Updated Wed, Jul 02, 2008 by Medeor
New York Times article highlights the Council of Stellar Management.
Not to be outdone by the European Union, the EVE Online Council of Stellar Management is making headlines about unity and democracy. And as soon as they can agree on what democracy means, they will be well on their way:
"What we’ve had to explain is that Americans have a very strong sense of fair play. We don’t abide things like that, and we want everything to be open. So, yes, there has been some conflict on that level.”
Name other developer (or industry for that matter) that puts as much time, effort and money into creating such a council of its own customers. Using the Council methodology, CCP provides an interactive platform for its players to work with the development team and feel like they can really make a difference (not just post on a developer's forum). CCP continually goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to its community. CCP promotes the community because they know this is reason that their customer growth model is the anomaly of the gaming industry (i.e. increased customer base over time). This attitude of working together gives the players a true sense of being vested in the game. Proving that the investment is indeed a two way street, the players roll up their sleeves and work on their own time to help make the game better, as illustrated by the moderator's comments:
"I have to tell you that I have been involved in E.U. meetings where the participants were not as prepared and professional as what we’ve seen here,” he said, referring to the European Union. “These players have approached this meeting with what seems like real understanding of their roles. They are not just fighting for their particular interests but seem to be very socially responsible in wanting to represent all the players of Eve. Perhaps some real-world politicians could learn from them.”
It would by myopic to think that other developers would take a page out of CCP's book and institute this kind of customer loyalty program, but I can dream.
For the full text, go to the New York Times television department (yes this falls under TV apparently), and click the article titled "Face to Face a Council of Eve Online Gamers."