Ten years after its launch, Eve Online is in a strange place. It’s a game with just 500,000 players, nothing by most MMO standards, yet one whose stories, heists and controversies regularly spark interest in a wider audience that would never actually dream of playing it. On Twitter, I asked my followers what would make them give it a shot at this point. “Nothing,” was the standard answer. “A complete reset,” answered a couple more. Perhaps most notably, “Any change that would make me want to play would stop it from being Eve.”
This is not of course lost on CCP. “For a long time we’ve been thinking how to engage the large group of people who are fascinated by this universe, the promise of what Eve can be, but this particular game is too hard, too cut-throat, too complicated, too hardcore,” former senior producer Jon Lander told me. Later, chief marketing officer David Reid was happy to admit “Eve is a hard game, and we’re okay with that. Some of those people will never be Eve players, and probably never should. But it shouldn’t necessarily be as hard to understand it. The gamers who made this company over the first decade are going to look a little different in the second, coming from free-to-play, mobile and tablet. A big part of our job is bringing them into the universe.”
The key words there are ‘particular game’ and ‘universe’, especially at this year’s Eve FanFest, where shooter Dust 514 and CCP’s line “Eve Is Real” together got at least as much attention as the spaceships. I’ll admit to having been a bit skeptical of Dust actually playing a big role in the main universe, but this year’s announcements made it clear that it’s far from just a throw-away game. Whether they work out or not in the long-term, and ‘long-term’ is the timeline, CCP has huge plans in mind for it. First we have the Uprising (free) expansion where Dust players can break away from the server-browser high-security planets to start actually conquering worlds.
- This Post originally appeared on:
- Bad puns and video games since 1999.
- Originally dated as:
- 08 May 2013 14:00:00 +0100