CCP Paragon Live Stage

2022-04-25

Header Art by Major Sniper

Late on April 22, following the announcement of the EVE subscription price hikes, CCP Paragon took to the CCP Discord live stage to provide some further explanation of the change to players. The recording of this can be found on Soundcloud thanks to Hyprviper, but we have transcribed it for those who prefer to read through it.

The transcript has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity, but is otherwise unchanged. All questions were selected by CCP Paragon from submitted questions in Discord.

The Q&A

Is there going to be a significant content released to go with the changes?

OK, let me just first address the well, the short answer is yes. Let me just first talk about the timing we are doing this right before Fanfest and people are asking us like why are you announcing before Fanfest, people are just going to be mad.

Yes, we know, but we didn’t like just sitting on this until after Fanfest.

It was decided that we are going to do this and rather than just holding onto it, we wanted to be upfront about it.

if you decide that you are happy with the things that are announced at Fanfest then that’s great.

If not, then understandable.

But yeah, we absolutely wanted to do this up front.

And yes, we are announcing big content updates for Fanfest. It’s the largest one probably that we’ve ever done.

So the answer is yes.

I guess the main question is why?

And the reason why is explained in the news item, this is to cover cost of business.

Everything is more expensive, especially in the past few months. We have not increased prices.

We need to remain profitable so price increases are the last resort to do that.

EVE is doing pretty well, don’t get me wrong, in terms of, like, how do I say it?

Like I don’t want anyone to start freaking out like, uh, that EVE is in trouble or anything like that.

But like this, this is… it’s better to do this now than to do it later.

The primary reason for when I say early like doing it now, I mean in the span of like six months to 12 months or even two years. The primary reason is because we lost Russia, that that is the primary reason.

Have you guys considered that we’re going to lose a lot of players alt subs? Will increased profits from single sub cover everything they’re going to lose?

 That’s two questions.

Let me do the first one.

Have you guys considered they’re going to lose a lot of players alts?

Yes, that was a major concern for us. The problem with it is that we want to actually do something about it, but it wasn’t ready so we couldn’t have it part of the announcement.

But the idea that we’re working on is that we’re going to be offering like we used to do the power of two back in the day where you would have an alt. But when we think about people who have more than two accounts, it doesn’t really make sense to or like we did not have the possibility to just, spin that up on the spot for like what do we do if people have three accounts or or four accounts, or five accounts and we wanted to wanted those to be more heavily discounted, we are absolutely working on, uh, having multiple accounts being discounted from having just one account, we just don’t know what that is yet, but absolutely we are working on it.

What was the second part of the question?

Again, sorry.

Will increased profits from a single sub cover everything you’re going to lose.

I’m not sure, I need to just to prepare better to answer that question, I’d need to ask the people who actually did the math on this I I’m sorry guys I don’t know, this was a bit impromptu for me so I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’ll absolutely try to get that.

Let me actually write all of this down while I’m doing it.

How to justify being the most expensive MMO sub for one of the oldest games?

I’m not sure that we’re going to try to justify it.But I can explain to you what our point of view is on this. So if we compare ourselves to other games they are all priced in the 14.99. Eve is a game where we have the average accounts for players is, uh, like 1.7 or something which is higher than most other games. But many other games, they do a better job at monetizing microtransactions. They also have an expansion based model where you’re obviously getting a lot of content for the price you pay when you buy the expansion, but we are currently, I guess if you look at the total picture like we were slightly below what the other games were and now we are slightly above when I say slightly, I mean like 10% or so.

With like the total of games, if you want me to compare to a specific game then that I can do that, but, like yeah, yes it’s more expensive and like the justification is we are going to be doing a lot of work on if when I say a lot, I mean a lot, this requires investment, namely, employees.

So that’s the primary reason behind it is we are going to be reinvesting this into Eve Online.

There is an honest lack of new content. How can you seriously justify pressing this?

I think I just answered that.

Why is CCP not making money in the ways the Community has asked you to skins, cat ears, alliance content? Why do you push CCP sponsorships and subscription increase over what we’re begging for?

OK, let’s wait for Fanfest to answer that one.

Do you feel CCP provides more through EVE Online than WOW or FF14. Do you really feel that what you have is so good as to explain that?

OK, I play all of those games. Uh, do we provide more than World of Warcraft, absolutely, I tried playing the last expansion. It was garbage. I quit after the first raid tier. It was really bad.

Final Fantasy is actually pretty good right now like, that’s just…Yeah, it’s my opinion.

It’s a good game, whether  we think that it’s better as a unit like as an entity.., yeah sure, but that question is more like which game do you prefer, or which game do you think is more valuable?

It’s an individual based question like which game do you like more?

If you’re asking CCP whether we like Eve online then yes, we like it more than other games.

I hope I wasn’t trying to weasel out of that one, but I hope you get what I mean.

Do you think the content coming out is worth the extra 34%?

Well OK, so 34% it’s correct, absolutely correct number. It’s the price for a single Omega.

And it’s probably going to be a price for other omega accounts.

The base price for other omega until we fix the alt thing, which is our highest priority.

I think after fanfest we’re going to do..

Don’t hang me on this, but after Fanfest we are going to do a big sale as we have always done

Uh, like that percentage price is not necessarily, what you, uh, like everyone is going to have to pay

Uh, not saying that that this is the number that you did, the math on, it’s correct, but do I personally think the content coming out is worth the extra 34%? Yes, the things I’ve seen for Fanfest personally are probably the coolest things we’ve done in pretty long time.

Is Korea making you do this? Is this coming from CCP?

Uh, everything we do comes from us, It’s not really, there are no mandates that come from Pearl Abyss when it comes to running of CCP games in almost any capacity that I’m aware of at least.

It’s not explained in the news. You say to cover new content and there’s been no content.

Yeah, the content will be announced on Fanfest, but we wanted we wanted to announce it ahead of time because we felt it was a bit of a push to do the announcement first and then say that we are going to, be raising prices and you can think of that all you like. But at least you can meet us face to face and tell us how you feel about it. We’re not gonna hide behind monitors sitting on this we’d rather just tank it in person. That’s fine.

Price increases have happened in 2020?

Uh, no they have not. We do regular currency exchange adjustments. But uh, based on the US dollar it has remained the same since 2004.

Do you genuinely personally expect users to be happy enough with the new content releases that they will ignore the last few years of being jerked around.

Do I personally believe this?

I mean, that’s a decision that you personally have to make for yourself.

I’ve personally had a great time in Eve for the past two years, but, you just have to make this decision yourself.

Would you rather fight a price increase sized Rifter or 50 Rifter sized price increases?

Thanks for that one. 50 Rifter sized price increase is absolutely. Go big.

Why are you not focusing on growing PCU before squeezing your players away?

I mean, we are focusing on building the player base of EVE Online. This is a part of it it. It requires us to do things which we cannot afford unless we raise the prices like that’s the unfortunate reality.

Do you believe the increased price will cover the cost of business while most of the players will unsubscribe?

Well, we don’t think most of the players will unsubscribe. If we thought most of the players will unsubscribe, then we wouldn’t be doing this. We believe that, we know that, like some people are gonna unsubscribe. We know this. Hopefully what we show you is good enough so that you stay like that is the hope that’s the idea.

Wouldn’t it have made sense to do this increase alongside some good content like full pirate ship trees, new ships, alliance skins.

Yeah, I mean, that’s the idea.That’s the idea. We just, uh, we haven’t said what the content is yet. You will still have time to decide after you know what it is.

Are devs getting a 30% raise?

No (laughs) I wish it was so.

It’s not, at least not that I’m aware I might need to talk to my boss, but I don’t think so.

Why does CCP refused to create sales out of skins that would undoubtedly create a ton of new revenue for CCP.

Yeah yeah, like selling skins is not something we can scale indefinitely. At some point people stop buying more skins.I’ll have to talk to my senior monetization designer as to what the actual limit is on how much that can be scaled or or why we aren’t scaling it more, or what’s the scaling on that, but, yeah, as I understand it, it’s it’s not something I would just want to or can do is just to just sell skins.

Let me see

Are you claiming that CCP will not be profitable without the 30% increase on prices, who exactly is doing your math?

Not sure on that one. If we did what we are going to do, like, uh, the increased investment, we’re putting into EVE without doing this then yes, it would. I don’t think it would be profitable.

Foxholers as a corp expect to lose over 50% of the total accounts. How they expect the rest of the game to fare, and how much of an effect will this have on the wider Eve community.

Yes, I’m guessing this is based on the alt thing again. We are working on the solution for the alts.

I know this is pretty unfortunate messaging, that is not ready.

This is something that I personally and the rest of the Community team harped from day one since we learned about this. And everyone was very open to this suggestion.

Like we, we know that alts are a major thing and for you to be able to play the game with this many accounts and the price increase like this, we need to discount that in some way.

That’s the plan. We just don’t know what that is yet.

So what you are saying is if you guys don’t increase prices, that would be the end?

No, absolutely not. Eve is doing just fine, like right now, just as it is.

But if you want to, like do big expansion level content like really big stuff.

Then we need to expand and to expand, we need uh funding to reinvest into Eve Online.

Have you looked at an alternate revenue source from the game more cosmetic monetization or similar?

Yes, absolutely. Wow, it would be really easy if I could just talk about what they are, uh, the idea is that.

Fuck it, I’m just gonna say it.

Some of them are going to be tied into Omega.

Uh, you can, just, uh.

I’ll just take the fall if I’m not allowed to say this.

But, uh, yes, there are some services which have been highly asked about and the idea is that they will be tied into Omega.

So yes, absolutely.

We are thinking about more ways.

Uh, cosmetic or similar ways to monetize, but they will be tied into the subscription.

I wonder if he got permission to say these things, because if he accidentally says something stupid or off the cuff or baited into a dodgy non-perfect answer it’ll be drama llama

Yeah, that’s the.. I know. Absolutely, that’s the risk I’m taking right now.

I’m on vacation.I just sat down and saw this happening and I I didn’t like it.

So, if I say something wrong then so be it.

I’ll take full responsibility for that.

I’ll tank whatever heat comes my way.

How can you say Eve was doing well when we can all see the number of people logging into the game before Covid, after it, before Russia etc? We could see the downward trend.

Uh, yeah, by what metric are we asking here?

Is this player numbers we’re talking about.

Just clarify, ask again.

If we’re talking financially, or, uh, the amount of people logged in at any given time just, give me a metric and I’ll answer.

Is this a temporary change then? Do you commit to lowering again once the real life situation is resolved?

Personally, I have no idea.

I’ll tell you truth, I don’t, I haven’t heard this discussed anywhere that this was going to be temporary?

I haven’t asked, I don’t know, but I doubt it.

I think this is here to stay.

If we get Russia back will price go down?

Possibly.

Yes, has been thought about, but.

Uh, it’s it’s just like future like you need a very big crystal poll to make a decision like that right now.

If power two is not ready, then announce the change but don’t enforce it until it is ready.

Yeah, I, I think there’s going to be like a pretty heavy discount after FanFest, which means that like that the price is going to remain the same for at least a few months, even though it’s like technically becomes the base price. Everyone who buys it is still just paying the old price for at least a few months.

That’s what I was told would be the plan.

Did you announce it on Friday so we forget about it by Monday?

No. The reason we announced it on Friday is because we are getting everything ready for fanfest and we just came off at Easter break.

Which was a like a four working days which we missed out and we just we didn’t put it out until today because it wasn’t ready until today.

Trust me I don’t like it when I have to spend my Friday at night or Friday evening, uh.

Working, but uh, for you guys anything.

But yeah, we absolutely do not think you were just going to forget about it by Monday.

When you say lost Russia, are you talking about sanctions and unable to hire people labeled from Russia?

Yeah, we get zero income from Russia period full stop.

They can’t pay.

Why not release the price hike news in conjunction with the announcement of new content, it would better offset the news

 like we don’t want to offset the news like there’s nothing like, we hope that the announced updates to the game make it so that you decide that’s viable for you, or that you want to continue playing the game and pay for it.

The fact that your game is now getting more expensive like there’s nothing I could say that’s going to make you feel better, but like you’re never going to like it, it’s an inherently bad thing for you.

Like, but we hope it’s going to be worth it, like we’re going to do our absolute best to make Eve be crazy good for the next two years.

After the past two years where we laid the foundation for the work, and we’ve been harping this for two years that what we were doing and have been doing for the past two years have been for a reason and they are starting to be unveiled now.

We just, uh, we would rather that you know ahead of time that this is happening.

Right? That’s the only reason.

It’s just that we don’t want to do like a like a rug pull.

That would suck, right?

So we would build your expectations and then we would tear it down again.

At least now we’ll start from the bottom, so to speak.

What’s the time frame on the additional accounts discount?

Not sure, hoping I think the idea is that it covers the, that it in some form will be ready when when the offers expire.

Like I, I think that’s the plan. But don’t don’t hang me on it.

When you say you lost Russia, are you talking about sanctions and not being able to hire people?

I think I already answered this, yes?

We have we receive no income from Russia.

Russian players or yeah, people from Russia cannot travel herem so we cannot hire them.

If we wanted to.

A comment and a question. The announcement prior to Fanfest has players concerned that CCP will not deliver new content updates at Fanfest. CCP has been informing us about their work , mainly revisions to existing systems mainly around ecology & industry.

The only announcement we have is content updates for Fanfest.

There’s nothing else, I think. At least the, I can say it, maybe what you’re expecting?

Let me wait, let me think about that one.

Yeah, so in the in the in this context.

The announcements will be content for Eve Online yes.

New players are challenged with a game that rewards multiple accounts. Given this challenge to onboarding new players, how will this price increase impact the ability to attract new players to EVE Online? Will there be more of a focus to the “single account” experience?

so I can just say this for my own personal perspective right now, but I feel like in the past few years that that has actually been the case.

Uh, things that were easier to multibox have kind of been nerfed so they’re not as viable.

So that’s sort of already happened.

Don’t  you think it’s unfair for the rest of the players to pay more for someone else’s mistakes? And will the prices go down once the conflict is over, and Russia is back?

I don’t think it’s fair to anyone. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone involved in any of this.

But that’s the world we live in.

Will the price goes down once the conflict is over, and Russians are back.

I don’t know.

It’s too far into the future to speculate, and it’s too like anything could happen kind of deal.

Literally everyone else is $15, Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft

Yes, but they when they do big content expansions they also sell it in retail for a one off price.

So it’s a different model, but same idea.

So they were essentially like more expensive, slightly not trying to hide in a corner here from so being uh, you being wrong.

Don’t get me wrong.

But yes, they they are $15.00, but their expansions are paid for when they sell the expansion.

You mentioned large content expansions. Will these expansions work on the current and many issues within specific areas of the game? What will you be getting for the increased price?

Wait until Fanfest

Has CCP thought or looked into the way that prices fluctuate based on different regions. E.g., I’m in Australia with this price increase you’re looking at over $30. Certain companies like Blizzard supplements this by changing the price to Australian dollars instead of U.S. dollars. Have CCP looked into this at all. And if not is this something you can look into?

It is something I could look into. We already sell the game in other currencies besides U.S. dollars.

I think different currencies as a part of this pricing increase is possibly something we could do to relieve a lot. I haven’t been in conversations personally where this has been discussed, but I can for sure bring it up with the people involved.

I’m noting some of these down, by the way, I’ll do like a follow up post where I answer this in more details if I can’t answer them, by the way.

so as someone with 47 accounts i literally cannot believe i am FORCED TO PAY AN EXTRA 215$ A MONTH THATS US MONEY, to play this game where you have committed no work other than “cheaper dreads” or “changing indy and ruining that shit”, STOCK PILES THIS STOCK PILES THAT, give people a fucking reason to undock shit. lost all 47 subs today congrats.

Yeah I’m sorry. Sorry he’s leaving.

Hopefully you’ll wait until May 7th and then make that decision, but if it’s too much, then yeah, I’m sorry that that’s understandable.

I don’t believe the reinvestment story. I think the EVE Community is paying for the London studio development.

OK. So we have a few products which are not just EVE Online.

Namely echoes as well.

They are used to fund future projects.

That’s just how how business works?

You will need to fund your future projects and you do it with your current income

Hopefully that will also return in the opposite direction if they are successful, like that’s the.

That’s the whole idea.

If they succeed, then everything else also succeeds.

What are your expectations on a 24 month subscription, it’s very risky to commit to an unpredictable evolving game in two years terms

I would definitely wait for Fanfest and like what comes out of that. And see some offers that come out after Fanfest which I think are planned and making a decision.

Then I agree that it’s right now.Like today.

Yeah, it’s super risky.Don’t do it.

It doesn’t become available until later in May, so you have a few weeks to just make that decision.

Why did you not say any of this in terms of reinvesting into the online in the newsletter and need to do this now?

OK, sorry I I’m not sure I was involved with the making of that particular newsletter.

I’m just coming out of a short vacation.

But yeah, I think that’s definitely something that could have been added.

I’m pretty sure we did mention it though.

Let me see.

Read it a few times now.

It might have been worded differently.

Yeah, OK, I see.

Yeah, I think they just..they want to talk about it.

At Fanfest I guess.

When Fanfest is a flop, what will be the next justification?

I hope we don’t flop it.

What color is the CCP yacht?

It’s black.

That was a joke.

Follow up question why is it on the players to front this investment into the game pre content release instead of post content release?

It will be post content.

At least some of it.

It doesn’t…this price increase doesn’t take place until after we’ve revealed what it is and to do it we actually have to make it first that costs.

So I think it will be I think yeah, I think it’s in part true that they will be funded post or sorry,yeah, pre-content release, but not entirely.

Why do real world subscriptions costs vary so much between countries?

Uh, really game developers do this because some countries are just economically not as uh, like they make less money so. It’s better for the total health of game that they get the game at the discounted price so that they can participate.

And therefore have more players in their game.

This is pretty standard in in every game, not just MMOs but the video game industry as a whole.

It’s also just if it’s more affordable than, uh, they’ll also be more likely to to buy it.

Wouldn’t it be better for us to come out with better value for people to purchase? Alliance SKINs, Station SKINs, Cat ears…. How can you reject attempts to monetize but yet increase the base price?

Wait for Fanfest

What sort of new content can the playerbase expect?

Wait for Fanfest

How does this price hike help Eve’s finances in light of so many people unsubbing their alts or entirely unsubbing from the game? It’s a well known fact it business that oftentimes a lower price or product will actually result in higher revenue due to the higher demand due to the more palatable costs.

Yeah, like I’m sure they did the math and believe that this was. No, I I know for a fact that they did like they did the math.

They have their models and projections and expectations of what is going to happen.

We obviously wouldn’t be doing this if we thought that it was going to mean that there would be less revenue.

Let me see, I’m gonna wrap up soon.

I hope I’ve answered at least some of your questions.

I’ll take like a few more.

Let me pick a good one.

As in something I know I can explain

OK, I’ll just do this one because it’s super important.

Why not lay out what you are going to do and then announce a price increase to go with it. You can much more easily justify a change like this instead of just momentarily before fanfest. This is incredibly bad optics, and incredibly obvious to be the case. I wouldn’t be against a price hike if I had a list of reasons as to why. But as it stands right now it doesn’t seem like it is warranted. This is coming from a player who pays for plex, I have enough isk to where I don’t care if the cost of 1month of plex goes up 1b per char even.

Yeah, we know like it’s bad optics we know. We are tanking this because we don’t want to..We just can’t stand and meet people in the face at Fanfest in the way knowing we are going to do this without telling them ahead of time.

It’s just it’s cowardly.

We don’t want to do it.

That’s the truth.

At least in this way you come, you have this knowledge going into Fanfest right?

And there you know that there’s going to be no nothing of the sorts that’s coming afterwards.

Besides, what’s already been announced.

You know that Eve lives and dies by content created by players, not events when are you going to stop focusing on events you’re creating and focus on getting EVE fighting again.

Yeah, that’s the that’s the whole point.

I guess it’s a good way to end it.

I guess you’re talking about the live events we do, like the hunt and stuff.

Yeah, it’s uh.

That is, that is supplementary to the other things and.

I hope that you will not be disappointed.

OK.

I’m gonna call it.

Guys, thanks for thanks for the questions.

Uh, I have some follow-ups which I’ll post in discord, probably Monday when I have the answers.

I hope this was helpful.

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Comments

  • Rammel Kas

    Thanks for this. There seems to be a few more nuggets in the text here than just the highlights. I guess the news cycles for the next two weeks are critical.

    April 25, 2022 at 7:59 AM
  • Eve_Osir1s

    You know what this complicated slowly dying player-driven sandbox MMO needs: A higher barrier to entry and less people. That’ll solve everything!

    You know what this developer team that has put out no content and has spent the last two years undoing previous changes: more developers to work on a shooter instead. That’ll solve everything!

    This company has truly lost their marbles. I genuinely feel terrible for all the people afraid to let go that are holding on to the ride that is clearly spinning out of control at this point (developer and customer alike).

    April 25, 2022 at 8:12 AM
  • Guilford Australis

    Great interview. CCP deserved some tough questions about this, and I think Paragon’s answers let on more than he may have intended.

    I was already done with CCP after they spent five years relentlessly nerfing things players liked while refusing to address obvious problems that players hated. If I hadn’t already unsubbed everything and flipped CCP double birds on my way out the door, this would have been the last straw.

    April 25, 2022 at 2:14 PM
  • capi ❁

    Could you please translate this article into languages other than English and provide the source of the article? I mean, put the original link in the translation. In order to reach more people who do not speak English, I think it is a great article that everyone should know.

    April 25, 2022 at 6:40 PM
    • Rhivre capi ❁

      Which languages would you like it in?

      April 25, 2022 at 10:43 PM
      • capi ❁ Rhivre

        spanish

        April 26, 2022 at 2:09 PM
        • Rhivre capi ❁

          I have a spanish translation, I dont know how good it is, but if you can poke me on Discord (Rhivre#6282) then I will send it to you

          April 26, 2022 at 5:12 PM
  • Garreth Vlox

    “The problem with it is that we want to actually do something about it, but it wasn’t ready so we couldn’t have it part of the announcement.”

    Story of CCPS fucking life.

    “Then we need to expand and to expand, we need uh funding to reinvest into Eve Online.”

    If only they hadn’t blown the millions they made over the past decade on attempts at making more games they clearly weren’t ready to complete.

    “Uh, do we provide more than World of Warcraft,absolutely, I tried playing the last expansion. It was garbage. I quit after the first raid tier. It was really bad.”

    This feels like the kind of thing you would say if you’d played WoW but only ever heard about what EVER was like from someone who liked it. This makes me doubt the claim of playing the last 2 years involved them doing more than just logging in to complete the daily XP awards and maybe screw around with abyssals for a few hours a week.

    “Do you genuinely personally expect users to be happy enough with the new content releases that they will ignore the last few years of being jerked around.

    Do I personally believe this?

    I mean, that’s a decision that you personally have to make for yourself.

    I’ve personally had a great time in Eve for the past two years, but, you just have to make this decision yourself.”

    You can taste the awkwardly deliverd canned customer service script in this response through the screen.

    FANTASTIC job with questions it was nice seeing someone not pull punches and watching the CCP appointed sales person squim.

    April 25, 2022 at 10:05 PM