David Reid hates themeparks

Via JesterTrek, RPS has an interview from CCP CEO Hilmar Petrusson and new CMO David Reid about EVE, Dust 514, and other stuff. Nothing terribly interesting in terms of details, but I was fully entertained by Reid’s rather obvious hate for themeparks now that he has left Trion.

Some fun quotes:

That might be unique in the industry, with World of Warcraft taking a dive last year. Eve is the one game that has grown every year since it launched, the only one.

One of the things that’s distinct about Eve and CCP, in comparison to standard MMOs like WoW , is that you’re getting a lot that’s the same from those other companies but Eve year after year continues to add new elements and gameplay. It’s not just zones or monsters, there are new play patterns all the time.

It’s easy to forget, against everything else that’s out there, with everything being sharded, how shallow those experiences tend to be and how meaningful action in Eve is compared to another game.

Although, that’s interesting to think about; that the question is even worth contemplating for a moment, speaks to something about this game and community. This is really different from selling platinum in Rift.

You make a good point; how many fantasy MMORPGs with tanks, healers and DPSes can the consumer base swallow at one time?

The notion of, at its core essence, of what an MMO is; a game that allows for persistence and massive socialization, yet I still as an individual have a unique identity in that universe… it really feels like this is something that hasn’t any cap in sight. I don’t know if I’d want to invest in the next great fantasy MMORPG, but I wouldn’t want to put my money anywhere else but in this sector.

That last quote, about what an MMO is all about is spot on. Granted its coming from a PR guy, but at least someone is saying it.

I think I actually like this Reid guy. He should start a blog.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, Mass Media, MMO design, Rift, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to David Reid hates themeparks

  1. Go @CCP_Pokethulhu. You at least know which game you are working with.

    Now we’ll see if he remembers that line about “a lot that’s the same” when the Nobel Exchange comes up again.

    • SynCaine says:

      I think it was in the CSM meeting minutes that CCP said they have more stuff for the Nobel Exchange ready to go, but are cautious to even put that out given how EVE players feel about the whole ordeal.

      I’d be pretty surprised if they do anything significant in that area, unless it’s taking the art assets and making them part of the regular (ISK) economy.

      • I think, in the end, it was the idea of non-cosmetic items and the impression that devs were working on this sort of thing and not flying in space, that were the real key issues.

        The thing is, with talk of IPO in the air, there will be pressure to show how CCP is expanding revenue and everybody who doesn’t actually play MMOs loves the cash shop idea. It will be tough to leave that alone when there is already a cash shop in EVE.

        CCP could play it right. I think if they offered up some custom ship skins or corp/alliance logos on ships, they would come across as doing good. More clothing though? Maybe not. And let’s not even breath a word about gold ammo and actual ships for sale.

        • Peter Newman says:

          I really think the custom skins and corp/alliance logos on ships are very, very likely. Adding manufacturer/race logos and badges to the ships is part of the currently ongoing “v3” ship remodeling. And there’s been people posting custom skins on #tweetfleet – these are applied/viewed using a 3rd party model viewer for EVE, but even so, clearly the demand is there.

          I’d pay money for the completely pointless fluff of having my alliance name emblazoned on my ship Especially during fleet ops. Pointless? Yes. Cool? Hell yes.

  2. Sleepysam says:

    I claim no expertise but the most interesting thing to me was the supercomputer discussion – I hadnt read that kind of explanation of eve’s differences with other mmos – I had semi assumed the others were just doing it wrong rather than also avoiding an investment in “supercomputers”

    • SynCaine says:

      If you dig a bit, you can find a lot of info on what CCP does tech/hardware wise from their blogs. If that kind of stuff does it for you, it’s pretty interesting reading.

      That said, part of it is spending the cash to get the hardware. At the same time, you have to have the hardware and programming guys to make it work.

      Does Blizzard have the cash? Yup, way more than CCP. Do they have the talent? Not sure. Does the company as a whole focus in that direction? Clearly not.

      • Rammstein says:

        Can’t really blame Blizzard for not putting their focus on making crowded areas of WoW run more smoothly. Seeing as how those areas are SW and Org, and most people there are standing still anyway.

        At this point, I’m judging Blizzard’s relevance to me by D3 and Titan. It was fun debating how/why WoW went downhill for a while, but it was never really THAT fun, and now even that is gone.

        Like the quote says :”One of the things that’s distinct about Eve and CCP, in comparison to standard MMOs like WoW , is that you’re getting a lot that’s the same from those other companies but Eve year after year continues to add new elements and gameplay.”

        There’s merit in a standard automobile, but is there merit in a “standard novel”? Standard novels do exist, and they sell in large quantities, but no one debates why they are bad. They just are. People have accepted that “standardness” equates to inevitable mediocrity in that arena, and soon enough MMO’s will occupy that same mental space.

        • sleepysam@live.com says:

          Well, I can blame them for it – they might have implemented an EPIC battle with that huge customer base and commensurate cash flow – if they were a little more ambitious. I do understand that when the money is pouring in already there is not much incentive.

        • Rammstein says:

          Yes, an epic battle, once they implement something worth fighting for. Like, perhaps, technetium moons and more valuable mineral and rat spawns in a lawless 0.0 space?

          The point I was making simply was that there’s no reason in WoW to congregate massively, so the money for the tech to enable massive congregation would be ill spent. If you’re going to blame them for not making WoW different than it is to fill your desires, then why not extend that blame to every desire you have that WoW doesn’t fulfill? To not sleeping with you on the first date, to not eradicating your love handles, WoW fails to be all things to all people in so many ways.

        • Peter Newman says:

          What possible reason could they have for epic battles between humans and orcs? I seem to remember a whole lot of lore about that… something called Warcraft? It’s been so long, now…

          When WoW started, I thought that’s what it would be. Warcraft 2, but with humans behind the units, maybe even something troop based, making the players more like the hero’s from Warcraft 3, with supporting NPCs.

          How wrong I was.

        • Rammstein says:

          “What possible reason could they have for epic battles between humans and orcs?”

          I was referring to a reason for each individual player to repeatedly take part in epic battles as part of an MMO –i.e. gameplay not story, as story never generates repeated action like that without some assist from the gameplay itself. You’re referring to the exploitation of xenophobia as a storytelling device to generate conflict in a simplifed, immature way…so, even though so far we’ve managed to have a conversation despite failing to agree on the subject of the conversation, I still disagree with you completely. Blizzard is the company that became famous not only for orcs vs humans, but also humans versus the devil, so they obviously understand exploitation of the simplest presentations of good vs. evil, but even they toned down the conflict to make an MMO. Takes all kinds, though. Perhaps we’d better just agree to disagree.

        • SynCaine says:

          Very early in WoW, there were reasons to have massive battles. Town invasions, capital raids, Tarren Mills, etc. Now sure, none of those were hardcoded “do this to get a reward” reasons, but WoW was not always the instanced PvP playground it is now, and in 2004 town raids were fun as hell.

          That Blizzard went instanced instead of supporting world PvP is a choice they made.

        • Rammstein says:

          The town raids were fun for a few reasons. You could look at it from Gevlon’s perspective, and say the baddies came to be bossed around by the decent players, and the decent players came to farm the bads. You could look at it from a community perspective and say that Tarren Mill and organized cross faction dueling in the tram was fun because that was the process of community formation, as the top pvpers from each realm got to know each other through conflict, and then started to log into each other’s vent servers, etc. Many of the top arena teams in BC that I associated with were composed of people who met killing each other in Tarren Mill.

          I agree that blizzard made a choice to go instanced pvp instead of support world pvp, and yes that choice might have been motivated by a desire to keep the hardware small. Still, I don’t see world pvp Tarren Mill style as being viable long run without adding in EVE style objectives that are actually worth fighting for, unlike the pallid alternatives Blizzard came up with. Again, it comes down to the basic structure of WoW. 2 factions = no way to concentrate the reward down to a small enough percent of the players to make it appealing to elite players. Any reward given to either all of one faction or the other is necessarily small, to preserve game balance. Maybe territorial changes, but that messes with the immensely popular quests Blizz designed.

          I never played DAOC, which seems like it would have been a possible model for what you’re talking about,and was relevant at the time. I imagine that 2005 Blizzard, newly flush with cash and success, wasn’t looking to imitate smaller games anyway–save the imitation they’d already done.

  3. Azuriel says:

    David Reid’s blog would be “I like whatever the people currently paying me likes.” Seriously, look at this Youtube video of him shilling Rift. He’d do better in politics, and I say that with as much bile and derision as possible. Filthy, filthy marketeers.

    As far as EVE being the only game growing year over year, well… I can’t wait to see how the IPO plays out. I’ve heard the 400k figure, but MMOData is saying EVE actually went negative in 2012 so who knows for sure. Churn rates and profit margins are the only objective measures of success IMO, and we typically aren’t privy to the details.

  4. Bernard says:

    I’m hoping CCP will put their money where their mouth is with World of Darkness. I’m expecting a fantasy MMO with:

    -Entirely player run environments
    -Limitless players in one place at one time
    -No theme park rides/scripted encounters
    -No shards/phasing
    -Single global player-run economy
    -No hot-key bashing
    -Massive PvP which is balanced at the same time as allowing every player to make a difference
    -No pay to win
    -No catering to the needs of casual players/tourists
    -A game whose user base grows exponentially forever

    The blogosphere has led me to believe that these are fair expectations.

  5. Gesh says:

    “Eve is the one game that has grown every year since it launched, the only one.”

    I call bullshit on this one. Before Crucible Eve was stagnating at best, but I’m pretty sure there was a slight decline. Short before Tyrannis the pilots logged in were near 60k (in the peak hours). Nowadays is more like 45k (more or less). And if you call this an anecdotal evidence, head over to jester trek, where the dude have nice graphs with numbers and everything.

    Otherwise a good read.

    • Gesh says:

      “the dude *has* nice graphs”

    • Aidan P. says:

      Well, the constant growth assertion is “technically” true if you count the total number of accounts instead of just active ones.

      • Gesh says:

        Yeah, sure, but the inactive accounts don’t bring money in. By the ‘total number’ logic WoW would still be growing too, I’m sure my account is still somewhere in their databases, but Blizzard are hardly happy about the -2m subscribers.

        This is why this is a bullshit statement IMHO. :)

    • Loire says:

      I don’t want to look into this too closely because it’s not worth my time by I’m pretty sure the assertion is by the end of 2011 following Crucible there were more active accounts then at the same time in 2010.

      The fact that EVE grew greatly following Incursions and then dumped a load of accounts following Incarna doesn’t matter to the claim.

    • CCP’s assertion in their 2010 financial report was that they had ~360,000 paid subscribers at the end of the year. For 2011 they said they had just over 400,000 paid subscribers. Take that for what it is worth.

      Given that the game is a single server shared by all time zones, I am not sure how much weight to give peak logins.

      Meanwhile, CCP lying about subscription numbers in the same announcement where they are talking about an IPO seems like a very easy way for them to get sued, misrepresenting material fact and such. But they have done dumb things before. Witness Incarna!

      • Loire says:

        I don’t know why they have to be lying. One needs only to have been perusing Failheap-Challenge, a bastion for the most bitter of bittervets, to see just how much goodwill Crucible built.

  6. Barrista says:

    I’m sure he’ll have the same praise for the next company that is paying him to praise them.

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