EVE Online Dev Closes Its San Francisco Office, Loses Two Executives

EVE Online Dev Closes Its San Francisco Office, Loses Two Executives

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EVE Online studio CCP Games is closing its San Francisco office in the wake of the World of Darkness cancellation.

CCP Games had already seen staff layoffs on the road to the cancellation of its World of Darkness project. Now the studio is closing its San Fransisco office entirely. According to CCP's latest financial statement, the closure is an attempt to "merge and streamline" operations now that its horror MMO has shut down.

More surprising however, is news that CCP Games is also losing its chief financial officer and chief marketing officer. Joe Gallo and David Reid have stepped down from their positions for unrelated reasons. Reid later tweeted that the constant travel demands were too difficult, while CCP stated that Gallo chose to leave voluntarily.

"As part of our plans to combine and simplify our business in key operational company, we will soon say goodbye to two of the Company's management," said CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson in the report. "Joe Gallo and David Reid [have done] a great job for the CCP and I wish them all the best for the future."

CCP currently maintains the online-only games EVE Online and Dust 514, and is also working on the Oculus Rift launch title EVE Valkyrie. The studio has also stated that it will stop producing large-scale EVE Online expansions to focus on more regular updates.

Source: CCP Games, via PC Gamer

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While it always sucks to hear about lay-offs, it's nice to know that it is not because the company is in a financial crisis. I've not played EVE Online before(always been interested though), that hasn't stopped me from becoming a fan of the universe that they, and the players, have created within it.

Seems like MMO development is a financial nightmare wrapped in a depth charge, set to go off when x-amount has been sunk into it. Apparently Blizzard has the keys to MMO productivity and shelf-life and refuses to hand them over. Kudos for them for torpedoing the competition without actually firing a shot.
Why am I getting all Naval militaristic all of a sudden? I'm a ground-pounder... well armored ground-pounder.
Not to say EVE hasn't certainly earned its place (it has) as a successful MMO, but the WOD game just seemed so ambitious, Copernicus scale ambition despite being WOD set in a very loved (or loathed depending on the fanbase) lore-space.
But fallout from bad investments happen, and even if this isn't indicative of more issues down the line, it certainly is never good news when dev's lose their jobs.

I might be wrong seeing as how I have not played Eve in a few years but is not making any more expansions really a good idea? Or are is the plan to make more small scale ones to make up for the lumping of new content?

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Seems like MMO development is a financial nightmare wrapped in a depth charge, set to go off when x-amount has been sunk into it. Apparently Blizzard has the keys to MMO productivity and shelf-life and refuses to hand them over. Kudos for them for torpedoing the competition without actually firing a shot.
Why am I getting all Naval militaristic all of a sudden? I'm a ground-pounder... well armored ground-pounder.
Not to say EVE hasn't certainly earned its place (it has) as a successful MMO, but the WOD game just seemed so ambitious, Copernicus scale ambition despite being WOD set in a very loved (or loathed depending on the fanbase) lore-space.
But fallout from bad investments happen, and even if this isn't indicative of more issues down the line, it certainly is never good news when dev's lose their jobs.

Dust and their fixation of expanding the Eve universe in ways people don't want seem to be the reasons for the cancellation than anything else.

Dying_Jester:
While it always sucks to hear about lay-offs, it's nice to know that it is not because the company is in a financial crisis. I've not played EVE Online before(always been interested though), that hasn't stopped me from becoming a fan of the universe that they, and the players, have created within it.

Well, I wouldn't rely on what's being said overtly about financial straights of a company, after all many companies will try and present themselves as strong in order to attract investors, as opposed to saying they are in trouble which usually causes people to abandon them.

With CCP I think they have been in trouble for a while, indeed there were internal memos leaked which caused a scandal about how "Greed Is Good" right before they opened their cash shop complete with those really expensive monocles. Not to mention the general response to the whole "Captain's Cabin" thing followed by the whole fiasco about "walking around on stations" which some people wanted, and others did not, and divided their community. Then of course the whole "Dust" thing and how that divided the community both with people who were upset about it being able to affect EVE originally, and of course conversely people who were upset when it turned out to not have that much effect on EVE comparatively speaking.

Basically CCP has done a lot to slot off their player base, and while they report strong numbers in terms of active accounts, and individual players, there has been a lot of speculation about how many paying customers they actually have. Some EVE "refugees" that have talked about wanting another space sim like it but are playing easy games like STO while hoping for one (or so they claim) talk about how the actual player base has been greatly diminishing itself and there are probably far more bots than players at the moment, and very few of those players are actually paying for the game, instead they are buying PLEX, which contrary to how it's supposed to work (someone pays for each PLEX) are currently being seeded into the game by CCP without them admitting it. This is not to say they don't have paying customers, but that there aren't anywhere near as many as they like to let on. Considering some of the spam I've been getting in greater numbers than usual, and cut rate deals on PLEX and membership, it does seem these rumors coincide with CCP doing a lot to get people back. Lay offs followed by them dropping planned expansion in favor of "smaller updates" doesn't seem like a good sign all together. Of course none of this is anything that represents concrete proof, but to me it doesn't seem like CCP is in great shape. Given that CCP's strategy was to go for a very niche audience as opposed to aiming for WoW's wide appeal, and then proceeded to apparently alienate portions of that audience with various divisive decisions (things they probably should never have considered with an audience like this) without a general pool of new customers to draw on... well, I wouldn't be betting on CCP's strength as a company if I as an investor. To my eye it seems like the problems, and rumors, started, a while back when they decided to start that whole "Cash Shop" thing for cosmetic items, and while a neat idea, I don't think Dust actually helped their case much even if people played it, largely because it seemed as many people hated it as a very concept as liked it.

That said the WoD game was in development limbo for a while, half the problem to me always seemed like they bought the IP without much of an idea on what to do with it, other than vague plans of making an MMO. I don't think they were able to get it up to it's glory days as a PnP RPG (indeed I hear very mixed things, especially given the recent "God Machine" kick it's supposed to be on now), and without anything concrete going forward with the MMO it doesn't surprise me things didn't end well. Personally I always got the impression that the guys at CCP were kind of WoD fanboys and the whole WoD MMO was a big dream, and I suspect it wound up getting axed because they just couldn't afford it with their other plans falling through and gradually losing the revenue from EVE due to a diminishing, paying, player base.

Before anyone jumps on me, again, this is from rumor and speculation. To me at least it seems likely. When a company is laying people off, closing studios, and cutting off dream projects like the WoD thing when it went out of it's way to get the rights like it did, it's not a good sign, if someone says "we're not in financial trouble" when this kind of thing is going on that's an even worse sign, as companies that have hit a rough spot but think they can recover tend to be a little more straightforward about it. If the speculation is correct, CCP can't do that, because it's already been propping itself up for appearances for a while.

When someone in STO was questioned about the Plex thing (since I guess EVE has some fans there as well as "refugees") for example they did make a rather interesting observation that a lot of the time you can figure out where a PLEX came from, as in which player actually bought the PLEX. Yet there are some that appear on the market without a seller that can really be tracked down to an active account, as someone would presumably want the money for a character they are actually playing. What's more the whole PLEX market tends to benefit new characters, who trade real money for a leg up in the game, and the ambitions of becoming self sufficient and being able to buy PLEX. The thing is for that system to work you need a constant influx of newbies coming into EVE and getting involved enough in it immediately to want to spend real money to obtain ISK. Are there enough genuine newbies (as opposed to scam newbies) coming into the game to provide the Plex all of these guys at the high end are buying? Given the way the market has relatively stabilized it's suspicious since you'd expect that the PLEX would massively increase in price due to so many people trying to play for free without enough desperate newbies to effectively buy account time for them in exchange for game finances. It does indeed lead to some interesting questions if people actually have looked into it and run the numbers like accusors have said, and again it comes down to CCP putting the Plex on the market to support their regulars and keep the game community alive and looking strong in hopes enough attention will be gained to bring more people in.... and it seems CCP has been a lot more aggressive about recruiting or trying to get people to re-activate accounts than in a long time (I've gotten more spam from them over the last few weeks than I have in years).

beastro:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Seems like MMO development is a financial nightmare wrapped in a depth charge, set to go off when x-amount has been sunk into it. Apparently Blizzard has the keys to MMO productivity and shelf-life and refuses to hand them over. Kudos for them for torpedoing the competition without actually firing a shot.
Why am I getting all Naval militaristic all of a sudden? I'm a ground-pounder... well armored ground-pounder.
Not to say EVE hasn't certainly earned its place (it has) as a successful MMO, but the WOD game just seemed so ambitious, Copernicus scale ambition despite being WOD set in a very loved (or loathed depending on the fanbase) lore-space.
But fallout from bad investments happen, and even if this isn't indicative of more issues down the line, it certainly is never good news when dev's lose their jobs.

Dust and their fixation of expanding the Eve universe in ways people don't want seem to be the reasons for the cancellation than anything else.

I'm surprised EVE and CCP in general are even still in business. From what I've heard along the way, the company is horribly managed as it is. I've also heard that many of the devs who were working on WOD were junior level at best and the alpha was supposedly crap on a crap cracker.
Of course my hearing is out of tune sometimes and maybe I only hear what I want. Never was a fan of EVE in general, though it was cool in concept. I just didn't understand a game that seemed to be less about space travel and more about economics and spreadsheets with some space mixed in for flavor...
Still I've no idea about whats really going on with CCP, just that the rumblings I've heard were generally piss-poor management going on there.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

beastro:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Seems like MMO development is a financial nightmare wrapped in a depth charge, set to go off when x-amount has been sunk into it. Apparently Blizzard has the keys to MMO productivity and shelf-life and refuses to hand them over. Kudos for them for torpedoing the competition without actually firing a shot.
Why am I getting all Naval militaristic all of a sudden? I'm a ground-pounder... well armored ground-pounder.
Not to say EVE hasn't certainly earned its place (it has) as a successful MMO, but the WOD game just seemed so ambitious, Copernicus scale ambition despite being WOD set in a very loved (or loathed depending on the fanbase) lore-space.
But fallout from bad investments happen, and even if this isn't indicative of more issues down the line, it certainly is never good news when dev's lose their jobs.

Dust and their fixation of expanding the Eve universe in ways people don't want seem to be the reasons for the cancellation than anything else.

I'm surprised EVE and CCP in general are even still in business. From what I've heard along the way, the company is horribly managed as it is. I've also heard that many of the devs who were working on WOD were junior level at best and the alpha was supposedly crap on a crap cracker.
Of course my hearing is out of tune sometimes and maybe I only hear what I want. Never was a fan of EVE in general, though it was cool in concept. I just didn't understand a game that seemed to be less about space travel and more about economics and spreadsheets with some space mixed in for flavor...
Still I've no idea about whats really going on with CCP, just that the rumblings I've heard were generally piss-poor management going on there.

CCP were good back when Eve came out.

They started small, were patient, knew their game was niche and didn't rush. It took Eve years before it really took off and long after I quit, but compare that model to Kurt Schilling wanting to create a second Everquest and not wanting to waste time actually getting acclimatized to the gaming industry and just fling money at problems instead of learning.

From what I've seen their issues came down to expanding Eve starting with Dust. Everyone wanted them to add new things into Eve and were happen to hear of it until they heard it was a new game and an FPS. They're fanbase in niche and kept at making a game none of them wanted to play, then decided to only put it on Playstation when their whole fanbase is also 100% PC gamers.

So Dust didn't do well so they decided instead of falling back on Eve and recuperating to do the same thing again and start up with this Valkyrie business.

I have a feeling they're drunk on their past success and have lost their old mindset that made Eve work, only they're not in a position to keep making mistakes like this because they're too small to keep taking hits and screwing over Eve seems like a suicide pact to me.

Dying_Jester:
While it always sucks to hear about lay-offs, it's nice to know that it is not because the company is in a financial crisis.

Is that sarcasm? Or have you never heard that "merge and streamline" is the politically correct term for businessmen saying "we are completely fucked, start selling off branches to save whatever we can".

Well it's not surprising really since we got that insider from World of Darkness spilling CCP's awful management secrets.

Smooth Operator:

Dying_Jester:
While it always sucks to hear about lay-offs, it's nice to know that it is not because the company is in a financial crisis.

Is that sarcasm? Or have you never heard that "merge and streamline" is the politically correct term for businessmen saying "we are completely fucked, start selling off branches to save whatever we can".

Well it's not surprising really since we got that insider from World of Darkness spilling CCP's awful management secrets.

Yes it was sarcasm. Like the other post that quoted me said, anytime a branch is shut down or their or a number of lay offs it should be setting of warning flags.

 

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