EVE Online Boss Apologizes For Everything

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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EVE Online Boss Apologizes For Everything


In an open letter to EVE Online fans, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson apologizes for "taking success for granted" and not listening to his audience.

EVE Online is a remarkable game. To some it's an Excel spreadsheet in space, but for a small, die-hard core of fans it's an engrossing online experience that allows them to blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality in ways that almost no other game can. It's also a great source of amusement for those of us who just like to watch the carnage [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/98186-EVE-Online-GoonSwarm-Disbanded] from a distance. But some rather serious and surprising rifts have developed in recent months between EVE players and CCP, an "estrangement" that Petursson admits is entirely his fault.

"The past few months have been very humbling for me. I've done much soul searching, and what follows is my sincere effort to clear the air with all of you. Please bear with me as I find my way through," he wrote in a lengthy message to EVE fans.

"The estrangement from CCP that many of you have been feeling of late is my fault, and for that I am truly sorry," he continued. "There are many contributing factors, but in the end it is I who must shoulder the responsibility for much of what has happened. In short, my zeal for pushing EVE to her true potential made me lose sight of doing the simple things right. I was impatient when I should have been cautious, defiant when I should have been conciliatory and arrogant when I should have been humble."

He claimed that CCP's success with EVE left him "less inclined to listen to pleas for caution," even as red flags went up in the community and within CCP itself. He acknowledged the poor handling of both the Captain's Quarters and virtual goods, although he said that both have the potential to become very positive aspects of the game.

"I fervently believe with all my heart that we've not even scratched the surface of EVE's potential. My personal failing is not reconciling that passion with pragmatism," he wrote. "We've been trying to expand the EVE universe in several directions at once, and I need to do a better job of pursuing that vision without diluting or marginalizing the things that are great-or could be great-about the game right now."

The full message [the quoted bits are just a small part of it] covers a lot of territory and while there's a temptation to blow it off as a lame attempt to win back customers, I have to admit that I'm impressed with just how far Petursson goes with his mea culpa. He's not just sorry, he's really sorry, and he spells out exactly why without ever passing the buck. It's interesting for his willingness to step in front of a bullet if nothing else, but I think it also bodes well for the future of the game. Check out the whole thing and decide for yourself if it's empty grovelling or heartfelt sincerity at eveonline.com [http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=2672&sp_rid=MzA1NTUyMDAwNgS2&sp_mid=37156067].


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Scytail

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Jan 26, 2010
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Reminds me of this South Park bit.
[iframe] width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BeP6CpUnfc0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe]
 

Tharwen

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May 7, 2009
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Breaking news: CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson is fired!
 

EmperorSubcutaneous

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Dec 22, 2010
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That's quite a good apology. Certainly feels more sincere than the vast majority of what you hear from developers.

I've never been interested in EVE, though, so an outsider's perspective is all I can give.
 

ThisIsSnake

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At least he's making up for the pointless Incarna expansion with a pvp oriented winter expansion.
 

ZeZZZZevy

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Apr 3, 2011
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It's always nice to see honesty (I don't even play the game, I just value honesty very highly) in someone in a position of relative power.

Hopefully the game gets back on track.
 

dududf

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Aug 31, 2009
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And yet I still smell bullshit.

There's no way he didn't see where this was leading. A CEO should have strong bullshit senses when he detects a threat to his company. No way in hell he didn't see this coming.

I'm leaning towards him not really being sorry and just trying to get a better image, while adjusting things that seems better /in comparison/ to what they were planning already.
 

neurohazzard

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Nov 24, 2007
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Oh Hilmar, I hope you're back, I really do. I loved what Eve was, and if you can fix what became a series of slaps to the face of the core player base, I'd probably play again.
 

The Great JT

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This just in, outraged with player behavior, HVP is chaning the game entirely from EVE Online to GURPS Bunnies & Battleaxes. According to him, "you're all now a bunch of rabbits. With battleaxes. In a fantasy adventure."
 

Bostur

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I thought there was a law against CEOs speaking so clearly and honest. Where is the corp-speech?

On the whole I think that blog was very promising, and quite unique of it's kind. It's also backed by more concrete developer blogs lately.

Had they released the current version of Incarna as a neat optional prototype, I think the players would have been much more positive. Thats how the new character creator was launched and it was received with almost universal applause.


dududf said:
And yet I still smell bullshit.

There's no way he didn't see where this was leading. A CEO should have strong bullshit senses when he detects a threat to his company. No way in hell he didn't see this coming.

I'm leaning towards him not really being sorry and just trying to get a better image, while adjusting things that seems better /in comparison/ to what they were planning already.
It's possible, but I think Hilmar and other CCP employees might have been so caught up in release schedules and the events that happened, that they missed the big picture. It can take a while to catch up in those cases.

And CCP is not a normal company by any stretch of the imagination. They do the impossible and make the most amateurish trivial mistakes along the way. Thats partly why EvE is such a unique game.
 

Roganzar

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Jun 13, 2009
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The Great JT said:
This just in, outraged with player behavior, HVP is chaning the game entirely from EVE Online to GURPS Bunnies & Battleaxes. According to him, "you're all now a bunch of rabbits. With battleaxes. In a fantasy adventure."
You know, I'd play that.
 

JasonKaotic

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Mar 18, 2009
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This is either a suck-up, or a nice thing to hear. Too many developers get too big for their own good and completely disregard the consumers, so if he's being genuine here this is a nice read.
But if he's sucking up, I flip a finger to him. No, two. On both hands. Twice.
 

Enkidu88

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Jan 24, 2010
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As someone who doesn't play EVE or really keep up with news about MMOs...what happened? Obviously something bad happened, the article touches on a few issues but those don't seem big enough for a huge apology like this.

So seriously, what did he do? My schadenfreude is itching to find out.
 

Charli

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Nov 23, 2008
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...I heard a small violin coming from somewhere, I don't know where it is but I definitely hear it...

How odd.
 

Ghengis John

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Dec 16, 2007
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"I fervently believe with all my heart that we've not even scratched the surface of EVE's potential. My personal failing is not reconciling that passion with pragmatism," he wrote. "We've been trying to expand the EVE universe in several directions at once, and I need to do a better job of pursuing that vision without diluting or marginalizing the things that are great-or could be great-about the game right now."
This comes off with all the sincerity and humility of a job applicant who lists under the feild for weaknesses: "Kryptonite."