EVE Online developer CCP Games bought by Black Desert Online studio Pearl Abyss

    
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I bet that’s not a headline you expected to wake up to! EVE Online developer CCP Games confirmed this morning that it will soon be a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer and publisher of Black Desert Online. CCP Games is currently owned by a group of financial investors, who will eventually be selling their shares in the company as part of the deal that will be executed over the next several months. CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson and Pearl Abyss CEO Robin Jung issued joint statements to the press this morning:

“Pearl Abyss is a fast-growing company with lots to offer in terms of technology, capability and vision. I believe our two companies have a lot to learn from each other. We are very excited to join forces with them and achieve great new heights for our companies, our games and – above all – our players.” – Hilmar Veigar Pétursson

“CCP is a seasoned publisher with over 15 years of digital distribution experience and know-how. They have done an incredible job of engaging and maintaining their playerbase, which we aim to learn from and hope to integrate natively into Pearl Abyss’ general practices across all our games.” – Robin Jung

The response of the EVE playerbase to the news has been pretty chaotic, as it raises a lot of unanswered questions about exactly how the two studios will influence each other. EVE Online‘s player-elected Council of Stellar Management is currently on hand in Reykjavik for the CSM Summit and has been able to bring player concerns on the acquisition directly to CCP Games this morning. Though the CSM is under NDA, several members offered positive comments about their meeting with Hilmar. FuzzySteve wrote that Hilmar “did a lot to quieten my concerns” during the meeting and Jin’taan wrote that the group “turned over every rock we could in that meeting and heard nothing but good news.”

EVE Online Twitter, EVE Online website, CCP Games press release. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
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Jonny Sage

Well, it had a good run. But I think this is the end for the EVE we loved.

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Kevin McCaughey

I remember stringing all my stuff out in space so that people would take my stuff, so I could never go back. It was just too intensive. You needed 28 hours a day to play Eve properly and even then you would never get close to the heels of the old characters. And there were so many big dupes early on that enriched people. But it is one hell of a game – definitely king of the castle in its field.

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Sray

Not that surprising. To me, many of CCP’s business moves over the least year or so (shuttering VR, offices in London, free to play conversion, various streamlining of the business, etc) seemed like they were trying to make the company attractive to prospective buyers. I was wondering who’d want to buy CCP: it’s not that the business is unattractive from a financial perspective, but Eve Online is often a PR nightmare. It makes sense that the buyer ultimately ends up being a primarily Asian based company the probably wants the Western infrastructure, and is physically removed enough that bad press about Eve shenanigans probably won’t reach investor ears.

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Sally Bowls

Western infrastructure

In the crazy world we live in, there is speculation that what they wanted was CCP’s Chinese infrastructure. CCP has been in China for many years and Iceland has less pushback in China than Korea.

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Sray

That makes sense too.

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John Price

Been playing eve since 2004, thats right folks 14 years. This is the first year I have not played and did not feel the need to comeback.

The end-game is a mythical object, and the massive powerbloc’s and ever shifting blue donut of allies to the left and right has made this game a chore.

Gone are the days of flying in Syndicate space, looking for targets, running blockades, engaging in small gang warfare. Its blob after blob after blob.

CCP dropped the ball first with Dust 514 on a half decade old PS3 that could barely run the game. Incarna and walking in stations to allow more social interaction and depth to the gameplay. The insane amount of RMT’ing in the game…. After nearly a decade and a half I have witnessed this game go from a Niche dark, brutal and hard MMO to a cookie cutter grind fest.

It’s like watching your promising athlete kid grow up to do the most amount of work with minimal effort and just let everything slide.

My concern as echoed by others below me is simplifying eve into a loot/crate box mobile shitfest as it seems to be the trend with developers who prioritize mobile platform gaming while fanning the flames of loot boxes as shortcuts.

I doubt there will ever be anything as engrossing as EvE in the future with such a massive online universe and persistence, and I highly doubt this acquisition will allow them to maintain their creative freedom, because at the end of the day corporations make money, and with investors cashing out and moving on to better and greener pastures. New investors come in, try to make it profitable again, if not, then they cut their losses themselves and sell the assets/company/software etc….

$425,000,000 is A LOT OF MONEY so maybe PA see’s something that I do not, but it makes me super uncomfortable seeing a company that churns out MMO Grind fests buying out one of the last few remaining Niche and hardcore mmo’s and trying to ride its laurels.

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Sally Bowls

Was EVE profitable? A lot of people comment on “buying/selling” while EVE still profitable. But a lot of bloggers talk about CCP going through hard times so a sale is not a huge surprise. The latter was more my impression. Are the “EVE still profitable” people true?

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Wilhelm Arcturus

If EVE was the only product CCP was working on, the company would be a gold mine. Hands down, without a doubt. Their 2016 financials showed them doing quite well, decent revenue and good pre-tax earnings, and all of the income was from EVE.

http://marketsforisk.blogspot.com/2017/05/ccp-financial-statements-for-2016-review.html

MMOs that can keep an six figure audience are cash cows.

The problem with CCP has always been them trying to get that next game that will help carry the load. They kept screwing that up, getting in over the head, then they have to lay people off and cut back. It is the classic Silicon Valley startup success story, where you get one good product that carries the company and then have that level of success again. Even Google is pretty much a one product company. Search and ad revenue pays the bills and everything else is lucky if it breaks even. You don’t dare neglect the cash flow product, but you feel like you have to have something to fall back.

Now they are part of another company that has other products and they can be just the EVE Online division.

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Sally Bowls

TYVM for that. Did anyone publish the 2017 numbers?

I am not sure about your last paragraph. EVE has very loyal customers but little chance for growth (hence the parade of money traps like DUST, WoD, WiS, Legion, VR et al) in search of growth. I don’t see a profit stream of 2x million being worth near $425M. Especially for a public company with a high p/e multiple; they need growth.

It could be that CCP becomes the EVE Online division. But the other argument is that EVE is now much less important to CCP. Before it was a requirement to stay in business and pay the bills. Now, they are part of a multi-billion dollar company and will be around as long as that company chooses. So if they underfocus on EVE/PC they can freely focus on something else – mobile and China come to mind.

If five years from now, all PA got out of CCP was an EVE/PC revenue stream, IMO, I don’t think they will think that was worth the time and money.

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Sally Bowls

Was there a discussion on where this money was coming from? At the end of June they had about 300B KW in cash & short-term investments. Their market cap is a few billion so I don’t see $425M as a big problem, but it seems like something they would mention.

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Denice J. Cook

Thinking about it now, this is like finding out the most gorgeous cheerleader at your college is marrying a Geek Squad nerd. ;)

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Baemir

Dude, you’re on MassivelyOP. You’re the nerd.

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Ket Viliano

Could be good, could be bad.

Dust sucked, but the concept is sound.

Hoping for an avatar game kinda like this:

We shall see.

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Paragon Lost

Sounds like a cash out and walk away deal to me.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

Yeap, most likely – the previous investors just wanted to cash out and then re-invest into something else. Which is perfectly reasonable since while the EVE was still profitable – the management kept doing dumb things and never completing the actually good ideas (such as more social interaction through walking avatars and slowly expanding this into more FPS activities).

Of course, the Pearl Abyss will never be spending any money on such further expansions – they will just keep milking the existing gameplay with more “p2w chances to craft unique ship module/limited-run blueprint copy for such modules” and “p2w temporary boosts/implants” for as long as the dumb sheeple will keep tolerating these things ;-)

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Paragon Lost

Oh for sure, I feel like you that Pearl Abyss will milk what they can out of it with as little cash input from them.

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kgptzac

I had to double check the timestamp on this article since it really looked like an April Fools piece that I wholly missed.