A disaffected former CCP developer says CEO Hilmar Pétursson didn’t write that apology. Guess who did?
Back in 2011 things were looking pretty rocky for CCP and its flagship title, EVE Online. Fans were blowing up, raging on the forums and in-game over its new microtransactions policy, which introduced incredibly expensive vanity items into the game. Chief among these was the infamous $70 monocle, or ‘Looking Glass Ocular Implant,’ which came to symbolize the whole failed strategy. In November 2011 CEO Hilmar Pétursson went so far as to issue a heartfelt apology for the whole mess, an apology which at the time was accepted as sincerely meant.
“He’s not just sorry, he’s really sorry, and he spells out exactly why without ever passing the buck,” wrote Andy Chalk when the apology was issued. Now, according to former CCP developer Nick Blood, it’d seem that apology might not have come from Pétursson at all. Blood, speaking on wider issues concerning the development and collapse of White Wolf’s World of Darkness MMO, alleges that the apology was actually composed by the fiction team.
“He had members of our storyline team – a group responsible for writing in-game content and fiction – put it together,” says Blood. “He was either so out of touch, so arrogant, or perhaps both, that he couldn’t find the words to say himself. They bailed him out big time.”
Blood describes a World of Darkness development process for which the world dysfunctional seems almost complimentary; it failed again and again, returning to alpha build three times and scrapping it three times, no effective management, and continual poaching of the World of Darkness team to bail out EVE. The result, of course, was project death.
Blood no longer works in gaming. “I left voluntarily, out of disappointment at what the industry is increasingly becoming.”
If you’re interested in what CEO Pétursson said – or perhaps didn’t say – at the time, it can be found here.