CCP is taking steps to mitigate claims of favoritism after it gave a rare gift to the micro-lottery website SOMER Blink.
Recently, EVE Online creators CCP gave the micro-lottery site SOMER Blink access to the Ishukone Watch Scorpions battleship. The rare in-game vessel was given to SOMER staff members as thanks for the website's support of EVE Online. Rare ships were also provided to serve as contest prizes. When EVE's fans learned of this, however, there was an outcry from many players who viewed the gifts as examples of favoritism on CCP's part.
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Responding to this CCP has offered an official explanation and response that it hopes will nip the turmoil in the bud. CCP noted in its statements that this wasn't the first time it had done a giveaway like this. That being the case, it did admit that the gifts given to SOMER Blink were "around three times larger" than its last large distribution, something that had frustrated some users.It attributes this disparity to the simple fact that SOMER Blink has more people working for it. "The rewards for the SOMER Blink staff was around three times larger than the one to the [Syndicate Competitive League] staff but that's because they have three times the staff," said CCP. "In both cases everyone got one each."
Despite there being a precedent for such giveaways, however, the studio acknowledged that the gifting of rare and exclusive items can be a tricky issue. "We recognize that gifting rare in-game items... can have implications no matter how well-meaning you are," said CCP. "A line was crossed in many people's minds despite there being certain similarities with previous gifting events. Where the line of acceptability lies is something we need to work out together before we move forward."
That in mind, CCP has decided to pause "all plans for rare in-game rewards to select third party contributors." It wants to "carefully consider [user] feedback and determine what our framework should be and what improvements to the level of transparency are needed so that the rewards program serves its intended purpose of making the EVE Universe a better place."
Source: EVE Online