Blog Banter # 60 - Measuring Success
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 60th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.
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Jakob Anedalle of Jakob's EveChecklist blog asks:
With Phoebe about to land, CSM Minutes now out, and more of CCP Seagull's vision from Eve Vegas it appears CCP has a bold roadmap, is making big changes, and is willing to take a hit in the short term to see it through.
Long term, what do you see as the measurable signs that will tell us that they've succeed?
What do you see as the outcome that we'll see as players?
Is it concurrent player count or something else?
What is success? That is a tough question for any field much less a recreational game. Do we measure it by fun and enjoyment? Do we measure it by financial success for CCP? Money? Logins? Subscriptions? Or all of the above?
Above all CCP is a business and I think we would be remiss in not looking at the financial side of this first. CCP makes its money from subscriptions and account services. The easy answer is to say their success can be measured by an increase in subscriptions. The cynic in me would say that concurrent logins aren't a concern to CCP as long as the subscriptions keep coming in.
That does ignore the fact that video game developers aren't just business oriented. They are also artists. They care about their creation and want to see people enjoy it. It's a careful balance of getting people to enjoy what you have created and still putting food on the table for their families. So, the basic measure of success is people playing the game and enjoying it. Focus on attracting players and the money will come of its own accord.
So, what brings people to EVE and what keeps them here once they come? In a world with many many MMOs what makes people play EVE instead of WoW, SWTOR, LotRO, Guild Wars 2 or any of the multitudes of other products out there?
The easy answer is because of the sandbox. In EVE you have the freedom to create, explore and destroy however you want. I'd like to go one step further. The biggest draw to EVE are the stories. I don't mean the lore but rather the player driven stories. Sure they're not always written down. They don't have an author or creative team. But they feel very much real because they are created when the dreams and aspirations of real people intersect while flying around in internet spaceships. We regale each other with stories over vent, forums, chats and physical meetups. Stories of what we saw. What we built. What we destroyed. Who we killed and who we got away from. Stories of giant battles and stories of lurking on the edges of space. Politics and Economics.
This is how CCP can succeed. Create more tools. More props. More scenes. Then let the players create their stories. How do we know if they have succeeded? We'll know because we will hear more stories. More buzz. More excitement. More people curious of this crazy game where crazy things happen. Things that just don't happen in any other game.