CCP isn’t EVE


It is a common mistake that EVE players have been making since the beginning of EVE. A perspective that continues to infuse a large percentage of players with anger, frustration and often a sense of righteous indignation. It is an error in viewpoint, a mistake in perception, and a dangerous path that only leads to negativity. A refrain that places the well-being of EVE at the doorstep of the one place it truly doesn’t belong – at CCP.

thousands of players participating in a science-fiction simulation together

CCP is not EVE. EVE is thousands of players participating in a science-fiction simulation together on a shared server. EVE is a built world, a planned community inhabited by people, developed by developers, but largely empty. A park with some structures, but a place where most people end up throwing frisbees, or having picnics, or playing softball, or walking their dogs. EVE is a shell in many ways. A shell populated and driven by player activity. It is nothing without the life that we, as players, inject into it. Imagine taking the family to the local park for a picnic, setting everything up, looking around and asking, “I wonder who built this park?”

I came to this understanding on my own journey during the Summer of Incarna. Like many players that take an interest in the larger community I often found myself swept up in the crowd. I freely admit it. Why can’t CCP fix this? Why hasn’t this been done? Why isn’t this better? Why isn’t EVE more popular? There are a thousand such questions, you only have to spend a few minutes on the forums, or on Reddit, or anywhere else that players gather to come to the conclusion that EVE is perpetually broken. A dispassionate observer, seeing the EVE player base for the first time, might very well wonder – why are people playing this thing at all?

Before the tinfoil hats come out in force, let me be clear. I’m not an idiot. Of course CCP is responsible for EVE. They are the wizards behind the curtains. And that is where they belong. There are on-going issues with EVE that CCP needs to deal with, develop and grow. There is a limit to how much players can do to help that process along. We are not given the keys to the code for a reason. Only CCP has that key. Goodness knows I’ve fought my own battles with CCP over the years, made hundreds of suggestions, and tried to work with them on many issues. They are, after all, the developers of the park. But that does not make them EVE.


Because we are Eve. You and me.

Because we are EVE. You and me. Our friends in corp. Your wingman. The diplomat in alliance chat. The dude on Slack. The miner in the belt. We are EVE. Without us there is no EVE, but with us it is something special. They call it “the largest living work of science-fiction” and I like that description. That is a description that I am proud to be a part of. Because together we breathe life into an otherwise empty universe. Our actions. Our decisions. Our characters. And our character. This is what EVE is. And it has surprisingly little to do with a company in Iceland.

Imagine that CCP disappeared suddenly in a cloud of thought experiment magic. The servers continued to operate long into the heat death of our own universe. It’s a mind game, so go with me on this. The immediate reaction might well be a large number of players unsubbing in anger. “How dare CCP leave us hanging!!” (I agree that would suck, but again, mind game.) But an even larger group of players wouldn’t even notice that CCP was gone. And a slightly smaller group of players would realize that the future of the game was suddenly in their own hands. It would take some time for this new dynamic to fully sink in certainly. During this time many players would take it upon themselves to promote the game. Entire communities would spring up from the ashes. Eventually the process of keeping EVE alive would take on new meanings, new goals, and a new level of determination.

The point being that nothing inside of EVE would change. The real question, and the point of such a mind game is this – what would CCP disappearing have to do with YOUR game? How would it affect you personally as a player inside of EVE? Take a moment and give that a real good think. For me the realization was slow and took time to sink in, but eventually I realized that it wouldn’t change anything. I’d still log in, I’d still enjoy flying with my corp mates, still love making art for the community, still try to find good fights, and still believe that Eve is something special. Realizing this fact after the Summer of Incarna changed my own EVE experience significantly. And I think it might just change yours as well. If you let it.

it puts everything into the proper perspective

Don’t get me wrong here. This is not an anti-CCP article. This is not an anti-anything article. This is only about perception. Once you realize that EVE rests in your own hands and not those of CCP, it changes the way you approach the game. In my humble opinion, it puts everything into the proper perspective. This in no way removes CCPs responsibilities for shepherding Eve and keeping it on course. Or for promoting it. Or for fixing things that are wrong with it. Someone has to keep the park rides in order. Someone has to remove the trash, paint the rides, trim the trees, and keep out the unsavory criminal elements. But what goes on inside the park is all about us and the choices we make.

EVE is a sandbox. And CCP is our partner in making it a fun place to play. But what happens in that sandbox is in our hands. We are the ones that determine our fate, that reap the results of our decisions and that drive the content that make EVE… well, EVE.

CCP isn’t EVE. We are.



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Tags: ccp, community, rixx javix, sandbox

About the author

Rixx Javix

Artist, video maker, blogger, lowsec pirate and overall a pillar of the EVE community for years - Rixx Javix wears many hats (and makes them!).

  • Free can

    CCP is like the government, the less meddling they do the better. The more they try to socially engineer and impose their vision on players with dumb timers etc., the more they piss everyone off.

    • Viince_Snetterton

      Oh man…another libertarian. I can imagine the type of Eve you would like, and likely country, where anyone can do anything they like, and the populace self-police.

      There is a country out there right now like that. In fact, several. Somalia comes to mind. You want an Eve like that, you are mad.

      • Free can


      • Why not?

        I wouldn’t want to live in Somalia in reality, but it would fit EVE better than the permanently safe environment.

        • rixxjavix

          More danger would be a good thing imo

        • Verdis deMosays

          Have you left highsec lately? It might change your perspective.

          ~a wormholer

      • Oh man… another ignorant. You describe anarchism, not libertarianism.

        • luobote kong

          Somalia is more of a neoliberalism endgame if anything . Rich organised gangster elite profiting from non productive assets aka ransoms with no trickle down prosperity to the masses.

  • Rob Kaichin

    It’s a dangerous suggestion: that we’re the captains of our souls. How many players do you know that live by that maxim, that Eve is what they make of it?

    Not so many, I think.

    But of those that have been, what do they do now? What new charts and courses do they plot?

    I tell you this, I’ve made something of my alliance and myself, and for all the pleasure that it brought me, it has cost as much in time and effort. Was the gain worth the loss? I don’t know. Would/will I do it again? I don’t know.

    Aura says, “Dare to be bold”, and some do. Eve would be truly great if all did.

    • DireNecessity

      “Not so many, you think”?

      Bah! I choose to be small and unimportant. I purposely squander my space immortality on pint sized enjoyments. Any moment now some important space immortal could wander by and mock me for my wee little concerns and small time endeavors yet here I type unashamed and unafraid nonetheless. William Ernest Henley isn’t the boss of me.

      • rixxjavix

        Take what you want from your own experience. I see no reason to mock anyone for the type of game they want to play.

  • Rob Kaichin

    “CCP isn’t EVE. We are.”

    And as Eve, do we have a responsibility to the game?

    If we do, what are they?

    What kind of priorities should they have?

    Things to consider.

    • rixxjavix

      I think every person that plays EVE has to decide for themselves what responsibility they want to assume. There is no inherent responsibility that comes with playing a game, other than those outlined in EULAs or agreements. The rest is up to the player.

    • You have no responsibility to the game unless it is paying you. EVE may be real, but it’s not that real.

  • DireNecessity

    If I may be honest for a moment, the first thing to pop into my mind when entertaining your thought experiment (and a good thought experiment it is) was, “Wait, what? There’s no longer an entity able to enforce the EULA? Oh the possibilities!” Sadly, as I danced in my revery the creeping suspicion that I wasn’t the only one suddenly EULA free gave great pause – not so sure I really want to go there. I’ll keep our CCP shepherded Eve. It’s a rather comfy place.

    • rixxjavix

      Yeah, again, CCP disappearing is not a viable path in reality. And not really the point of the mind game. A EULA free EVE is nothing that any of us would want to be a part of.

  • trollsroyce

    CCP should just make EVE2, because this game is the only type they have credibility with.

  • Dunmer Orion

    Well said!

  • Easy Esky

    I similar realization I came to read and comment to Neville’s post “I owe you nothing”. One of the strongest issues about Eve is the low number of players which continue past the trial period or only last a few months. This is coupled with an idea I have long toyed write a miners/industrialist “handbook”. The revelation was this; we keep asking CCP to improve the NPE experience. Ultimately CCP does own the sand, but players have long since decided how it used. So why don’t the players take ownership of the NPE? I do understand just how difficult that is – core quality is that it requires impartiality. And how rare is that in this community?

    • oada keratime

      if i ever make a game i want it to be full of the people to describe, not people like you because i doubt you do what you preach here.

      i make a game and let the players make and maintain it while paying me to keep the servers up. that is like a dream come true

  • UberMitch

    The real question, and the point of such a mind game is this – what would CCP disappearing have to do with YOUR game? How would it affect you personally as a player inside of EVE?

    Well for one thing that would never be affected if CCP disappeared is the frequency with which I fly Svipuls.

    • rixxjavix

      When this was posted I remember thinking to myself, “How long before someone mentions Svipuls?” lol

  • Afkforum

    Nice read.

  • cloaky sniper raven

    While I agree with the sentiment that, “we are EVE” and we make it real and fun, I think you missed a lot.

    Life without CCP: After awhile, everyone would figure out the meta fleet comp that would win all battles and everyone would only fly those ships. Battle lines would stabilize, super-coalitions would arise again. blue donut everywhere. High sec folks would stop playing after all of nullsec and lowsec players got tired of the boredom of a lowsec and nullsec with no change and start ganking highsec like never before. Just for the LOLs, mind you.. With no one to gripe to about breaks in the terms of service we would get EVE bad guys invading real life again. “just kill yourself”, “sing this song naked on camera to get your stuff back”, “show us your tits for a vouch” or whatever. Life without CCP would be a rudderless, unregulated nightmare.

    Yes, we make up the content and that is exactly what CCP wants, in fact I think if you were to ask CCP Seagull, she would be the biggest fan of that sentiment as she has said many times. In fact most CCP employees say they are just caretakers of our world. But life completely without CCP would be terrible.

    PS: having players start to promote EVE to get more subscriptions is a terrific idea but you are right, it would have to be on the ropes and, IMHO, open sourced before that came to be something we could count on.

    • rixxjavix

      The purpose of the mind game wasn’t to posit the removal of CCP as a viable or legitimate method for operating EVE long-term. Obviously that wouldn’t work. You pointed out various reasons and there are others. The purpose of the thought is about perception. EVE is a game and we need CCP to operate it for us, there can be no doubt about that. But we also don’t “need” them. I think that was the entire point and I hope I communicated that properly.

      • cloaky sniper raven

        I think we are in agreement. Great article!

  • Brad S

    So many comments about the viability of “CCP leaving”. Jeez people, quit looking at the trees and see the forest. Missed point entirely.

    I think that the reason many players leave EVE after the trial period is a greater statement about our Society in general than it is about the game. EVE isn’t spoonfed drivel, it asks you to earn something, to work towards something. It asks you to invest in your own experience and to occasionally look to others for answers that aren’t laid out in front of you in a “treasure chest spawn”. It asks patience and effort. Look around in your neighborhood, your country, your region and indeed your world. The society we (all) live in tends to encourage instant gratification and the rewards are often further down the line, requiring effort and perseverence. These are often traits learned with age and maturity or experience, things that some EVE players don’t yet fully grasp. One day they will and I hope they come back.

  • Bill Bones

    Well, in a way, my EVE doesn’t haves CCP. I don’t give them any money nor log in into their servers nor play the game… and yet EVE still is my game. A game I play on blogs and news sites. A game of words of bitterness and scorn, and occasionally words of hope.

    I’ve won EVE. EVE is my game forever, even without CCP, even without EVE Online.

  • luobote kong

    I wish you were right but sadly not in this case. Let me put it this way. Can you have a good football (soccer) match with your friends without a referee? Yes. Can a bad referee spoil a good football match? Also yes. In Eve we have no choice but accept there has to be a referee to play the game and the performance of the referee determines whether the game is worth playing.

    • rixxjavix

      Choose to play however you want. I choose to play the game with my friends, for my friends and not care if the referee is any good or not. I get more enjoyment out of it that way. But to each his own.

      • luobote kong

        Eve + CCP as referee = decreasing player activity
        Eve + Tiancity as referee = increasing player activity
        Same game but people are making different choices. The distinguishing factor being a pretty obvious that you mentioned in your article.

  • I’d rather CCP run it than any other MMO company, to be honest. CCP has at least been a faithful custodian of keeping EVE dark and hardcore. What if Blizzard bought EVE?

    What if you got banned for suicide ganks or worse – they weren’t even possible? What if you couldn’t awox or market pvp?

    What if a Cyno Jammer blocked all entry into your system unless you granted permission?

  • Provi Miner

    gag, barf…. you’re making a serious mistake one that has been made before. There is a sport in the U.S. called “football” it is hugely popular so popular that people really thought “we are the nfl” that meant the players the coach’s the fans were what was important the parent company was unneeded pointless without them things would go forward. Hence we have a true to reality examples of what happens when the parent company is replaced by the “fans” USFL and XFL both failed miserably because without the hardcore dedication of the sport by the “parent” the product became trash and garbage. While I do agree we don’t “Need” CCP we do need an oversight company dedicated to do the responsible thing not the desired for thing. Please next time you think you its “US” look what at happens when “US” are left to our own devices…….. it is never pretty you can not find a single example of US working ever in any situation. At best you find US starting something only tobe taken over by those who can and will manage the change. US sucks for quality US sucks across the board. US at its base is pure socialism and it has never ever worked.

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    “I wonder who built this park?” – that’s sort of the question humanity has been asking the universe since the dawn of time no??