When I started my "Burning Eden" series of posts during my summer break I never thought I would have to add to it a few months down the road. But here we are four months after the infamous Jita Riots, and despite some efforts to reconnect with the community after letting it down in a big way with the Incarna/NEX/Greed debacle, CCP once again managed to hit a massive foul ball. 24 hours after bringing back a feature of EVE Online which had been basically a trademark of the game, and getting showered with shouts of relief, CCP announced that basically in order to survive as a company, it had to lay off 114 people. Most of these were working on World of Darkness, but the part that I'm still trying to understand is how they layed off the community team. After folding themselves in 4 saying "Incarna sucked, we're sorry, we'll listen to you a bit more now". If you fire a community team, one that did everything it possibly could to shovel water out of a clearly sinking boat earlier this summer, just how the hell do you think the community will react?
I understand the business part of having to lay off people. It is now clear that the wave of mass unsubs coupled with the way CCP had become over-stretched trying to juggle 4 monsters at once (EVE, Incarna, Dust, WoD) had the effect of the company suddenly not having enough income to keep everybody working. But further alienating the community, this I don't get, and I don't think I'll ever get it.
So, am I unsubbing come the 17th of December? So far, I don't think so. I like EVE enough to believe that CCP will not let crash into the ground if they remember the reason they created this awesome game. I asked myself all the "unsub" questions during my summer break and guess what, I even resubbed in advance of when I thought I would! But after the dust has cleared (no pun intended) I will be anxious to see how CCP directs its energies to make what is already a good game better. If EVE goes back to being the main focus as opposed to a test bed for other games then they might yet have redemption. But after so many foul balls I'm very afraid for the future; one missed swing and it's a strike out. In the meantime the winter expansion is coming soon... let's see what throw the pitcher serves...
PS: Head on over to Rixx Javix's EVEOGANDA and listen to RockCalledSteve aka Moose's one-off podcast. It's worth a listen.