Monday, September 5, 2011

Player democracy

In case you are wondering why I never have any happy EVE stories over here, it is because I get these stories from other blogs and gaming press, and curiously there never ARE happy stories about that game. It is always about scams, treachery, and betrayal.

The latest case is interesting because it concerns the unique way CCP interacts with their players. They allow the players an elected representative who negotiates player issues with the developers. Sounds nice? Well, as Stabs reports, the Goons (a group of players dedicated to making the game worse for everybody else) have subverted the election process, got one of their own elected as player representative with the help of a Goon player who was employee of CCP, and then pushed through changes to the game directly helping their alliance against other players.

At this point player representation and democracy can be said to have pretty much failed. Or as Stabs say, it is only about metagaming now. Any other company thinking about player representatives will see this, and decide that the effort isn't worth the bother. Anybody elected will only ever represent the most powerful alliance of players, never the silent majority. And if anything, companies have learned by now that they need to listen *less* to their most hardcore players, not more, to be successful and drive revenue.

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