Why CCP wears a heavy burden
April 25th-27th, 2013. The annual EVE fanfest is coming closer.
Last year CCP reveled new information about their upcoming mmo “World of darkness”. An intro trailer about the game. There were also talks with developers.
Not much, but small talk about great things will easily travel fast through the grapevine. Many remember the various mmo forums when CCP a couple of years earlier announced their merger with White-wolf, the publishing company originally responsible for this cult-like pen-and-paper roleplaying game hit.
The two companies had agreed to work together, creating a mmo worthy of being second in line to the huge and massive EVE.
Mmo gamers all over the western world rejoiced as many only would dare to dream about projects like this. The harsh memory still burned the mmo fans through out the scene, from recent disappointments such as Age of Conan and SWTOR. This was encouraging.
Old(and new)school pen-and-paper roleplaying fans were rendered breathless.
Long had they known and worried about the finances and momentum of White-wolf. The old and beloved publishing company, responsible for countless of roleplaying and lore books, was not the same as before.
By the way, this was the real deal, the true shit if you will.
We live in an age with vampires influenced by boy bands and countless teenage vampire movies and books. This contemporary vampire culture is made with one single purpose; to make money. The fans of The World of Darkness had long seen this.
And their hate for it was marrow deep.
They knew real vampire lore when they saw it; The horrible power and malice from the antediluvians, the manipulative ventrue princes, a world of real torture and sorrow, a world of hate, blood and darkness. A world so horrible and dark it actually made the roleplayer reflect upon the simultaneous curse and blessing of the vampires, the eternal life.
Without going too much of trail I will simply say this; the roleplaying community joined in with the mmo gaiming scene and rejoiced these news. White-wolf was saved. New WoD material would be released, this time in the form of a mmo.
Praise be to whatever deity relevant .
Two communities came together, we wanted more. More information about the game. How will the game mechanics work? What vampire clans will you be able to play? What will be the basic concept of the game? How will the game treat casual players vs the hardcore base? How will the graphics look? And most importantly of all;
When will World of darkness the mmo be released?
CCP has since been very quiet about any information regarding the game. Small hints and some urban pictures of an ingame city has been released, but nothing more. The fan site wodnews.net is constantly grasping after straws to discuss and report, but so far it doesn’t seem to be going too good for them.
Here a great responsibility for CCP starts to manifest. The Icelandic company has two communities with expectations to meet and cater to. At the same time CCP needs to cultivate those communities and nurture them to keep their goodwill. It actually hurts their brand not to release any information what so ever regarding World of darkness and the work in progress.
Some companies are truly brilliant in this regard and of course Blizzard, the main competitor of CCP, comes to mind here. It’s true that Blizzard also takes on the “It’s done when it’s done” mentality, but the Blizzard marketing team always makes a huge number of releasing new and hard material on the company events. Blizzard understands that not doing so could actually hurt them. Keeping expectations up is an important part of marketing.
At the same time CCP has been dealt the hand of actually having to release a product of great quality, in order to be accepted. The expectations of two metamorphed communities must be met when WoD is released. In this balance, CCP should not make the cardinal mistake Bioware made, developing SWTOR. Namely relying too much on the already existing brand and fan base of the game, failing to meet the requirements of making an exciting, iconoclastic and fun game to play.
No one said the balance between these two realities will be easy for CCP to deal with, but the company has handled complex games and situations before, mainly when it comes to EVE.
CCP will need to focus on seeing this new project through with great quality and at the same time give the fans their carrots now and then.
They should not miss the chance to do so at this years EVE Fanfest.