JarinArenos says:

      @plumbob
      Yeah, I’m getting a real “Well, are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOURSELVES GETTING ALL THESE PEOPLE FIRED?!” vibe here.

    • kyrieee says:

      I hope you don’t actually think this is related to the boycott. You don’t fire 20% of your staff two months after your subscriber numbers take a dip. This has to do with CCP’s long term financial situation.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      @Jarin: Seems a bit silly to blame players for CCP firing those people. After all, it’s CCP’s fault for messing up (as they’ve recently admitted). And for probably wanting to do too much with too little money.

    • anduz says:

      @kyrieee two months after you heard about it… In reality they started in the spring, CCP just shrug it off as the usual summer drops/new expansion rages.

      Two months ago is when they started realizing nobody was coming back.

      I think it’s fair to tie the layoffs to the player base since eve subscriptions is what is paying for the development of WoD, and they’ve lost a lot of eve subscriptions. So many they for the first time ever hasn’t included the number in their financial reports. :p

      Personally I don’t think it’ll have much effect since they’re still working on the whole 3D chat room and first person shooter which nobody wants.

  2. Icarus says:

    Of course, White Wolf is based in Atlanta.

    What a fucking shame.

  3. Nim says:

    Read:
    Management screwed up

    • cjlr says:

      Result:
      Management aren’t the ones getting the sack.

    • Nim says:

      Predict:
      Similar failures in the future.

    • Groove says:

      Jubilation, talk like an Elcor day.

    • Premium User Badge

      Maltose says:

      You haven’t hacked your translator again, have you?

    • lijenstina says:

      Quick to the Tax Heaven.

    • rayne117 says:

      Sometimes I feel like I stumbled through a portal.

    • Beanbee says:

      They had done a large amount of hiring in the last year, alot of people from Realtime Worlds were hired by them. It’s likely these guys who have subsiquently been fired, some shit luck following them around.

  4. nimzy says:

    Of course the outsourced guys got laid off first… I worked right down the street from Realtime Worlds when they were in the middle of getting ready for bankruptcy after APB. Poof, the US branch was gone and we were taking on all the extra help we could spare.

  5. pupsikaso says:

    One thing is to admit they were wrong in their developmental focus, it’s an entirely different thing to now start firing people that have been working hard on your mistakes. This seems wholly unfair to me. Rather than fire people why did they not simply reassign them to projects within EVE since they have now promised to focus more on that? I’m sure the current team scrambling to hack something together for the winter expansion would have greatly appreciated the help.

    I’m no businessman, so maybe this makes sense to someone, but to me this looks like yet another mistake CCP are making.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hanban says:

      I’m by no means a business man myself and have not studied business economics. But maybe the fallout from the whole ‘thing’ has settled and the predictions point towards significant decreases in earnings, thus having to lay people off to not end up with losses. That to me makes more sense than “we’re restructuring the company by firing people to focus more on this one thing”. Which always when coming from a company announcing redundancies comes off as disingenuous.

      Redundancies suck, I know from personal experience, and I wish the people who find themselves without jobs to bounce back quickly.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kelron says:

      Perhaps that isn’t practical. Perhaps the people being fired don’t have skills that are needed for EVE, or perhaps they can’t or won’t relocate to Iceland where I think the majority of the EVE team are still based.

      It’s not “fair” on them to fire them, but if EVE fails (which I don’t believe it is going to anytime soon, despite what some people say) then it’s over for CCP. They need EVE to pay for their other projects, and if that means laying off people in other areas then from a business perspective they can’t shy away from it.

    • BrightCandle says:

      That is just business. The little people always pay for the mistakes of the guys at the top, and rarely the other way around. At least in this case it looks unlikely that the guys being laid off are the same people who told their management that attacking their player base and ripping them off was a bad idea.

    • Stinkfinger75 says:

      Just because you have that extra help doesn’t mean that more will get done quicker. It takes my crew of four an hour to close my restaurant at the end of the night, having three more people there wouldn’t shrink that hour to fifteen minutes, it would still remain right around an hour. There is only so much work to be done.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Can they afford to pay all of those people? If you expect to make enough money to support additional staff, hire that additional staff, but then fail to make the money, then what recourse does the company have? Even if you slashed every possible expenditure, to the point that every employee, from the lowliest new hire to the CEO, is making minimum wage, you must still make enough money to pay them. And if you slash the budget that much, will you be able to make a product that could improve the company’s profits enough to stay solvent? Will you ever be able to pay your employees enough money to convince them to stay and not seek better opportunities that would help them to support themselves and their families?

      Without knowing every detail of CCP’s business situation, none of us can say with 100% certainty that this wasn’t the best of a bad situation.

    • zergl says:

      Going back a few months, CCP’s 2010 fiscal report was retrieved and analyzed at a community forum (the interesting bit starts iirc like a dozen pages into the thread). The verdict was (paraphrasing), if CCP kept burning cash at the same rate as they did in 2010 and would not suddenly increase revenue by a lot or get a major cash injection they would run out of money to pay the bills/wages well before the Dust 514 launch next year.

      It iirc wasn’t questioned that they would get a new loan or cash injection, but it would appear that whatever loan they took out wouldn’t be enough to support their current staff until Dust would start paying off.

    • LostSoviet says:

      Remember Stardock’s disastrous Elemental launch? They had to lay people off because the company was structured on *expected* profits.

      Most businesses operate the same way: borrow money to start or stay afloat, use extra income to expand instead of paying off debts, and then shrink when income doesn’t match the predicted expectations.

      The scary part is that governments operate the same way, with all the underlying consequences.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      When did economics ever have anything to do with what is fair?

    • lijenstina says:

      What if it is a Job fair ?

  6. TillEulenspiegel says:

    My first thought was of all the EVE subscription cancellations, but I expect they were relatively insignificant.

    Personally it’s my feeling that DUST514 was the wrong project for CCP, and will remain so.

    I think it’s a really neat idea except for the PS3 exclusivity. It’s simultaneously ambitious (tying into the EVE universe) and easy to pick up for shooter fans. If it nets them a bundle of cash to invest in future projects, great.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I don’t understand why they made it PS3 exclusive. Could someone fill us in? Are they keeping their markets separated or something along those lines? Somehow I have my doubts that F2P shooters and EvE attract the same kind of crowd.

    • Azhrarn says:

      They made it PS3 exclusive because Microsoft (and Xbox management in particular) proved to be an absolute pain in the rear when it came to allowing the game to not be hosted on Xbox Live servers and connect directly to Tranquility (EVE’s main server), which is required for the “One Universe” concept for all of the EVE universe to remain intact.
      Sony didn’t have such issues with the idea and as it was never meant to be a PC game anyway, it became a PS3 exclusive simply out of necessity.
      IF Microsoft had been willing to allow the game to run outside their enclosed garden, then it would have come out on both consoles, as it stands it’s a PS3 exclusive. CCP really wanted it on both consoles for maximum coverage and earning potential, but that proved impossible.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      My take on the PS3 exclusivity is that it is related to micro-transactions and the unforgiving nature of Xbox when it comes to that realm.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Dust, developed for pc and as a relatively small budget multiplayer shooter would be a brilliant idea. Throw a small team together, cobble up something with very interesting sci-fi battlefield-esque gameplay, sell it for a few bucks. Raise awareness for Eve that way while turning a moderate profit and expand if it proves to be successful.

      At least, that’s how I would’ve done it. It could be used both as a game standing on its own AND bringing in people who didn’t know Eve before. Treating it as a monolithic multi-million euro project for a locked down and insulated platform without a way for the two communities to be shared between the two games sounds like a really stupid idea, especially since the usually enthusiastic Eve community could be relied upon to provide Dust with a boost at launch. Nothing is worse for a multiplayer title than empty servers, especially around launch.

    • tyren says:

      Azhrarn summed it up rather nicely. I’ve seen comments from EVE devs to the effect of “We aren’t ruling out a PC version forever but right now we’re focused on getting the PS3 version done,” so hopefully it won’t always be PS3-exclusive.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      My guess is that they initially wanted to make it for a console to open up that market and audience, and that the PS3 exclusive happened because of the aforementioned unfriendliness between XBox Live and the micro-transaction model coupled with the fact that they could get a payout from Sony for signing such a deal. I’d guess there’s that deal has a time limit, and that a PC version will materialise shortly after it expires.

    • .backslash says:

      Sorry to be a downer, but a PC version of Dust sounds near impossible to me due to the ‘one universe’ concept that carries it. As we all know a keyboard+mouse will always outperform a controller, meaning that either the PC and console versions need to be kept completely separate, which won’t happen, since the whole idea of the one universe is Dust players interacting with Eve players on one big server , or they need to be balanced out by nerfing us PC players, which I highly doubt will ever work. (See: Shadowrun)

  7. Robin says:

    >the idea of concentrating on a PS3-only sci-fi F2P shooter hooked into a totally different genre on another platform, rather than concentrating on a Vampire-driven MMO, strikes me as folly.
    >Personally it’s my feeling that DUST514 was the wrong project for CCP, and will remain so.

    I’m not particularly versed on these matters, but I agree with this. From what I saw of DUST514, I don’t understand what kind of appeal it could have on the console crowd. It feels disconnected from the “immediateness” that defines the popular console FPS/TPS. Reminds me a lot of Quake Wars, which was a relatively niche title on pc too (and its successor, Brink, didn’t do that wonderfully well I think).
    Though I understand their need of diversify their offer.

  8. Juan Carlo says:

    This must be bad news for Iceland given that after the economic collapse 75% of their economy is Eve Online.

    In case anyone is wondering, the other 25% is Bjork.

  9. Stinkfinger75 says:

    As much as I am looking forward to and excited/intrigued by Dust 514 and would like to disagree with the statement:

    “Personally it’s my feeling that DUST514 was the wrong project for CCP, and will remain so.”

    I can’t shake the feeling that it is nonetheless spot on in it’s accuracy.

  10. BrightCandle says:

    Dust 514 sounds moderately interesting in concept, but practically it doesn’t have long term appeal. Had it been a PC game it might have at least appealed to existing Eve players and people who have played it in the past. But marketing a game to a group that doesn’t really know what Eve is seems a bit weird.

    World of Darkness on the other hand looked really good and potentially is another MMO game worth playing.

    Choosing Dust over WoD IMO is crazy, one project is clearly more capable of securing CCP’s future than the other.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m not sure WoD is obviously the better choice.

      It’s an MMO that may well end up fighting with Eve for subscribers. Not a good thing to have one of your products cannibalising your other one. Not sure how far along it was, but there’s also competition in roughly the same genre from Funcom’s The Secret World.

      Of course, a PS3-only FPS doesn’t exactly sound like an obviously better prospect either.

    • diamondmx says:

      As was stated in the EVE comment thread – DUST looks like it’s a lot closer to completion than WoD. WoD may very well have hit some major technical hurdles, too. (As this is also happening at the same time they’re significantly dialing back on the EVE features that shared codebase with WoD)

      In any case – an extra effort on making EVE awesome means a lot to me, and it may convince me to come back during the winter expansion. Maybe.

    • Baka says:

      I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, but wouldn’t “porting” Dust to PC now be the best and easiest move for them? I love the EVE Universe but will never play in it, because the game itself is just not for me. I’d enjoy being a grunt on the ground battling for one of the corporations though. It baffles me why they want to make this an PS3 exclusive. Surely anyone out there knows the reason?

    • diamondmx says:

      @baka
      Signs point to an economic/development incentive from Sony. Possibly.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Dust sounds far more interesting than WoD to me. Had my fill of goths around a decade ago though I suppose…

  11. dontnormally says:

    WoD well-done in 5+ years is better than squandering the IP in 2.

  12. kharnevil says:

    WoD is not dead, it’s Undead.

    • Finbikkifin says:

      Undead Undead Undead

    • caddyB says:

      He is already dead. He is Undead, Mr. Kent. He can be destroyed, but not killed.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Undead Undead Undead

      Bats have left the bell tower
      The victims have been bled?

  13. GIGAR says:

    It should be noted that CCP would have gone bankrupt, if they didn’t get a loan passed. (if I recall correctly, the ‘date’ of potential bankruptcy was the 16th of October, which fits very well)

    So yeah.

    I don’t really have anything comforting to say to them, developing TWO MMOs and a FPS at the same time is a huge undertaking for such a small company.

    On the bright side: Maybe CCP will start to work on their spaceship simulator again, and actually add fun stuffs :O :D

  14. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Several people have commented that WoD is the safer bet compared to Dust514. However, between the crowded MMO field and the subject matter, I’m not convinced. Vampires have been a trendy thing for a few years now, but I’m not sure that WoD’s brand of vampires are really going to attract a lot of subscribers. Dust514 could at least nab some undiscriminating shooter fans–and God knows there are plenty of people who exclusively play shooters. What’s the market share for fans of goth, non-sparkly, kind of Anne Rice-y vampires who are also fans of videogames? MMOs demand investment–of time, of money, of emotion–so starting off with niche appeal is going to make things risky.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I think that they honestly believed and wanted to do WOD.

      But they did play testing prototype. And it just didnt work out. So they decided to scrap it.

  15. Lobotomist says:

    I said it before. WOD MMO is vaporware. It will probably never come out. Sadly :(

    Most likely they tested numbers of ideas that sounded good on paper.
    But couldn’t really bring them to life.

    As is evident by never coming out Incarna – btw.

    But there is a good news burried here. CCP re-focusing on EVE.
    Probably sacking all their crazy ideas of cash shop monetizing, etc.

    Sticking to what works.

    = EVE

    • sneetch says:

      “World of Darkness lives on. Its concepts are revolutionary. CCP continues to believe that it will alter the landscape of the MMO as significantly as EVE has done but we need more time to continue to develop them before dedicating the substantial resources required to bring this experience to market.”

      That does seem to support your belief that they tried some ideas out and they didn’t work but they seem to believe that the situation is salvagable. Either way developing prototypes to find out game mechanics that work won’t require the same number of people as going full steam into developing those mechanics. I myself would love to see some of these revolutionary concepts and I’d love a new WoD game so I’m hoping that they go back to it after Dust (which seems less relevant and more of a waste of resources as time goes on, wasn’t it intended for both 360 and PS3 at the start?)

    • Lobotomist says:

      Unfortunately, it means just that.

      Believe me I am in same camp with you. I believe WOD would be shining savior of MMO genre.

      Last news from New Orleans event. Hinted there will be at least 4 more years of development.
      Now with twisting priorities from it.

      How more will it take ?

      If they said 4 years with it being main priority ?

      I am sorry

      A game that will be released 8 years in future. May aswell be named WOD4EVER

      Hence

      Vaporware

    • Wulf says:

      The sad part is is that their WoD MMORPG seems to focus around the least interesting and most overdone part of the WoD: Vampires. And even more sad is that stuff like Mage, Changeling, and my personal favourite Werewolf would likely be really hard to do in game form. It’s just that the vampires are kind of limited and boring compared to the other WoD stuff, which I suppose makes it easier for them to make it into a game.

      Really, it was the writing of Bloodlines that saved it, rather than it being vampires. And the writing of Malkavians especially. But mechanically Bloodlines was fairly pedestrian. It was just that it was a good RPG, with some nice choices and nice writing. It was very Obsidian in that respect. But at the end of the day, vampires are still so very overdone, and undead in general too.

      I don’t think that WoD would have been a great saviour at all, due to its focus on vampires. And without the great writing and choice-system of Bloodlines? Well, it’s just vampires then. And really, the vampire stuff is the most decidedly average element of the WoD, and not that different than vampires from just about everything else.

      Cullen could have been a Toreador.

      Anyway, I’d love at some point in the distant future to see a game based upon the entire WoD, Mage, Changeling, and Werewolf included. But not only that, but with the Wild West setting instead. That’s a far more compelling setting than the modern WoD, what with its random steampunk. And paranormal creatures having enchanted gunfights atop moving steam trains.

    • Starky says:

      Another one of those rare events that happens once in a while…

      I agree with everything you just said Wulf – except Mage is clearly superior to Werewolf (which comes in a close second – though I would KILL to be able to play a Bone Gnawer Theurge or Galliard in a MMO – Or a Glass Walker Philodox – Urrah all the way for me, sod those hippy tree hugging wolves).

    • TariqOne says:

      Wulf — it’s really too bad you’re not superrich. That way you’d be able to hire your own team of personal developers to make quirky bespoke RPGs for you replete with meaningful choicesTM and groundbreaking, game-changing Guild-Wars-2-like gameplay.

      But since we live in this iteration of Planet Earth: for the love of fuck, man, be reasonable. WoD is a wonderful franchise, and Bloodlines, to take that example, was one of my favorite games of all time. People fucking love vampires, and I’m all in favor of bringing WoD back to the PC. I’m not going to second-guess a choice to do so in an economically viable way.

      Sure we all have our our hobby horses and personal faves but, seriously, focusing on Vampire is literally a no-brainer in a capitalist system and hardly something reasonable to quibble with.

  16. Derpentine says:

    I’m very happy with this news – and its amazing how open and transparent CCP are being about this; didn’t expect much more than a toddlers tantrum, stubborn and short sighted.

    I may have leaked a fair bit of their docs, dust screenshots/info etc – in hopes that they would see that putting everything on these pipe-dreams was going to kill a lot more than just EVE. I’d like to think I did something to help, but at the end of the day it looks like the beast has woken up before it passed away during the night.

    Grats on evolving that backbone, figuring out some of the problems… now just to look at that middle management – specifically the ‘game-biz’ tards… sup Mike.

  17. Torgen says:

    Since DUST is a PS3 exclusive, CCP is probably contractually obligated to Sony to finish it.

  18. DoctorBrain says:

    DUST 514: that game that would have been pretty cool if they released it on PC instead of a console.

    Creating a series of games that all affect the same central MMO is a great idea. I would have liked to fight in ground wars that resulted from, and changed the outcome of, events in EVE. Unfortunately, I have no PS3, and no plans to purchase one.

    I suppose I’ll have to wait for Planetside 2 to get my fill of large-scale, persistent-world FPS.

    • diamondmx says:

      Is your lack of a PS3 due to an economic inability (understandable), or because you do not wish to own one? (which, in the least offensive manner possible, sounds like platform fanboyism).

      A lot of the argument surrounding DUST’s system of choice seems to stem from the console war BS, and not because of a serious argument that the game suffers from it’s choice of platform.

      Many, many gamers – especially the more adult gamers that CCP hopefully is aiming to collect – have both systems. Most that do not have both, have the ability to buy both if given enough incentive to overcome inertia.

      Truth be told, I’d rather play any FPS on a PC (Mouse and keyboard are my weapons of choice). And to admit my own bias, I’d rather play it on PS3 than 360 (familiarity, mostly – I have both). But this game, if it’s worth picking up, will be worth picking up regardless of which of the current gen platforms it chooses to be seated on.

    • Erithtotl says:

      To assume that most gamers who might want to play have both consoles, or are willing to buy a PS3 just to play DUST seems absurd.

    • DoctorBrain says:

      There are very few games on the PS3 that I’d want to play; I can’t really justify dropping 250 or 300 dollars on a system just to play DUST . I have other reasons – I find that controllers are typically inferior to mice+keyboards; console hardware is lagging behind PC hardware; console-oriented games typically lack the depth of PC counterparts – but these are supporting concerns, not the primary one. If the PS3 had more games I’d want to play, it would logically follow that I would purchase it.

      I suppose I’m just lamenting that DUST was a good idea, but its being released on a platform that 1) I do not have, 2) I do not want to buy, 3) features inferior controls when compared to PC, and 4) will probably be relatively small-scale or restricted in comparison to large-scale PC shooters.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      There are 3 – now 4 – games that are worth buying a PS3, as opposed to an Xbox for:
      Uncharted 1 & 2
      Demon’s Souls
      Dust

      You could quite easily boil that down to 1. DS has a sequel, Dust hasn’t been released, and you may as well just play the second Uncharted.

      Pretty easy to see why a bunch of people don’t/don’t own one.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Is your lack of a PS3 due to an economic inability (understandable), or because you do not wish to own one? (which, in the least offensive manner possible, sounds like platform fanboyism).

      I have more than enough spare cash to buy a console. But is it worth it? Not for me.

      I have limited time and limited living space. I own no consoles aside from iOS/Android not because I’m a “fanboy” (what a ridiculous thing to be), but because it’d be a waste for the handful of games that I’m interested in. If I miss out on a few great games, I’m not really that bothered. I’ve got enough to play as it is, and I can satisfy my academic curiosity with LP videos.

    • cheesetruncheon says:

      Well badger it’s just as easy, to see why people do own one.

      It was (I don’t know if it still is) a cheap and affordable blu-ray Player.
      A stronger crowd of Fighting Games than the PC, without the necessity of a yearly subscription.
      Can Play PS2 games, for those looking to play and re-buy things from last gen.

      Valkyria Chronicles
      Metal gear Solid 4

      Netflix/Love Film
      Free Web Browser with a more comfortable fit to a living room
      Playstation move (which from my experience is a lot more responsive than the wii)

      Various Japanese RPG’s and a Lack of region specific coding

      Little Big Planet
      Heavy Rain
      Mod Nation Racers

      PSone Classics

      And from a business point of view, a larger base of younger gamers with more disposable income than the adult PC crowd.

      Then of course there’s the concept of ‘people on PC will play EVE, People on Console will play Dust’

      I respect the decision to have Dust on a console.

      EDIT: I also forgot to mention that should you choose there are peripherals to play games on PS3 Kb/m

  19. myaltisa says:

    CCP’s CEO admits he is wrong, after causing outright hostility in the heart of the money making part of the business, he then fails to do the right thing and resign.

    Sorry is not enough, he needed to go. They won’t get my sub back till he leaves.

    Furthermore, I think these redundancies are 100% EvE related. CCP over speculated with their cash shop proving you cannot write cheques with Isk. This must be seen as a board room level failure…

    Shame the man at the top still gets to pick up his pay cheque.

    • diamondmx says:

      Depends on how Hilmar’s handling his own mistake.
      A CEO that realises they can screw up is a rare and valuable asset. On the other hand, a CEO who believes that everyone except themselves screwed up is useless.

    • Navagon says:

      @ diamondmx

      Agreed. What is important is correct analysis of the problem then addressing the problem. Not scapegoating. That said, some problems are people. But I don’t think that’s the case here.

  20. Adekan says:

    Whilst I take no pleasure in the fact that many people lost their jobs, I am reassured that their focus is now on EVE and EVE related products.

    I couldn’t care less about World of Darkness, or Dust since I do not own a console. EVE is something I have invested a lot of my time into though, and I am happy to see it getting the attention it deserves. It is still a unique experience, and deserves to be further developed.

  21. Erithtotl says:

    I’m pretty shocked that CCP is in such financial straits . It must be a really, really badly run company. After all EVE is essentially a license to print money. They just have to avoid f***ing it up, which apparently with the recent turmoil, they actually did for the first time.

    It does sound like they bit off more than they could chew with two different, massive additional projects.

    My feeling on EVE is that it’s primary fault is its barrier to entry. Not only its complexity, but that for new players, they have to get past the whole ‘everyone else is 5 years ahead of me’ feeling. Starting a new MMO with WoD would give another chance to people who are intrigued with alternative takes on MMOs but unwilling to endure abuse for months on end that comes with starting in EVE.

    DUST sounds like the kind of impending failure that a company like Blizzard could afford, but could devestate CCP.

  22. Barman1942 says:

    While I’m sad to see the WoD MMO delayed, I guess EVE does need a lot of work, and it’s better for CCP to get EVE to a comfortable state before moving on to WoD.

  23. Batolemaeus says:

    Cripes, turns out they laid off their.. *drumroll* ..community team.
    Looks like this wave of layoffs is just more :ccp:, not a refocussing.

  24. Lemming says:

    “>…the idea of concentrating on a PS3-only sci-fi F2P shooter hooked into a totally different genre on another platform, rather than concentrating on a Vampire-driven MMO, strikes me as folly..”

    I think it makes perfect sense in their circumstances. Dust 154 isn’t anywhere near the scope of a World of Darkness MMO. It sounds to me like simply a case of what will take less time to complete in order to get back some profit. Once that game ships, it will only need a small team to maintain it – creating additional gear, fixinf bugs etc.

    I want to see a World of Darkness MMO too, but I think there is a benefit from having a small team with no immediate deadlines being allowed to refine what’s there before the project goes back into full-swing sometime in the future.

  25. Nameless1 says:

    This is sadness.
    I’d like to see WoD before the next millennium, if possible.

  26. buzzmong says:

    That wasn’t unexpected.

    People have been questioning how they could afford to run three products off the back of one for quite a while and with all the shebang that happened in the summer, as mentioned on here already some enterprising chaps looked over CCP’s accounts and found they’ve got a big repayment due soon.

    Looking over the press release, I can understand why they’ve gone with Dust 314, I just can’t see it being the big hit CCP think it’s going to be if it’s only confined to the PS3.

    I also think that the fact Dust is a shop based RMT model isn’t going to work in it’s favour (all indications are that EVE’s version has been a complete failure, as expected when released to a community that were and still are quite against RMT in any form, the biggest tell is CCP stopping release of the QEN), however it does seem to to be the more complete of the projects, after all the tech for walking in stations hasn’t made it to Eve yet, there’s no multiplayer aspect which is the core part of WoD.

    I think that as CCP have previously said that any work on the Carbon tech benefits both titles anyway because it’s the core CCP infrastructure now, so it’s not like WoD won’t still be in some sort development on the technology side.

    Edit: Oh dear god, they’ve sacked large parts of the community teams.
    Notably, they’ve sacked CCP_Fallout, probably one of the best community reps to ever grace the EvE-O forums.

  27. Eclipse says:

    “Personally it’s my feeling that DUST514 was the wrong project for CCP, and will remain so.”

    Agreed, I’m not seeing this whole cross-platform, cross-genre metagaming a winning thing, one is a pc exclusive mmo, the other a ps3 exclusive fps… world of darkness on the other side intrigued me as I love the whole Vampire: The Masquerade thing

  28. Rythe says:

    There’s a certain sort of logic and set of factors that would make Dust514 PS3 exclusive any way you go about it, as much as that does disappoint a lot of people. If CCP wants to break into the console market with this game, and they do, it would be hard for them to go any other way.

    Which doesn’t really answer our unease and misgivings about the game. It’s much more basic and fundamental than what the game’s coming out on. The really damning thing about this game is the competition and target audience.

    There is no way that CCP can pull off a mechanically better, more polished shooter than the current/upcoming iterations of Call of Duty and Battlefield. It’s just not going to happen, and these are the games Dust514 is directly competing against for subscribers.

    The worst part is that their target audience, boiled down, is the segment of Battlefield players who will trade off superior gameplay for a persistent, demanding, unforgiving world wrapped up in micro-transactions that also happen to own a PS3.

    However large a group of people that ends up being, I sincerely doubt it’s going to be anything like enough.

  29. buzzmong says:

    *Deleted*

  30. Jade Constantine says:

    The big problem with WOD is the technology simply isn’t ready. We saw in Eve the alpha-test of that tech in Captain’s Quarters/Incarna this summer and it was frankly awful. Terribly optimized, GPU killing, nasty looking. If there is ever going to be an MMO built on this tech it will take years. I’d put money on the future of WOD being some conceptual tech demos while CCP shop around for somebody else to buy the license from them.

    Dust 514 on the other hand (while I’m not particularly interested in it at all) is built on an established graphic engine and I can conceive it actually working in the near future so as projects go was the natural one to survive.

    Bottom line here though is CCP need to direct all efforts to enhancing and improving the Eve universe and core Eve online gameplay or they are going to lose everything and the weasel-words of the MT (Nex store) advocates in CCP are not going to help them survive.

    All this talk of the subscription model being “out of date” and a “thing of the past” and their flirtation with MT this summer loses them enough subs that they have to lay off 20% of the company.

    The reality for CCP is they can’t rely on a hybrid model of subs+microtransactions for Eve and trying to bring the cash store in through the back door had the consequence of alienating an awful lot of subs paying customers.

    At this point I think CCP have a choice.

    Either learn the lesson and start appreciating the subscribers they still have and win back trust with a series of genuinely good and feature-rich expansions that show they value the player base.

    Or

    Go Free to play and stake it all on the $ signs in the eyes of their “industry experts” who go green with jealousy over World of Tanks model.

    Personally I think the second option is insanity. But so is trying to do both at the same time. You simply cannot get away with double-charging premium subscribers for additional conternt in a game like Eve Online and CCP’s troubles this summer illustrate the consequences when you try.

  31. xGhost4000x says:

    CCP still doesn’t intend to bring Dust to either the 360, or the PC. The only two markets that I’m in, this really bugs me. Fine if Dust can’t be on the 360, I’ll live, but no PC support..really! Come on CCP…

    • wu wei says:

      CCP still doesn’t intend to bring Dust to either the 360…

      Their “intent” has nothing to do with it. It’s Microsoft’s restrictions that prohibit the possibility of a 360 release.

  32. buzzmong says:

    Just seen this posted on the forums. Some long term CCP staffers have bitten the bullet, some are from the Icelandic office as well:

    Myxx wrote:
    Confirmed list of 20%ers:

    Community:
    Wrangler/ Christian Danhill
    Pann/ Valerie Massey
    Fallout/ Misty Matonis
    Zymurgist/ Kevin Dudenbostel
    Mike Read

    Content:
    Pall Ivarsson
    Hilmir Þór Einarsson
    CCP Maiden Steel
    Gnauton/ Gauti Fridriksson

    Other:
    Valar/ Emil Fridrikson
    Finnz/ Finnur Kári Guðnason
    Hammerhead/ Noah Ward
    Kristleifur Þorsteinsson

    Unconfirmed:
    Dropbear

    Wrangler (Community Manager) is surprise but makes sense as he was officially moved from EVE to Dust. CCP Pann is a shock, she’s been with CCP since before Eve launched iirc. Fallout is understandable as she worked from the USA, but surprising considering she’s one of the few staffers the forumites trusted.

    The big shock is Noah Ward/AKA Hammer. That’s extremely surprising.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I think part of the community relations job is to be automatically guilty when shit goes down. I think it sucks, Fallout and Zymurgist are awesome. But it might be good busyness practice to change community relations people when you decide you need to change the realtions with your community. Even if I believe none of them were the reason CCP had bad community relations in the past year.

      I should note at this point that I loath anything that can be defended as “good busyness practice”.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Ouch, that is a big old list of familiar names. Wasn’t CCP Pann the one handling the early reaction to the MT fun and games in the summer, before a medical emergency?

      And hiring a new community guy (CCP Phantom?) a couple weeks before laying off half the community team strikes as a little cruel (though from a cold business perspective, understandable – bring in new staff in the right location knowing you’re about to close down x/y/z, poor guy wouldn’t have known when he came in that he was being hired to cover the hole made by redundant colleagues).

      Thoughts to those affected though, undoubtedly many of us have been there (more than once) and it’s a gutting experience.

  33. bill says:

    Yay! I knew all the bitching, whining and entitlement would have a result in the end!
    Now, if we can just keep it up a little longer, maybe we can bankrupt the company or get one of the managers to commit suicide.

    Don’t give up now boys!

    • Thants says:

      Man, I’m surprised it took this long from someone to post complaining about entitlement. You’re slipping, Internet!

  34. rollermint says:

    Thats good news.

    The recent blog from Eve CEO did say that they are refocusing on Eve Online. PLayers have been saying for months that CCP is stretching their resources too thin trying to develop THREE mmos and I’m glad they finally realised that. Sadly, at the expense of the WOD devs, which is entirely faultless.

    But I still think that Dust514 seems doomed to fail. It might get a pretty good playerbase at first but we are talking about console players. Except for a few selected IPs, they don’t stick around that long. They usually jump ship as soon as that next shiny FPS arrives. And the fact that they don’t particularly care much for MMOs only makes it worse.

    So I dunno, I feel that restricting Dust514 only to a single console sounds like a disaster in the making.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    One does have to question the business sense of placing -less- focus on the combination of World of Warcraft and Twilight when they’re short of cash.

  36. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    One does have to question the business sense in placing -less- focus on the combination of World of Warcraft and Twilight when they’re getting short of cash.

  37. Kaiji says:

    I wish CCP would just fade away to be honest.

    I used to hold them in high regard for daring to be different even though I could never completely get into EvE, but now they’re just stinking up the games industry.

  38. TariqOne says:

    Not unusual really. A great many businesses run on credit, and depend on “expected profits,” or rather, a lender’s willingness to lend against those profits, or really revenue, to make payroll, etc.

    If lenders cease to be confident in the enterprise’s ongoing ability to take in such revenue, that can lead to a rejiggering, or suchlike. Just ask Bear Stearns, if you want a cataclysmically extreme example.

    That said, there’s not much scary about it when the stakes are CCP-low, and this growing and frankly irrational fear of government debt and spending alluded to above — particularly in an era where money almost literally costs nothing, and labor not much more — is regrettable.

    But back on topic, while it sucks for the people laid off and I do feel for anyone out of work particularly in these economic climes, games development has always been a bit cyclical, a bit itinerant, and has never really offered much in the way of job security, even when you work on a smash hit game.