Updated Sat, Feb 04, 2012 by Ethec
Is your vision for World of Darkness to make its persistent universe a platform for game development, as you’re doing with EVE Online with the advent of DUST 514?
Hilmar Pétursson: I would more describe our vision for World of Darkness as taking all of our experience as CCP, all the history and refinement of the Vampire: The Masquerade IP in the last two decades, and combine these two things into something the world has never seen before.
David Reid: Part of the opportunity and challenge for me in my discipline is to make sure that people understand that it’s not so much that CCP is shipping a new game this year, it’s more that CCP is dramatically expanding the EVE universe this year. We think of World of Darkness as that second universe.
There is an amazing base of battle-tested technology here – a single shard that runs Tranquility, that has held Guinness World Records for peak concurrency – taking the tech, the human intelligence, methodology, and experience that we’ve got, and building that second universe with a very different flavor of moment-to-moment gameplay.
World of Darkness is less of a new platform and more of a new universe, with all kinds of ways to tunnel into it as whatever sort of gamer you happen to be, in a way that is much more accessible than the EVE universe tends to be for someone whose not a science fiction person. Everyone’s a modern era person. When they see what we’re able to do with that new universe and that intellectual property… well, it’s a really big opportunity.
"To see CCP react, to see Hilmar and others own up to a sense that the community has something to say, and that against a backdrop of Arab uprisings in the Middle East, we’ve got Occupy Wall Street, and we’ve got EVE Online. Where else does this happen in the online world?"
2011 presented a lot of challenges for CCP, especially with the fallout surrounding the "Greed is Good” newsletter leak, which left many in the EVE playerbase feeling a bit objectified as purely a source of revenue. David, as the incoming chief of marketing, what’s your perspective on that episode?
David Reid: It was an interesting thing to be watching from the sidelines, as it were, while at Trion. To see CCP react, to see Hilmar and others own up to a sense that the community has something to say, and that against a backdrop of Arab uprisings in the Middle East, we’ve got Occupy Wall Street, and we’ve got EVE Online. Where else does this happen in the online world?
These people are citizens of New Eden, they’re a big part of what has made it great, and they have entrusted or maybe elected CCP to be their government.
When Hilmar’s “Love Letter” came out, you saw people rally around CCP – there was a sense that they knew CCP could pull through it. It was a tough year in many regards, and yet EVE Online continues to defy the gravity that I’ve seen in every other MMO I’ve worked on. Eight years in a row of growing… if you can grow after a year like that, what’s going to hold you back?
As the new CMO, how do you match the marketing traction that some of the biggest headlines EVE has created just by being EVE – the great alliance wars, the ISK fraud scandals, the internal cheating allegations?
David Reid: First and foremost, a big part of what’s exciting about EVE to everyone in our industry is that it’s not something where the developers sit down and say, “let me construct an event… let me write a narrative.” The players drive the content of the universe in many ways. Just last weekend we had a fleet fight of 2,000 players, all playing at the same time in one big brawl. That is one of the hallmarks of EVE. It’s not something anyone ‘officially’ set up.
To be able to pick up a controller in the EVE universe, to contribute to the economy, to contribute to the politics, alliances, corporations and such – I don’t think I have to do a whole lot to sell those moments from a marketing perspective. What I have to do is find a way to explain that to people, to demystify the magic of what this is and tell how different this is.
In closing, David wished to add that Fanfest in March “will be a very big Fanfest for us… If there ever was a year to make the trip, this is the year to do it,” adding that DUST 514 will be playable at the event. Hilmar added that the new Fanfest venue is a “concert hall that looks like a space station… as a result of the change, we’ll be able to offer much more to Fanfest attendees.” Find details on the official CCP Fanfest 2012 page.
Thanks to CCP's David and Hilmar for their time, and we'll look forward to more info coming out of Fanfest in March.