EVE Online's Senior Producer Jon Lander expounded on the bottom-up philosophy that CCP practices for its massive space sandbox. He discussed how EVE is focused on building tools for players to use instead of cranking out content for players to consume.
Lander credits the game's success to listening to the player base and the developers who are more intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of the game world. He states, "What we've done is we've devolved an awful lot of the power of the decision-making and the accountability for what we do in the games to the people who know best, which are the developers on the ground who've been doing this for a long time." He also noted that the company learned a valuable lesson when it deviated from that philosophy in 2011 and the company took its success for granted.
EVE also benefits from focusing on building a social system instead of content. "We build a social engine that people actually love, hate, despise each other, love each other, backstab each other, and play the good Samaritan," says Lander. "People know each other, and there is this history. They feel a big emotional attachment to that, and that keeps them coming."