First of all, let me put this in bold text:

THIS IS AN UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOR.

Now to the meat.

Discussion: What if CCP Games were ever to be sold?

Things have been pretty shaky lately at CCP Games, CEO apologies, layoffs, chunks of cake being given away, all this makes us wonder what’s really behind all this? While some people see this as a truly act of repentance from CCP, the most cynic crows keeps wondering if the Christmas Carol story did really arrived early at Reykjavik?

After all… money talks, bullshit walks.

So far the the strongest reason I have heard for this “grinch-ish” change of heart is the one where Ripard Teg (Jester’s Trek) explains that being CCP Games on risk of defaulting this month’s financial commitments, they were forced to comply and make concessions in order to meet certain demands. I find this explanation quite ironic, since we all have seen the Jita riots, a sizable amount of players opting not to renew their accounts, CSM being flown to Iceland and all other attempts to coax CCP into listening to their players plight and all it took to turn CCP Games upside down was a simple phone call from a bank?. This is the explanation which makes more sense, the simplest one we have heard and the one we are buying so far.

Regarding the recent layoffs, much fuss has been made by members of the EVE community on how much will the CCP community team be missed, regardless on wether your interaction with them ranged from a day to day basis to getting your thread locked in CAOD. This statement [how much will they be missed] might hold true to some players as other might not care at all, yet there is a vocal piece of the “caring crowd” loudly asking: so, what about management? as an example I invite you to read CSM Trebor column to get a healthy dose of perspective.

The truth is, we players are in no right to ask for a management shake up, that’s up to the suits at the CCP HQ and given the current climate, I feel a top management change would be extremely nocive at this point. Do I agree with it staying there? of course not, but stability is the key for a working company and unless you get to see more layoff announcements, I would recommend to let things run it course.

Our love/hate relationship with rumors

Going back to the announcements, after reading them one after another in one sitting I got that gut feeling of a company ‘failscading’ and sparing no expensed into working hard to make themselves look “palatable” for possible investors, all part of stunt work which would make Evel Knievel blush. To this day I can’t really shake this impression, and the layoffs didn’t helped to dispel this grim premise.

Earlier today, I was asked if CCP Hammerhead really got hammered or if it was a troll, a quick search landed me in this russian gaming page where they acknowledged the firing, but what really caught my eye was the closing lines, which I quote after a rough translation:

According to unconfirmed rumors entirely from Russian forum, the company CCP began to look for a buyer. About it (as a rumor) said one of the organizers of the Russian “Fanfest,” the head of one of the largest Russian-speaking alliance.

Later on yesterday, a tip arrived to the dropbox:

“Post from CSM6 member UAxDeath
There is a rumor that CCP searching buyer for their company. We will see how good or bad this will be:
LINKAGE

Being aware of not being the only one with these wild speculations on the back of his head and given the latest string of announcements and twists within CCP, I would like to get the monster out of the cave and invite you all to have a proper high-concept discussion on the remote possibility of CCP being sold.

-R

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47 Comments

  1. Mallikanth

    Things were bad for the main money spinner – Eve. They spread themselves too thin especially with that only source of income starting to show signs of reduced revenue. They then realised their mistakes and have taken steps. I don't think we're at the selling CCP stage just yet.

    October 21, 2011 at 11:30 am Reply
    1. Am with you on the not selling CCP stage just yet, but i have taken the monster out of the cave for this very same reason, the worst thing to fear is fear itself, I really hope my readers (almost 50% of the EVE subscription) slain this monster with reason and good arguments.

      Is it after we get convinced by ourselves that something will not happen, when u get true peace of mind. you don't get piece of mind simply "because u were told" u need to be convinced.

      As a player who loves Eve, I have extremely optimistic about CCPs future and hopefully we'll look back in a year and see this as a bad episode.

      October 21, 2011 at 11:36 am Reply
      1. Mallikanth

        I completely agree.
        I sincerely hope the fabled Winter Expansion pulls out all the stops.

        October 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm Reply
        1. Buggrit

          If the accounts return and the costs are down, CCP is in much better shape for the future.

          Whether it's putting out the sell signs or just trying to survive, the actions would be similar.

          But everybody should keep in mind that the playerbase needs to be increased to allow expansion and replacement of attrition (as players get jobs, spouses and – the killer – kids.)

          October 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm Reply
      2. bagehi

        CCP's financials at 2010 YE were far too good for even the impressive display of unsubs to handicap them enough to force them to look for a buyer for the entire company. I am on the fence about whether or not they are looking for a buyer/partner for the WoD IP though. That would make more sense.

        October 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm Reply
      3. At most, I could see them taking on a new partner / investor. If that were the case, I don't think a lot would change in terms of the employees and the dev team.

        But we're all just speculating anyway. No one but CCP management knows for sure. And it's unlikely they would share that kind of information publicly until the deal (assuming there is one) was about to go through.

        October 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm Reply
  2. Dark_Spliff

    Sure CCP have made mistakes along the way and not everything is great all the time but I love CCP and what Eve is today, it is the greatest game i've played and to here something like this is sad, I hope it is a rumor

    October 21, 2011 at 11:38 am Reply
  3. jtypinparmala

    CCP would not sell itself, they have to much pride to do so.
    Shitty updates yes, bad management also, but with the winter update they are finally speaking to the fans and I believe they really want to turn things around and make US happy.
    Like i said, they have so much invested into EVE/WoD/DUST if they sold the company it would be nuts.

    October 21, 2011 at 11:42 am Reply
    1. Dark_Spliff

      Well they have just laid off around 100 WoD staff to "concentrate" on the Eve universe

      October 21, 2011 at 11:44 am Reply
      1. bagehi

        It would be more likely that they are looking for a WoD IP buyer. But I doubt they are selling anything. It looks like some restructuring. I'm curious whether or not the leaks were coming from the community department, hence the excessive hack-n-slash there.

        October 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm Reply
        1. guest

          Possible, but less than likely. Community staff are supposed to have empathy with the playerbase, and in this case they would know that the leaked material would cause a big stir in such a commited community like Eve's.

          I'm more inclined to think that the leaks were provided by the dev's version of the fanboy, someone who was really worried to what was going on with the game.

          October 24, 2011 at 1:10 am Reply
    2. King of Pain

      What a fag.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm Reply
  4. Imigo

    If CCP sold EVE, their baby, no other company would have the same connection to it. Much as CCP have their faults, they made EVE what it is, and changing ownership would be the first step to making it just like any other MMO out there.

    October 21, 2011 at 11:44 am Reply
    1. droljica

      Sorry m8, but eve IS now like any other mmo out there.

      October 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm Reply
      1. Secret Lover

        I remember when my guild took sov in the barrens. We hoarded all the moonkingoo until our guildleader lost his sword-of-titans guarding the Durotar entrance. We failcascaded after that.

        October 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm Reply
        1. Gumpin

          What?

          October 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm Reply
          1. guest

            "but eve IS now like any other mmo out there".

            This is saying that Eve and Wow are about the same, so the response is making sarcasm by mixing the two gameplays.

            October 24, 2011 at 12:58 am
        2. stoicspoon

          This is a funny post and I feel bad that everyone is downvoting. Upvote for sarcasm!

          October 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm Reply
        3. Moo

          I enjoyed this :)

          October 23, 2011 at 5:26 am Reply
      2. Imigo

        I have to disagree. It was /heading/ towards becoming like any other MMO, but the community who currently do pay CCP's bills kicked up such a stink when CCP went after players who currently don't (but might if they could customise their space barbie/ken) at their expense.

        October 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm Reply
        1. droljica

          Have2disagree2…

          "community who currently do pay CCP's bills" are RMTs atm

          October 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm Reply
          1. Imigo

            Speak for yourself.

            October 23, 2011 at 12:20 am
  5. josiah

    If CCP games would've been sold, Eve would become yet another insta-gratification + cash shop crappy MMO like dozens of others, and would die pretty fast.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm Reply
    1. King of Pain

      Well tbh, If any company got it, I would prefer Blizzard too. I think their the only company out there, that knows what the fuck it's doing. Granted they shittied up WoW but whatever.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm Reply
  6. SuperCaps Online

    If CCP and therefor EvE Online is being sold, wouldn't that mean that there is RMT involved for Virtual Goods? I think that's not allowed according to the EULA/TOS.

    *smartass*

    October 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm Reply
  7. de Saint-Fabien

    The game first.
    If you think about your own game play, you are bias. If a larger company, say Blizzard, buy CCP, they will certainly redirect EVE's focus on casual players who are… 90% of the player base.

    Yes, the PvP leetorz & the 0.0 tycoons, 10% of the player, will be pissed and probably leave. And it will be good riddance of theses RMTers who brought the game where it is now.

    More casuals will come to replace this 10% and EVE will finally have a normal growth rate. This game is awsome, it doesnt have to be a niche game for the leasure of an handfull of US and Russian mafia bosses

    October 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm Reply
  8. AuricalCryso

    I think it would be extremely interesting if CCP sold EVE to its players. What if the CSM was the BOD?

    Wait, on second thought, that's a terrible idea. Jade Constantine for CEO? Yuck.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm Reply
  9. Headerman

    I have a sneaking suspicion that – if anything – CCP may have been looking for an investor, not a buyer. Why would they sell their only product? There would not be anyone else in the world able to do a better job at running EVE than they are.

    If CCP are looking for investors, then they may just be expanding from a private company into a propriatory company with up to 50 private share holders/investors.

    October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Another possibility is that CCP may be prettying up the books so that the company is in a better selling position. As stated numerous times on this thread it doesn't make sense for CCP to sell their bread and butter. IMO, the prospect of selling EVE alone doesn't work as companion games, e.g. Dust 514, are going to be released soon with their success dependent upon the success of EVE, so the corp will need to be sold in order for this to work long term. Otherwise DUST will flop like your mornin flap jacks :).

      ….Unless of course they don't care about the success of those games and are looking at quick capital returns only …and if they don't care then I don't care…

      October 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm Reply
      1. Fairglory

        They better not merge or get bought out by Nexon… Nexon ruins games.

        October 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm Reply
    2. bagehi

      This is probably closer to it. If not investor, they may need to issue a new bond or pick up a bank loan due to their financial obligations combined with the sudden change in subscription numbers. If this is the case, there will likely be a new financial statement filing out there somewhere (newer than the one from earlier this year). It will likely include the damning words of analysts about layoffs and restructuring/refocusing of assets.

      Having been involved in two corporate mergers, these layoffs are not large enough to be a company sale. Another gaming company would almost exclusively be the only one interested in purchasing a gaming company. In a situation like that, layoffs would gut the company to a level to barely or below operational. CCP still has development staff, so it is unlikely a sale is intended.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm Reply
  10. David

    it looks like ccp would rather find and investor to get WoD development back up to full speed or to sell WoD too.

    its doubtful they would sell eve or dust given how closely inter related the two games will be.

    October 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm Reply
    1. bagehi

      I believe they are contractually obligated to release WoD. Part of the White Wolf purchase agreement. So, they would have to sub the development out, sell the IP and liability for failure to release to someone else, or buckle down now and return to the project later.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:12 pm Reply
  11. IWannaMakeIsk

    "we players are in no right to ask for a management shake up, that’s up to the suits at the CCP HQ"

    As long as they have a stable amount of chiefs for the indians, I could care less what they do as far as management goes. Just fix the damn game and let me drool over my killboard stats. :)

    Banks are extremely powerful (I work with them daily) and can make a company accept harsh rules and regulations. I have seen first hand, companies trim down assets, employees, and other expenses before selling. IMO, I would look at Sony (DUST 514) as a potential buyer or another entity that has big pockets…if, this is all true…

    just my $.02

    October 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm Reply
  12. ZedoTelhado

    I also agree with the comon sense idea of the "bank call" and the "investor search"
    Searching an investor its more like the actual scenario. If so there are pretty good gaming industry standards on how investors behave after investing and not seeing any return.
    Could this take Eve to be transformed in an MMO targeted for the masses ? Loosing EvE as we know it its a risk ? Maybe

    October 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm Reply
    1. bagehi

      Not likely. Any financial crunch they find themselves in right now wouldn't necessitate taking on voting shareholders that would actually be able to sway the direction of the company. It is much more likely that they needed to trim themselves for a bond or loan.

      October 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm Reply
  13. droljica

    Q: Discussion: What if CCP Games were ever to be sold?

    A: Whole 18.000 players (with avg 3 acc.) wont play it.

    edited: I'll start bid with 1 isk for ccp.

    October 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm Reply
  14. dolf

    they should ask EA.

    October 21, 2011 at 10:07 pm Reply
    1. Redname

      EA Games- F&*k up everything

      October 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm Reply
      1. dolf

        no, they make very good games :3

        October 23, 2011 at 8:48 am Reply
  15. Skullair

    Very nice much how much?

    October 22, 2011 at 2:18 am Reply
  16. Blake

    Maybe if the Russians would share some of they're isk farming money with them we wouldn't be having these problems.

    October 22, 2011 at 3:45 am Reply
  17. Gunny

    An influx of investor capital wouldn't be a bad idea at this point for them. You don't want control shifting to another game company, bad idea.

    October 22, 2011 at 11:57 am Reply
  18. Thats D Trooth

    Did anyone notice the big PLEX for real dollars special that went by last week? Isn't that RMT at its heart???

    October 23, 2011 at 1:28 am Reply
    1. TheOtherPlayer

      now you will blame RA titan losses for that…

      October 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm Reply
  19. poidokoff

    Well, it's only logical that russians should own the company aswell. *rolleyes*

    October 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm Reply
  20. Neweco

    Selling it now, while at the same time acknowledging to the customers, there is something wrong with the product strategy and within the company, does not make any sense.

    A.)
    Either you deny any problem with customers and window dress the company nicely with some marketing bogus for the potential investors

    B.)
    Or you really take all actions to counter the current problems, wait for the apropriate time to have these action get an impact on the problems and eventually try to sell a financially healthy company.

    Maybe B.) is the long term perspective, but it really is … long term.

    Meaning first we will see refocussing on the money making product EVE, then turn around in subscribers, which can – to my eyes – only be achieved by improvements in the product (marketing boost wouldnt help right now), and eventually improvement of rentablity of CCP. => a 1 year project at least

    October 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm Reply

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