Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Thursday, May 6, 2010

7 years

And yesterday(?) was EVE Online's 7th birthday. I've been playing for 3 years 3 months now (longest continuous presence in an MMO so far). I must say that it's been a wild ride so far as my posts have indicated. In that time I've seen quite a lot of changes.
  • The dissolution of the T2 lottery.
  • Implementation of HIC class.
  • Implementation of Industrial Command class.
  • Changes to probing mechanics.
  • The "speed nerf".
  • Sov mechanics.
  • New graphics engine in the client.
  • The introduction of warp to zero.
  • The introduction of align to.
  • And many many other changes.
If there's one thing that's constant, it's the rate at which EVE evolves. This keeps it fresh. As much as Tyrannis is a hard sell, it still brings another block to the edifice that is EVE. Planets are no longer going to be just the "warp your pod to" places to escape pod death. Or "moon aggregators". The only thing that we really have to worry about is the fact that CCP has a track record of letting their expansions feel half finished compared to other MMOs. On the flip side they also make more changes to their MMO than other companies would dare to. It's been paying off for them.

6 comments:

David said...

I have been playing for 5 (ish) of those years, I had a 32M sp toon that I deleted and left the game for 6 months, then came back and now I am in it for almost 3 years again.

Before the warp to 0 option existed. Before you could rig a ship.

It was and still is awesome.

Cozmik R5 said...

When I read about EVE for the first time in PC Gamer I thought right away "this is crack!". And I was right. Sometimes I wonder where I'd be if I had bought the original S&S boxed version I once held in my hands...

Major changes Let forgot:

- Skill queue
- Wormhole space
- scanning

OkamiKurai said...

...oops

what I meant to say is:

...and I will just have to take yall's word for it (about it still being awesome).

Damn, not even warp to zero or align - talk about walkin to school uphill both ways. You old-timers can keep that shit ^_^

Of course, I say that now. Three years from now I will be probably sounding just like you guys to a newer player.

"....what??!! There was a time when you couldn't even interact with the planets??"

Hehehe time will tell.

Sally Bowls said...

I was intrigued by your "it's paying off for them" CCP is a private company and I don't recall every seeing revenue or profitability numbers announced.

Do you have any numbers that shed insight as to whether the stockholders consider EVE a success or a failure?

Letrange said...

Actually yes I have seen that. Although the biggest evidence that they are successful is that they have been growing over the last few years while people like the guys who make fallen earth have been shrinking.

Sally Bowls said...

As someone who has run several small companies, including some software ventures, I can assure you that growing revenue do not mean growing, or any, profits.

It could mean CCP is wildly profitable. It could also be that CCP has never turned a profit, or returned the shareholders better than they could have gotten in a non-Icelandic CD,. As you would expect from a private company, I can not recall any comments from CCP as to profitability.

Especially since CCP is in the subscription business just like magazine, cable, cell companies, etc. As such, revenue growth is largely driven by their marketing budget. Any time Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated, or CCP wanted to add another 100,000 subscribers they could; if they wrote Google and Yahoo and Microsoft a big enough check. The quality of a subscription business is how much it costs to get the new subscribers and how long they stay, and how much they pay while they are there.

E.g., if CCP increased their promotion budget 500% and raised new subscriber rate by 1%, you would say it was successful since they grew. I would say not. Similarly, halving the marketing budget a subscribers dropping by 1% could be a good thing.

Total WAG: Saying after paying direct costs of servers, network, etc CCP gross profit is about US$4/subscriber/month. (could be higher but its probably lower.) That is about $16m/year. Now in California, the fully burdened cost of a programmer is about US250k/year. I do not see how it is completely obvious they are doing well. But as I am not a stockholder and there are lots of MMOs, it is not a huge worry for either of us.