Several rare ships were up for grabs in the contest, which sparked outcry from the community. One of these hasn't existed in the game since the lone hull was destroyed in 2004. Additionally the contest seemed to create a perceived favoritism of Somer Blink by CCP, which only added fuel to the fire.
CCP Navigator made a new thread addressing the criticism, concerns and comments from the EVE Community, and announced that CCP is changing the items being given away.
The following changes will be made to the Golden Magnate & Guardian Vexors. These ships were originally part of the prize pool, but had previously been released in past CCP events.
- The Gold Magnate prize will now become the option of either a unique variant of the new cruiser with enhanced stats and a different skin or an all-expense paid trip to Fanfest 2014.
- The Guardian Vexor prize will now become the unique variant of the new cruiser with enhanced stats and a different skin.
The post went on to address the general complaints and issues people had with the event. Somer Blink is part of a collection of sites like EVE-Bet.com, EVE Hold'Em, etc. that offer lotteries, which the rare items are being offered through. Somer Blink stands to make a great deal of ISK off this event alone through the percentages they take with each token bought, which is part of the outcry the community has raised and where the allegations of perceived "favoritism" by CCP stem from.
CCP Navigator addressed this question, as well as whether or not CCP will be moving these sort of rare item giveaways from fansites to CCP-operated platforms:
We want to address this in our upcoming process discussion surrounding 3rd party sponsorship. We want to provide as much support for our community as possible, and one of the most meaningful ways to do that is with special, rare or limited edition items on Tranquility. We need to investigate whether that approach is ultimately positive for EVE before we make a decision about whether future item giveaways should be done only directly from CCP.
Many thanks for all of your patience during this time and we hope this explains some of our thinking. We would also like to address the role of SOMER Blink in this change. They have had three years of constantly delivering on every blink, blast and bonk they have organized. Clearly, this is going to change in this circumstance and this is not their fault in the slightest. We are aware players have played blinks to get involved in the lottery and there is nothing we can do to reverse those transactions. We believe the replacement prizes are of such a high value as to be equal compensation.