Monday, April 19, 2010

It’s not about fluffy bloody Kittens people!

Mr. CK is on the blog banter wagon again and this month he asks:

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?

As a new player to EVE but an old hand at gaming this banter strikes me as a little off the mark. I am married to an artist and gamer. We play games together many nights a week ranging from the horror survival series Silent Hill to Katamari Damacy. We both played WoW for 4 years and recently said goodbye to that racket. My wife is currently merrily hacking the heads of things in Dragonage: Origins and often calls me over to show me a new move and the detail of the spray of blood it creates. Together we are working through Final fantasy 13 with mixed feelings about it.

I’ve tried to get her to play EVE but she will not even log in. She shows interest in a ship now and then and says my Rifter looks like a rusty transformer or the Drake looks like bad Lego. Her artistic eye likes the EVE posters I have on my wall but not so the game. She says it’s too dark and dank even for something as void as space. Yet she tells me this has nothing to do with why she will not play it. While she likes Science fiction and fantasy a lot, she just cannot say she has an interest in flying spaceships about. When she escapes for the afternoon to another world it’s just not her thing. Even if I think she would like it if she would only try it. She has the qualities I believe that make up an EVE player.

That is pretty much why a lot of people choose to play a game or not. Does it bring them enough enjoyment to spend their time playing? Obviously for the ~200k-300k folks who play EVE Online it does. They enjoy the depth of the game and the community as it melts together in our one big universe. They like the technical aspect of fitting out a ship, the discovery of wormholes, massive fleet fights, or perhaps mining as a form of meditation. Eve quite simply put is a very deep and well written game with a community that truly shapes it. I for one do enjoy it greatly. So much so my wife asks me how my obsession is going.

So why is EVE not like say World of Warcraft(YUCK)? I mean both are fantasy based MMO’s available for the PC or Mac. They are both priced about the same in terms of monthly subscriptions. World of Warcraft cost more to buy and expansions are expensive as well. Yet World of Warcraft has members in the scores of Millions to our few hundred thousand capsuleers. What makes it so appealing to people. What makes them want to spend their time playing it? Why do more women play it that EvE? It’s not because the game is written or tailored directly towards them. WoW for the most part is a very simple game that can be customized and made even easier with add-ons. Hence it attracts more players and with those players more women. NOTE: I am not saying it attracts more women because it’s simple, more so it just attracts more players and is easier to play for all.

EVE on the other hand is not simple by any sense of the word. There is very little handholding for new players which dramatically weeds out the casual gamers. There is no story to follow either when compared to other MMOs. The player defines a story as they make their way inside the EVE world. This requires creativity and drive not found inside most MMO escapists. There are NO customizations to make the UI easier or the task of mining any less tedious. In EVE you need to set goals and drive forwards all on your very own. It takes a strong dedicated mind and hence we EVE players are known to be hardcore. This however is strength not to be diluted. Those of us who do survive to become one of the few hundred thousand players bring to the game our strength and passion as well as our tears and frustrations. (see all the ninjas and pirates get excited when i said "tears")

It’s not that we need to change EVE to attract more women. We need to present EVE to strong minded Women with the drive to form their own story. Women who can see into the depth of space and learn to love its challenges and shape their own story. There are plenty of these strong minded Women out there in the gaming world. If only they could be convinced to log in and then make it through the learning curve. There are some that have and they truly are worthy players of EVE and have forged a great story for themself and us to enjoy.

One more note. If I Google:

-MMO there is no EVE in the top hits, but that stinking World of Warcraft is there.
-Spaceship game no EVE but we see secondlife(!?)
-Best MMO there is no EVE either (it does appear 4th if you drill into the first link. YAY!)
-MMO space EVE is #1 link for good reason.



*EDIT* Added other folks posts
Other particpants:
1. The Ladies of New Eden
2. Is EVE a man’s world?
3. Sorry, No Pink Spaceships Here Please
4. EVE Blog Banter: Chicks ‘N Ships
5. Eve Blog Banter: The Girls Who Fly Spaceships
6. It’s not about fluffy bloody Kittens people!
7. Space Boobies Are Bad, m’kay?
8. Special Blog Banter: I Like Girls
9. Special Edition or making Eve More Casual
10. I wish my wife played EVE
11. Is there something special about women?
12. CK’s Blog Banter
13. The Female of the Species
14. EVE Online Can Appeal to Women By Adding Casual Content
15. Blog Banter: The Ladies
16. Women Who Want EVE
17. Tech 2 stilettos
18. New Eden doesn’t need to change for Eve – Adam needs to get over himself
19. EVE Online and… women (sorta)
20. Think Outside the Spaceship
21. EVE’s monthly banter – Women, women, women
22. Girls Just Wanna Have… Guns!
23. Draco Horizons (Blog) <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
24. Don’t change Eve for me!
25. Where Are Teh Laydeez of EVE?
26. Where Are All The Wenches?
27. EVEquality: The Rise of the Female Gamer
28. Women? In MY SPACESHIP? Is she from Mars as well?
29. Blog Banter: Captain Kirk Hates Eve
30. The Female of the Species
31. The Ladies of New Eden
32. EVE and the X by X Genetic Succession Unit
33. Sociability V
34. Girl on Girls in Space
35. What women want (in Eve)
36. Time Is On Our Side
37. Roc Appeal <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
38. Women in EVE
39. Getting In Touch With Our Feminine Side
40. It’s a woman’s world (they just don’t know it yet!) <– Needs to add link to the Banter in the intro
41. Women in EVE – Can it be done? <– Needs to add intro (with links) and list of participants
42. You’d Rather Be Playing The Sims, Right?
43. Blog Banter #17 – Women in Eve


  1. /agree (for the most part). Though, just to be consistent: I think the marketing is the issue...we don't want WoW players invading New Eden...EQ2 did that and it was disastrous. But where did those dis-affected EQ2 players go? I stumbled onto EvE when I left EQ2, but not though any marketing. There is a large (and growing larger) group of folks that are turned off by the 'dumbing down' of MMOs (in the name of 'balance' or 'growing the sub base') and CCP needs to find a way to market to those folks (men and women.)


  2. I've seen 5 hardcore WoW players try EVE and fry out after 40 days. EVE tends to sort out the people who try it. The last thing I want is for EVE to become another WoW. If your looking for that kind of simple space stuff. I hear Star Trek Online is JUST that. An MMO light ;).

    If we want more players we need to market to them, not change a game they don't know about to suit the wims.

    Cheers and thx for stopping by.


  3. I think we just said the exact same thing(?). Marketing to the correct audience will help pre-select folks for EvE and those 5 guys won't even know it exists. Win-Win-Win. (Or maybe just Win-win)

    Changing the game would be wrong, wrong, wrong. Just in case my first comment was unclear.


  4. We are on the same page Mate. I just like to mini rant :)



  5. This is a great post :)

    "There is no story to follow either when compared to other MMOs. "

    True, but neither does Farmville.

  6. Don't play facebook games mate. SO I cannot comment.

    Thanks for dropping in.



  7. The reason I preferred WoW for many years (female gamer here) wasn't because it was simpler to get into or had the UI mods to make things easier, but because of the sheer variety. If I got sick of staring at a wasteland canyon, I could go to a forest zone. The vast plethora of creatures to kill might not seem like a big deal, but when you're doing your fiftieth mission/quest, it's nice to at least have some new scenery.

    Don't get me wrong, I think EVE is gorgeous. I love the ships and spacescapes. But there's a lot less variety, so I tend to play for a week or two at a time and then take a break from what feels like monotony.

  8. First of all thanks for dropping in and taking a moment to comment.

    I've commented in the past that some additional variety in the PvE aspect of Eve would cure some of the monotony and hence retain more players. EVE truly relies on its players to bring color to the game. The jokes and the chatter in corp. are far more entertaining than the missions.

    I did not really want to compare EVE to WoW as they are both very different beasts. WoW is a better single player game and it does have more content for the lone wolf. My wife and I both enjoyed playing the first 50 levels with each race a lot more than the next 30 levels. At around that point it kind of all melted together for us and became generic. Eve is the opposite I find where the end game or 0.0 is 100% driven by players and hence a very dynamic game. I am just now getting to poke my toes into 0.0. So yes we can agree that a little more early variety could not hurt EVE.

    The void of space is a cold harsh place and you kind of have to dig that to play EVE. You are not going to find any huts in the forest with a lady selling cats. Thankfully there are no murlocks either. :)