CCP: Expanding and Dumbing Down
After an entire decade focused solely on one game (EVE Online) CCP are finally branching out into new territory. But, they warn, a change like this is fraught with risks and can lead to developers becoming "very dumb, very quickly." Speaking in an interview with Gamesindustry International, CCP's Chief Executive Officer, Hilmar Petursson, had some pointed comments to make on the matter.
"That sort of self-division, structuring the company around multiple products, is something that we've taken a lot of time to do. Now we're in that world, we're much better structured to make that a continued success without losing focus on EVE, which is obviously hugely important to us. There's a lot of focus on learning when you have a bigger company, to make sure the entire system is learning. The biggest shift was realizing that. A big company can become very dumb, very quickly. The larger the group of people becomes, the more you lose efficiency, fluidity, creativity, and innovation, unless you structure it very well."
Those are some very strong words indeed, and I'm sure we can agree to their veracity. The history of the video game industry is frought with tales of small studios branching out into something new, full of spunk and big ideas, only to fall flat on their faces because they have no bleedin' clue what they're actually doing. Looking at a game and thinking 'this is so simple' does not make it an easy thing to copy, as the dizzying array of failed Call of Duty clones can attest.
As for what these future plans will be, we already know CCP have been working on another MMO (that seems to have become vapourware by this point) based on the World of Darkness. Though it was mentioned at EVE Fanfest earlier this year, so who knows? Hopefully they will also follow up with the 20% developed Oculus Rift sub-game too. But beyond that, it's anyone's guess. The only thing I'm willing to state with any certainty is, whatever they work on next, I will be keeping a very close eye on it. But what about everyone else? Comments below.