A day after CCP issued its findings, as well as a scathing counter-attack against some of its EVE Online playerbase, amid mounting criticism over alleged developer bias, the main in-game faction behind that criticism expressed dismay over the company’s veiled legal threats and offered more examples of purportedly prejudicial treatment.
In an open letter to CCP, the leadership of GoonFleet, an in-game corporation leading the GoonSwarm alliance comprising over 4,000 players, struck a serious and sober tone not often associated with the goon gaming community.
The letter acknowledges that CCP’s explanation as to why a developer briefly joined a GoonSwarm corporation could be valid, but that the company’s allegedly defensive and unresponsive behavior, such as ignoring initial inquiries, left much to be desired.
The letter also pressed the point that the company has poor guidelines for inhibiting biased interactions between certain players and developers:
While this may not be your intention your reliance on outside volunteers compromises your integrity in this. You cannot monitor their communications. You cannot determine that they aren’t feeding information to their friends or other entities based on their personal bias. You are relying on unpaid volunteers without any checks that we are aware of in place to stop the flow of information outward.
The corporation’s leaders also honed in on one issue not touched upon by CCP’s investigation findings:
A BoB member claims to have an MSN contact for a developer, minutes later a developer is on the ISD IRC screaming at the reporter. 3 hours later the reporter is banned. You never did address the IRC incident or the timing. You managed to just deflect the allegations under a shield of “we had complaints and this was coming”.
The letter sharply rejected CCP’s own accusations that criticism of its administration of EVE Online was a maliciously-planned attack designed to smear the company and sabotage its assets:
Originally we were going to post about these issues on the EVE forum to bring them to light and then wait for CCP’s response. CCP’s response to this was to delete the letter…
Once it became clear that CCP was going to attempt to bury the issue through deleting the thread our members responded via the only avenue open to them, they made posts…By throwing such a bright spotlight on the issue we did something that an email to the IA department would not do. We forced CCP to respond in a swift and public manner and for this we make no apologies.
GoonFleet further said CCP’s accusations about denial of service attacks were “silly,” claiming that the forums were responsive until brought offline by the company itself “when it became apparent they would not be able to moderate the accusations away.”
In a final, yet repeated, complaint, the letter bemoans the alleged close ties between the MMOG’s developers and a powerful in-game faction, Band of Brothers. It also alleges a CCP employee’s job was implicitly threatened when he began fraternizing with goon members, with no similar prohibitions on other in-game factions.
The letter concludes, in part, “We are not asking for a day by day log of everything that goes on in CCP, but we are asking that CCP take further steps to increase its transparency. … Until the perception of bias goes away and steps are taken to make sure it doesn’t come back we will continue to make sure that issues are brought into the light.”