New Eden Open: Unpaid Tournament Prize Money Investigated

With tournament prizewinners becoming increasingly disgruntled, we take a closer look at CCP Games' handling of prize money distribution after the collapse of Own3D.
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Following player concerns that New Eden Open prize money remained unpaid after six months, I endeavoured to find out what had gone wrong.

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With the tournament over in December 2012 and Own3D‘s promised prize money liquidated by early February, CCP seemed to take their time addressing the problem.

A Customer Service Challenge

Investigation of the EVE forums shows that, on the 1st March, CCP Dolan offered the following explanation for the ongoing delays:

“We were delayed by some rather bothersome problems of figuring out who actually owned some of the tournament accounts.

At least half of the invoices will be going out today, and if I don’t finish them all then the rest will go out on Monday.”

EVE Online players can be notoriously guarded about their identities and often have multiple EVE accounts.

However, another two weeks passed and the forum enquiries about the payment whereabouts continued. The challenges of international banking seemed to have put paid to CCP Dolan’s best laid plans:

“I’ve been trying to get everything set so that our finance department could pay all of the prizes at once and save them a headache. It is appearing more and more like that plan was probably wishful thinking, especially considering the overlap of the CSM elections.

Rest assured that everyone is going to receive their prizes. I will likely be doing a round of prizes with everyone who has given me information that is correct and is what was requested in their mails to me. I will then be sitting down to work through any special cases with everyone else (likely immediately after fanfest).” – CCP Dolan, 14th April 2013

No Resolution

A month later and the forum thread continued to be filled with disgruntled and unpaid tournament participants. Even CCP staff involved with the tournament were starting to wring their hands, with EVE TV Director CCP Loxy weighing in:

“This thread is frankly embarrassing, apologies to everyone still waiting for this to be resolved. Tomorrow is a public holiday in Iceland but I’ll look into the situation on Friday morning and post an update here before the end of that day. I will also keep pursuing this until its settled.” – CCP Loxy, 8th May 2013

CCP Loxy’s involvement lead to the revelation that “of ~75 people eligible for a share of the prize there are just a handful that have actually filled out the invoices properly.”

So it seemed that the problem largely laid with the prizewinners not providing the necessary details to deliver the prize money. Nevertheless, CCP Dolan and CCP Loxy persevered:

“We’re going to take those, plus the ones we can salvage up to finance on Monday (Due to the national holiday yesterday there’s a lot of staff not here today), along with the head of Customer Service in order to get those payments dealt with as soon as possible.”

It was notable that some prizewinners seemed to be asking for some very particular methods of transfer, with one forum-goer being prepared to waive his prize money entirely if it could not be awarded as in-game currency. According to CCP Loxy, others had still not been in contact. A subsequent email with more explicit instructions was promised and CCP Loxy pledged to see that subsequently received invoices would be processed on a weekly basis.

However, despite redoubled efforts, a further month would pass before a resolution was found…

Next: What Can Be Learned From the EVE Online Prize Money Debacle? 

Previous: CCP’s Ongoing Struggle to Deliver New Eden Open Prize Money

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Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.