MMOWTF: Along Came a Merger
Weekly Column by Dan Fortier
Editor's Note: This is an edition of a weekly column by Staff Writer Dan Fortier. The column is called "MMOWTF" and will look at some of the stranger or more frustrating events in MMOs as seen by Mr. Fotier. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of MMORPG.com, its staff or management.
This whole business came out of left field, but it was all started when CCP contacted White Wolf at Gencon last year to get them to team up on the new EVE collectable card game. Apparently mums the word on the specifics of the deal but with White Wolf becoming a 'wholly owned subsidiary' and Hilmar Petursson becoming the CEO of the combined companies, it is pretty obvious who is running the show. If you would have told me yesterday that one of the foundations of pen and paper throughout the 1990's until today would be owned by a group of upstart MMO devs from Iceland I'd have called you crazy. Now it's a done deal...
Neither company has shown any indication of financial woes so at first glance this deal looks like a simple marriage of convenience for both parties. CCP just recently jumped into the card game business with their 'Second Genesis' collectable card game, which is a market White Wolf knows well. The press release also mentions the creation of a pen and paper RPG based on the EVE universe, but it remains to be seen which rule system the game will use. White Wolf can use their resources to bring EVE to an entirely new fan base while rejuvenating their own product line which, as far as I'm concerned, has been going downhill with the new versions of their core settings.
On the other side of things, CCP can offer a lot of assistance and a wealth of experience in the online gaming arena. It looks as if they are planning to bring the World of Darkness into some form of MMO as well. Activision did a pretty good job in creating faithful conversion of Vampire with Redemption, so I'm curious to see how CCP fares without a proven terrestrial RPG engine to work with. Luckily, it looks like they're getting some practice as they work at adding "walking on stations" to EVE. Overall this merger will probably help both companies expand their products into new markets so I don't see a downside. Good luck CCP/WW.
Considering how off the wall this deal seems we might as well open the floodgates of speculation and see what other crazy mergers might become a reality in the near future. To be clear, in case the sarcastic tone below doesn't tip you off, I'm just speculating here. Read at your own risk!