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“A big company can become very dumb, very quickly”: CCP discusses the pitfalls of rapid expansion

Monday, 24th June 2013 16:31 GMT By Dave Cook

CCP Games is a slow-burning studio, with only two released games under its belt. While Eve Online and Dust 514 are iterative games that require a lot of feedback and development, studio CEO Hilmar Petursson has explained that this slow, methodical approach is so the company doesn’t make dumb decisions on a whim.

Speaking with GI.biz, Petursson said of his own position amid CCP’s growth over the past ten year, “I probably have had 7 different jobs over the past 10 years. The title hasn’t changed, but my job has changed a lot.

“When we were making EVE, I was actually writing the 3D engine, so I was very much in the boiler room of product development. Now the job is more abstract, more about talking to press, clarifying strategy for people, making resource allocation decisions.

“There’s a lot of focus on learning when you have a bigger company, to make sure the entire system is learning. The biggest shift was realizing that. A big company can become very dumb, very quickly. The larger the group of people becomes, the more you lose efficiency, fluidity, creativity, and innovation, unless you structure it very well.”

Elsewhere, Petursson explained that the company has its sights set on mobile and Oculus Rift for Eve Online. The head-mounted edition – dubbed ‘Eve VR’ – was shown at E3 earlier this month. You can check it out here.

Still, Petursson is keen to move slowly in these new areas, and he underlined the studio’s strategy moving forward, “We’ve done things in mobile over the years, but they’ve been experimental, like what we’re doing with the Oculus Rift now. We’re about to get more serious on it. There’s a lot of opportunity in building mobile product for our current customers.

“To be able to interact with EVE on-the-go, so that’s an obvious opportunity for us. That is a way to learn about what it takes to make successful mobile products. We’re going to make sure that we do it the right way. There’s no forced urgency to chase all the mobile success that we’re seeing. It feels right to give people a way to interact with a CCP product through a mobile device.

“The mobile device has basically become an extended organ. It’s the last thing you look at when you go to sleep, it’s the first thing you look at when you wake up in the morning. People want EVE Online on that. I want EVE Online on that.”

What do you make of CCP’s slow approach to expansion compared to – say – Zynga’s rapid growth that some might even call reckless? Let us know below.

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2 Comments

  1. elfelixg

    CCP are one of the few companies out there I would love to work for. Eve Online is a one of a kind experience that has a whole universe with which they can expand on. That said the expansion ideas are almost limitless for them but it is important that they not only have a clear vision but that they act on this vision and not delay.

    If I were in charge I would look into the following areas to expand their already established worlds and brands.

    1) Look into making Eve accessible to the PS4 crowd, keyboard and mouse and all, and add those new players to the tranquility server.

    2) Expand on DUST 514 to make it a persistent world with battles over player owned resources. Make flying from space to the battle on a planet available and seamless. The fact there are so many different ships in the Eve Universe that can be seen from a planet into space would make the game so much more dynamic. Even more exciting if these same ships could fly into atmosphere and hover above the battlefield dropping ships and players below.

    3) Have a dog fighting game where you actually control RIFTER sized ships or drone sized and allow these players to actually fly around Battle Cruisers, Battleships, Capitol Ships, and Titans.

    4) Look to making EVE next gen graphically, it looks great now but it can look so much more detailed and beautiful, it would be eye candy galore. dx11 instad of the current dx9 would go a long way.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. ojinnvoltz

    Methodical, planned growth/progress is good for any business. The company I work for increased around x4 in terms of business and personnel within a 2 year span and got real shitty real fast.

    #2 1 year ago

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