Today, CCP Bro announced some changes to the tournament. Specifically the minimum bid amount for the auction, and an increased number of prizes. Those are two specific items I called out in my post. I'm not claiming I had any direct influence on CCP's change of heart. Most likely, these tournament changes were decided upon last week, because the conversation had been an ongoing concern amongst players, well before I made my posts (and it does take some while for CCP to write and approve devblogs.) All told, I think I was at least effective at drawing more eyeballs to the issues I considered important, whether those eyeballs agreed or disagreed with my viewpoint.
So, the minimum bid amount is being reduced from 20 plex to 10 plex. Being an auction, this won't have much of an effect on the high bids, and we're sure to see bids approaching 40 plex. All fine and good, the rich teams are going to want to make sure they get a slot in the tourney. But as the auction wears on (32 available slots after all), I think we'll see some teams get into the tournament for sub-20 plex bids. And that's good.
I am also impressed that CCP is adding 275 plex to the tournament as additional prizes for first, second and third place. Payable either to the team sponsor or the team captain (to be divvied up, or not, as they see fit.)
There also will be additional prizes (for competitors and spectators) from Razer and Logitech.
CCP Bro also talked about their production costs:
What most people fail to include is the significant production costs involved in a large scale production like the New Eden Open. For this tournament we are building an entirely new set, renting top of the line production equipment, and we are contracting professional sound and video engineers to ensure we deliver the best possible production to our players and fans.To this I say, "Boo hoo." I'm still quite adamant that these tournaments are a marketing opportunity for CCP, and as such, the costs should not be borne by the players directly, on top of their subscription fees. (Every month you play this game, it is being paid for by someone.) Players had hoped for additional tournaments, but they weren't screaming for them. Players aren't demanding an entirely new stage set or the hiring of professional sound and video engineers. (The last set was nice, and could have been re-used with some minimal modifications. And Alliance Tournament X production was excellent, except for some feed hiccups, which I don't think a professional sound or video engineer would have solved.)
Anyhow, the point is, this tournament is marketing for the game, so write it off as a marketing expense. The players should not be underwriting these events for CCP. If these tournaments are too expensive for CCP, then they either shouldn't run them, or they should find sponsors to help fund them.
Other than tournament funding questions, these changes are very welcome indeed. Kudos to CCP for making the changes. I'm looking forward to spectating the New Eden Open.