Eva so tragic

Drama bombs are practically an EVE Online feature and this week is no exception.

“Today Eva “Ankhesentapemkah” Jobse was removed from the Council of Stellar Management due to a breach of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA). We are deeply saddened but feel that it was the only possible solution in order to protect the integrity of the Council of Stellar Management”. – CCP

Ankh’ has long been a controversial figure in the CSM, promoting her campaign for election on a platform of ‘carebear’ sympathies and general love for high sec.  Needless to say this was the equivalent of poking stick like objects into a hornets nest and EVEs more vocal community of pirates, griefers and general Carebear haters were quick to take up arms on the forums and much mudslinging ensued.  Ankh has hardly helped her cause by implying in her CV / resume details that she is somehow intimately involved in the game design of EVE Online.

However, Ankh’s campaign was not unsuccessful securing the second highest number of votes at the last CSM election providing at least some legitimacy to her complaint that high sec carebears weren’t being properly represented or listened to by CCP.

Whilst Ankh’s dismissal by CCP for breaching the NDA is of interest in detail there are broader ramifications to consider.  Ankh was not the first CSM member to be booted from the hallowed halls of CCP’s CSM with Larkonis being similarly thrown out for abusing his insider knowledge of a future patch to profit on the market.  Clearly with two players being dispatched opinion is divided as to whether the maxim ‘even bad news is good PR’ applies here.

What interests me is the stark contrast between CCP, operating as it does as a professional business (to make money) and the CSM as a whole which at times appears to be nothing more than a collection of petulant children throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.

The core issue, in my view, is that the CSM is caught between a rock and a hard place.  If it has no power or influence with CCP its function is questionable.  If it does hold power and influence then its ad hoc volunteerism seems ill equipped to negotiate or deal with CCP as a company.  At least two players now have will fully chosen to ignore or outright attempt to subvert the very process and institution to which they were appointed.

Numerous blogs and commentaries from CSM members themselves paint a picture of a internally fractious and often quarrelsome group who are both arrogant and confrontational towards  CCP .  There seems to be a tangible sense of ‘us vs them’ which perhaps is born of the genesis of the CSM itself.  There is rarely any impression of the unparalleled opportunity provided to CSM members to have an open dialogue with CCP, more over the concurrent theme seems to be of a CSM getting little if any traction with CCP who are in turn reluctant to give way.

Is this any wonder? If any company is faced with a squabbling gang of customers their egos inflated to the size of a small moon by their supposed legitimacy of a ‘democratic process’ how would we suppose they would react?

It is time the CSM recognised that they are only representatives of the EVE Online community and that their legitimacy is only supported by a very very tiny fraction of that.   They are not, and should not be viewed as, all mighty game designers backed by the mob.


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6 Responses to “Eva so tragic”

  1. Struck the issue squarely on the head it seems to me!

  2. Altaree Says:

    This is partly CCP’s fault when they elevated the CSM to a stakeholder. This means the CSM should get to be a part of setting the priority for the devs. Not just being advisors. Being a stakeholder means they have a seat at the table when the backlog for the sprint is being decided. The backlog was decided before they got to Iceland and the CSM feels justifiably betrayed.

    • The question you need to ask though is why was the backlog decided before the CSM arrived? The logical conclusion is that CCP didn’t want any CSM interference at that stage – which in turn implies that CCP doesn’t truly value the CSMs input which, based upon the general attitude and behaviour of past and current CSM members, is not really so surprising.

      • Shandir Says:

        Which means that they never really were stakeholders in the first place, and CCP needs to either give them the position that (in my opinion) some of them have earned, by being rational, well spoken voices of the players – or stop pretending to listen.

  3. good riddance to bad rubbish. break the NDA suffer the consequences, and they are in a huge bind as a stakeholder ( in the development sense) they are trying to represent what WE want. If CCP didn’t want to know why ask? Too late now they have asked and supposedly “elevated” these people to do something that CCP doesn’t really want them to do…influence the game.

    Do you cut and run? Go the other direction? How can they take back what they have given now that WE ( those that elected folks) know CCP won’t do shit about what we are asking.

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