To say that players were not happy with how CCP handled the Incarna microtransaction items launch would be a massive understatement. Players quite literally revolted in what was dubbed by some as monoclegate and players organized in-game protests, blockades and corporations even threatened to blackball anyone that bought one of EVEs new cosmetic items. Eventually EVE's player elected governing body, the Council of Stellar Management, was summoned to Iceland for an emergency summit to try and resolve the controversy.
CCP Associate Producer Ben Cockerill took to the stage at GDC 2011 to talk about some of the mistakes made by CCP and what they learned from the controversial launch of Incarna.
"In June this year we launched the item store and there were eight items in it at launch... We received a lot of negative feedback," he said. "The biggest part was that there was the perception that this was the beginning of a slippery slope, changing from the days where EVE is about skill... and about how many friends you have... to how much money you have."
Cockerill admits that CCPs efforts to target an audience for Incarna were a bit misguided given that there was no proven player segment for what they were developing content for.
CCPs CEO recently apologized to players in an official letter and vowed big changes to EVE Online in the months to come, but for now, Cockerill explains that CCP continues to add a small number of cosmetic items in waves. On a more interesting note, Cockerill did state that the notorious $65 monocle is CCP's "highest grossing asset." Of course, he also may know why the expensive and controversial cosmetic is so popular, "if you dock a ship and you're wearing a monocle, people come and fight you," he said, suggesting that may be a significant reason why it's so popular."
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