After a week of intensifying controversy and complaints about alleged bias and improprieties in EVE Online, CCP released its official investigation results, firmly rejecting all allegations and lambasting the motives of some of the accusers.
In a developer’s blog released yesterday, CCP rejected several allegations regarding supposed interference and bias in the “political” struggles between two major competing factions in its space-based MMOG, EVE Online.
CCP said its employees did not join a player corporation with the goal of spying or meddling, but rather with the purpose of clearing up a production backlog that was stuck.
The report features a number of screenshots to dismiss this and similar allegations of malicious or improper administrative action. Unmentioned, however, was one allegation largely fueling the flare-up of diatribes on the community forums and elsewhere: that leaders of one in-game faction maintain close personal ties to CCP employees using out of game communication to discuss game-related matters.
In addition to its analysis of the accusations, CCP also issued a blistering assessment of the accusers themselves, worth quoting at length:
Since last Friday, an unnamed corporation posted over 4000 times on EVE’s message boards concerning these allegations. In addition, 1046 posts were made on Digg.com; 235 comments were added on Slashdot; and made multiple EVE-related edits on Wikipedia….
The volume and timing of these near-simultaneous references is no coincidence: we were the target of a carefully constructed and well-timed social engineering effort by one of the largest player groups in our community. The intention? To undermine EVE Online and the credibility of CCP Games…
More specifically, the objective of this scheme was to permanently paint CCP as a biased and corrupt company that favors a select group of players over the rest of our community. In this particular case, instead of receiving notification of a possible problem and sufficient time to examine and address it, we faced a coordinated and hostile attack executed on our forums, Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot, and other outlets at the beginning of a three-day weekend. We believe this speaks volumes of the intention of the person(s) responsible for orchestrating this scheme…
Claims that the goal of this effort was to expose corruption within the company cannot be taken seriously. They are simply a smokescreen intended to mobilize and use the EVE community against CCP.
Also noteworthy is the elliptical reference to possible legal action against players deemed as part of the “smokescreen”:
The fact that this attack took place over a holiday weekend was especially revealing of motive, which we believe was specifically by design to ensure that CCP would not be able to react as fast and efficiently as we would under normal circumstances. The allegations investigated above by this internal affairs department will also be examined by our legal resources, as we do not intend to sit idly by while our servers, community and reputation are under attack.
The in-game faction associated with the thrust of complaints about CCP’s alleged bias is Goonfleet, a gaming community originating from the SomethingAwful.com website. Its response is currently unclear. The in-game CEO resigned today citing disgust with CCP’s veiled legal threats, but the corporation is infamous for teasing and diverting observers with such proclamations.