Earlier this week we reported on a statement from Alexander Gianturco - leader of Eve Online's Goonswarm Alliance, and Chairman of the player-elected Council of Stellar Management - that was intended as an Alliance update. It outlined the Council's concerns surrounding the current state of the Eve universe, perceived shortcomings of the recent Incarna expansion, and the Council's plans to increase awareness of the issues they consider to be damaging the game. We've since spoken with Gianturco for further insight into the CSM's position.
Eurogamer: Thanks for taking the time to talk. I expect we've caused you a busier week than you had planned.
Alexander Gianturco: Well, it's sort of a happy accident and made our job easier I think.
Eurogamer: You told me earlier this week that you were surprised at the speed at which your statement went out. Is this a learning experience for you, being in the spotlight, rather than being in the shadows as a spy?
Alexander Gianturco: Yes and no. We've been in the spotlight before because of the earlier controversy. I think the press was just primed to talk about it because it's a story-arc. We've had press before but I anticipated having to go to the media after the CSM [Council of Stellar Management] had released a formal statement. It's been a double-edged sword because I'm a controversial figure in Eve Online - I run an Alliance and we do bad things to people.
From a political perspective, one of the things we're trying to massage on the forums and in the press is to make sure people realise that the message actually does come from the entire CSM, it's not just me. If we had released the formal statement, people wouldn't be saying "Oh my God, it's just The Mittani."
On the other hand, the viral media wave you kicked off has been good for everyone's cause. At the end of the day, we're in a situation where it's all-or-nothing. If you've been an Eve player for a long time, you'll know shit's ugly.
Eurogamer: So despite your position within Goonswarm, can you be clear in saying that the other members of the CSM are broadly in agreement with your post - it's representative of Council concerns?
Alexander Gianturco: It is 100 per cent representative of the Council members. There's also something that hasn't really been outed. There are a lot of developers (we don't know who they are), but there are devs who play in my Alliance because we're pretty much the largest real Alliance in the game. So people around the [Reyjkavik] office would read my CEO update. Tactically we intended that I would write the CEO update and it would be a quiet shot across the bow of CCP.
Eurogamer: To raise awareness of your stance?
Alexander Gianturco: We're always in Skype with CCP and we could say that this is what I wrote, we're upset about this, and this is sort of our last chance to negotiate - maybe have them back away from the foolish decisions they've been making - before the CSM launched a formal spotlight involving log-in splash ads, fireside chat meetings and a full courting of the media press. The message that I wrote was discussed at length, word for word amongst the CSM. Even though it was aimed at Goonswarm, the CSM had line-by-line input of what I said.
Eurogamer: You've had a lot of accusations aimed at you this week that you leaked the CEO update to us. In the interests of transparency and setting the record straight, would you like to know how we obtained it?
Alexander Gianturco: I would be highly amused to find out.
Eurogamer: It was posted on the official Eve Online forums - further down the same thread, the accusations began.
Alexander Gianturco: [laughs] Oh man, that's ridiculous. It's been funny, conspiracies are always a part of Eve right? Especially with my background as a spy, long before I got involved with the Alliance leadership. People naturally assume that I'm pulling strings, even when I'm not. I wrote a follow-up post saying "Alright guys, personally if I was an observer knowing anything about my history, I wouldn't believe that it was an accident. Of course, he called the media and is pulling the strings." It's worked out too well.