Thursday, September 06, 2018

Wholly Owned Independent Subsidiary

A bombshell dropped by CCP last night announcing the company being bought "by Pearl Abyss, Korean developers of the gorgeous hit open-world action-MMO Black Desert Online."

Here is the critical information in the fluff of the post:

Right now, CCP is owned by a group of three big financial investors. They have been with us on this journey for over a decade with all our ups and downs and as is the business of financial investors, selling their shares at some point is part of the plan. Being acquired by Pearl Abyss means that we will be bringing a videogames company on board as well as a new long-term home for CCP. This will be important for the years to come as partnering up with another MMO developer means that we have an even greater shared depth of experience to pull from and can tackle even more (and bigger) long-term mutual goals. If there is anything I have learned from EVE Online it’s that good things take time and great things take even longer.
In business terms, CCP Games will continue to operate as a wholly owned independent subsidiary, with studios in Reykjav√≠k, London and Shanghai, and we’ll integrate our development and publishing expertise into Pearl Abyss’ operations for all current and future projects. 
The term "wholly owned independent subsidiary" required me to google what exactly that means. From the website Investopedia:

The difference between a subsidiary and a wholly owned subsidiary is the amount of control held by the parent company.
A regular subsidiary company has over 50% of its voting stock (it can be half, plus one share more) controlled by another company, though for liability, tax and regulatory reasons, the subsidiary and parent companies remain separate legal entities. The parent company is typically a larger business that often has control over more than one subsidiary. Parent companies may be more or less active concerning their subsidiaries, but they always hold a controlling interest to some degree. The amount of control the parent company chooses to exercise usually depends on the level of managing control the parent company awards to the subsidiary company management staff.
A subsidiary company is considered wholly owned when all of the common stock is owned by another company, the parent company. There are no minority shareholders. The subsidiary's stock is not traded publicly. But it remains an independent legal body, a corporation with its own organized framework and administration. Its day-to-day operations are likely directed entirely by the parent company, however.
Emphasis mine. 

What does it all mean? It means that CCP no longer solely determines the direction of EVE Online. Yes, it had owners before, the three "big financial investors" and I'm sure that had some affect on decisions made in the game about what was developed and pushed and what was not, but its vastly different managing the expectations and demands of three non-gaming owning entities than is it having one owner who is itself a game developing company. If you think CCP and EVE are not going to be impacted by the philosophies and inclinations of Pearl Abyss in the medium and long term, you are deluding yourselves. They did not make a major investment in another game development studio to do nothing at all with it.

The interesting question is what form that influence / interference will take. Stay tuned.


  1. I just have to get Gevlon's take on this......

    1. Why should we give a shit what he thinks, he threw his toys out of the pram and stomped off in a hissy fit years ago.

  2. If it means the firing of falcon and his cohorts, I am all for anything that happens to Eve.