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CCP's Petursson: Economy, Council Bring Structure To EVE

Speaking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra report on EVE Online's Fanfest held in Reykjavik, Iceland, CCP executive Hilmar Pétursson has been discussing ho
Speaking as part of an in-depth Gamasutra report on EVE Online's Fanfest held in Reykjavik, Iceland, CCP executive Hilmar Pétursson has been discussing how the complex economy and new elected 'Council of Stellar Management' bring structure (and therefore focus) to the PC space trading MMO. When discussing why the EVE Online community, which has grown steadily to over 200,000 active subscribers, is so invested in the game, Pétursson suggested: "I would say what ties it all together is the economy. The economy of the game is very much controlled by the players. All prices are decided on the market, CCP doesn't set a price on it... And then the game very much focuses on [the fact] that you're always at risk in terms of all the players attacking you or taking something away from you. So that creates very interesting interactions between war and the economy." Though the economy in EVE Online is much more complex and modeled than many other MMOs, Pétursson suggests this leads to a more interesting and competitive game: "War and economy is something that has created a lot of events in human history. That is essentially what we maybe have put in place to drive the storyline. But then, the players have used those systems to create something much more spectacular than we could ever have envisioned in the beginning. So I would say, the economy is the tool to create this." Interestingly, Pétursson also discussed how to easily garner feedback from the increasingly large player base of the game, revealing that the company is adding an officially elected council to exchange feedback between CCP and the community: "For soliciting community feedback, we have used various methods throughout the four years. And we're trying to evolve those as our world has evolved. You use different methods for a community of 50,000 players than you do for a community of 200,000 players. Especially when all those players live in the same world. It's different when you have sharded worlds down to smaller shards, and you just have more shards. And you have to tackle the community of each shard. Then you can use the same method, but scale it up. But when the community fundamentally grows as it has in our case, then you have to adapt and evolve your method of soliciting community feedback. And we're now, at this Fanfest, introducing a new idea which we call the Council of Stellar Management which involves allowing the community to elect representatives for a council. And we'll do this through voting. So this council will then be a venue for exchange between the community and CCP so that it is a more meaningful discussion than us talking in a non-structured way with 200,000 people which... um, achieves very little in its current form." You can now read the full Gamasutra report on the subject, including full coverage of the Fanfest itself, as well as more comments from the CCP CEO on the state of the game and technical and design plans for the future.

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