There are few games that are as reliant on their community as EVE Online. While the MMO market has become saturated with uninspired rehashes, CCP Games’ sci-fi MMO has managed to carve a niche for itself. Unlike other games of the genre, the universe of EVE has been almost completely shaped by the players and their actions within the game. Whether this is the game’s constantly changing economy or player-run corporations that vie for control in the expanses of space, the game’s player-base is its strongest asset.
CCP Games and EVE Online have recently hit turbulence in their connection with the community. Despite the fact that the long-awaited Incarna expansion recently saw its release and players are excited about the announcement of DUST 514, there has been a state of unrest among EVE‘s community ever since an alleged internal document from within CCP Games was leaked to the public just under two weeks ago.
Detailed within this document were CCP’s plans for the future of EVE, revealing their intention to further profit from the popular title. While micro-transactions have already been a hot topic within the community following the announcement that vanity items would be sold, albeit for a hefty premium ($70 for a monocle for your avatar), the document also contained details proposing the inclusion of micro-transactions for items which could affect gameplay, such as new ships and ammunition.
In a passage from the leaked document, it was stated that:
“As a subscription-based golden goose, Eve needs to incorporate the virtual goods sales model to allow for further revenue – revenue to fund our other titles, revenue for its developer: you.”
For a company that has built a product that relies so heavily on the actions of its community, it’s surprising to see that they view the players that have put in countless hours to make EVE into what it is, as just a way of making themselves even more money. For many, a mutual respect between company and player was assumed, but in one fell swoop, the leaked document damaged much of that connection.
While some sort of backlash was expected – and this isn’t the first time for EVE Online – no one could have predicted the events that transpired following the document’s leak. Jita, one of the game’s largest trade hubs played host to one of the most awe-inspiring in-game protests ever as players from all around converged on a single point, an indestructible monument, and unleashed their most powerful weapons upon it in an attempt to protest the newly-proposed micro-transactions. Check out footage of the protest below:
As the number of protesting players in attendance reached the zone’s capacity, players also moved to other major trade hubs within the universe, flooding them with activity and forcing CCP to shut down server nodes. It was through these actions that EVE‘s community proved just how much control they possess over the game’s universe. That night, players managed to completely halt the game’s economy.