Friday, 13 September 2013

[Insert Game Here] is Dying!

What a crazy week it's been in the Eve world. CCP recently changed their ToS agreement and the entire player base went crazy. Essentially a small change seemed to outlaw nearly all scamming in the game, spurred on by a particularly well thought out scam involving EVElopedia (specifically the Chribba page). But this isn't what I want to write about today. I'm more interested in the fallout from it, particularly the crowd of people who always scream "EVE IS DYING" whenever something like this comes up.

Whenever an MMO receives a change, there is always a small, very vocal but misguided group who assume the worst and shout to the hills that the game is dying; that the change is the signal of the end of the game. As Eve is the MMO I have spent the most time on, I have gotten used to the Eve is dying cries once every six months or so (usually in between expansions). Recently it became apparent to me that despite it's amazing successes, even WoW isn't immune to such claims.

It's no secret that WoW has been bleeding subscriptions for a while now. They recently announced that they had lost 5 million subscribers since Wrath of the Lich King, more than most MMO's have ever had. But rather than assuming that WoW is dying, look at it from another perspective. When WoW was released, I was in school. Almost all of my friends in school played it. However now they are all working full time jobs, have families and responsibilities. The circumstances that allowed them to play WoW have changed and many have had to quit the game. Still others that I know who played, were invested in the Warcraft story line. With Arthus dead, they see no reason to continue, as the bad guy they knew from WCIII has been dealt with. WoW also had the draw of friends playing together. If one or two of that group quits and they want to continue to play together, they are all going to move on to another game. As it stands WoW is still the most successful MMO ever made, and MoP has brought new players into the game (like me).

Eve on the other hand has been growing slowly for ten years. This year it hit 500,000 subscribers, a far shot from WoW's record of 12 million subscribers, but Eve inspires a loyalty among its players that has to be experienced to believe. Also looking at the stats for Eve's peak concurrent users shows that Eve is growing slowly with the number of people online. If anything, Eve isn't dying, its growing.

So why do people constantly jump on the "X is dying" bandwagon? In my opinion, it's all about resistance to change. People see something that they aren't used to, or expecting, and they immediately want to shout about it. When LFR was announced, there were people shouting about how Blizzard was catering to casuals and this would be the death of WoW. The reality? LFR didn't affect anyone who was already raiding in a normal or heroic group. Sure it can be full of people going AFK, but you will get that in any unorganized group in any game. When Eve's safety system was implemented, people assumed this would signal the death of highsec ganking. This hasn't happened yet.

Perhaps one day the gaming community will grow up enough to actually accept change without screaming immediately that the game is dying (unless it actually is, and they can present hard evidence of this). Until then, when you see someone crying that a game is dying, ask them to prove it. I guarantee watching them struggle to find how they can prove it will be entertaining, if nothing else.

As always guys,

GAME ON! And to the idiots who think Eve is dying, can I have your stuff?

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