Thank you very much everyone for placing me on CSM 6 and now on CSM 7 where I am currently serving as the Chairman! If you would like to contact me directly, do not hesitate to just send me an eve mail in game. Keep your eyes here and watch for new posts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CCP Corporate Culture

For those who have never heard of it, is a place where folks rate jobs / companies in much the same way as you might review a stainless steel bucket on  This site has seen some rather interesting reviews of CCP come and go.  By that I mean is that currently there are six reviews on the site out of at least 20 I've read in the past couple of years. It had been some time since I'd remembered this site existed until I was reminded of it by a thread that went up on Scrapheap Challenge a few days ago:

CCP Corporate Culture

The thread has generated some interesting discussion. Seems quite a few people thought the first review quoted might have been me but it's not. This morning I posted a couple of replies to clear up my point of view on all of this so I'll summarize the pertinent bits here.

I haven't posted anything on the Glassdoor site, but it all looks pretty familiar. Every year when CCP would do the yearly anonymous corp surveys, everyone would unleash their inner emo and then spend the next few days being not so anonymous discussing what they wrote.

A few folks have commented that this all looks pretty familiar and that this review could be written about any number of places. No doubt that's true. I always wrote this attitude off as CCP being a small, private company that experienced explosive growth in a short period of time. When I was hired I was one of about 120 staff. When I left three years later, it was approaching 500. I'd not expect any company to adapt perfectly to such rapid expansion, certainly not a new one with people in management positions who have no real management training.

I've been told that "things are getting better" but I have no idea if that's factual or just someone drinking the kool-aid of the day. There are some genuine gold nuggets at CCP that seem intent on trying to fight through the web. Zulu is one of them and a few more, including a new HR person that seems to specialize in causing minor earthquakes by doing revolutionary things like actually paying attention to what people say. (It's rarer than you'd think.)

I only know a couple people who left due to the money; some of the time it was due to localization issues ("I really don't want to live in Iceland forever."). Money wasn't a factor for me as I didn't really give a shit to begin with and, as with most 'older' employees, got into the gig because it was something different and fun. The pay issue is mainly a problem for the kids just getting out of college who are all ZOMG I GET TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES FOR A LIVING and are satisfied working for rent / beer money and little else. After a couple years, when they see local economic pay scales, they realize they could literally make more working at McDonald's and start thinking about scary stuff like their future. This is another thing I'm told has 'gotten better'.

How CCP views the CSM is an evolving process. While the CSM were not THE cause for some of the changes that have occurred at CCP, they were certainly a factor in terms of making transparent (heh) issues that would otherwise be left in the dark. The CSM was a catalyst for change and the proverbial final straw in some cases. The CSM has a level of media and upper management attention that normal employees and mid-level managers cannot hope to match.

Another factor is that a lot of EVE players are finally starting to make the leap from seeing CCP & EVE as one entity to understanding CCP as a company and EVE as a game that company makes. As this evolves, interest in the company itself intensifies because if the company is doing badly, so will the product. Working harder is not the same as working smarter.

CSM 6 is going to have to continue in the footsteps of CSM 5 in how they engage CCP on everything. It's not just about boosting or nerfing game features, but using the CSM's 'stakeholder' status to maximum effect. Maintaining and improving the communication process with the people at CCP who will listen can only have a net positive effect on any future interactions. Who you vote for in this next CSM election is going to be very important.  The right people will ensure that your voice is heard!

As always, feel free to ask me questions on this or any other topic.

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