(Editor's Note: This submission is from Two Step, wormhole resident and veteran player representative from CSM6 and CSM7. He is not affiliated with any of the nullsec blocs involved in the HED-GP fight.)
The killboards are still tallying the losses, but it sounds like the fight in HED-GP Saturday will end up with a total ISK loss of at least a trillion ISK. I’m sure somewhere there is a headline about EVE players losing over $30,000 worth of ships, but I also expect the article to be full of how technical problems prevented one side from even being able to shoot back. EVE players might consider the CFC and Russian forces to be the losers in HED, but the real losers are CCP.
If you google “Asakai eve”, you get some 57,000 results. There are pages upon pages of articles from just about every video game news source, plus a bunch of coverage in more mainstream media. I don’t know CCP’s exact numbers, but even from conversations I have had, a large number of players started playing EVE because of that coverage. A conservative estimate would be that CCP gained at least 5,000 long term subscribers, and probably more than $200,000 USD in revenue, not to mention all that free advertising which just helps build the image of EVE even among those that don’t play. This is especially important now that CCP is trying to branch out into multiple games. Perhaps some of those people might be convinced to try DUST or EVE: Valkyrie once it is released. I’d estimate all that free press was probably worth at least another $200,000 USD.
If the story of HED-GP had unfolded without so many technical issues, even Elise Randoph, one of PL’s main FCs, admitted that the PL/N3 fleet would be in trouble. Perhaps CFC/RUS would still have lost a trillion ISK worth of dreads and Domis, but PL/N3 had a whole lot more on the field that might have been lost. A conservative estimate would be that they had 10 trillion ISK worth of ships on the field (according to Elise’s numbers above). Surely some of them would have escaped, but certainly enough would have died to push total losses over 5 trillion ISK, or $150,000 USD. That is over five times the losses at Asakai, and one can easily imagine the headlines: “EVE players lose enough ships to pay for an average house in the US”, “Massive 4,000 player battle results in $150K of losses”, and more.
Hopefully CCP takes this opportunity to realize that fleet fights the size of Asakai or HED-GP are critical to their bottom line. Devoting a couple of programmers to one of the several lag reduction projects they have been toying with, such as Brain in a Box, or live remapping nodes. They already know the numbers for what Asakai brought them in revenue, a fight 5 times larger would only have brought them more subscribers and good PR. Especially in this day of twitch.tv streaming, one could only imagine how many people would have been tuning in if ships were actually blowing up, instead of a slow motion 2 frames per second lag fest. It does sound like the CSM is doing their jobs and communicating the importance of performance in the sort of large fleet fights that we seem to be getting more and more of these days. Hopefully this summer’s expansion will bring improved performance so the next huge fight will be a lot more like Asakai and less like HED-GP.