EVE Online Hits New Subscriber Milestone

EVE Online Hits New Subscriber Milestone

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A recent expansion, the Dust 514 beta, and a relaunch in China all helped to push the MMORPG past 500,000 players worldwide.

Sci-fi MMORPG EVE Online, known for its emphasis on corporate dealings, player dynamics, and the occasional mass-starship battle, recently hit a new milestone: CCP Games announced that the game has broken the 500,000 subscriber mark worldwide.

CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson and CMO David Reid explained in a conference call that, along with 10 years of steady growth, the goal was attributed to the release of the EVE Online: Retribution expansion, as well as the beta for first-person shooter Dust 514, which takes place within the MMO's universe. Reid also suggested that the growth spurt was thanks to a relaunch of the game in China, published by TianCity. All three factors combined to boost subscriber levels since December of last year.

In an interview with VG247, Reid said the game experienced fast growth in the east. "It's fair to say that the Western business is larger, but then again it's had ten years to get to the place it is, and we expect to see continued growth in the Chinese market.

"The only thing we would call surprising is just how well Chinese gamers took to EVE in a sense, because the Chinese market is a very different one, and there's a lot of free-to-play out there, we're a subscription title. There's a lot of - shall we say - shallower games that are prominent in the market there, and EVE of course is a very deep game."

Pétursson claimed that EVE Online's sandbox approach to gameplay, where the state of the game's universe is driven entirely by players, enabled it to retain and attract new participants. "We've often called it the 'infinitely scalable storytelling engine,'" he said, citing The Battle of Asakai as an example of unscripted events causing widespread effects.

"As the game grows - for every 100,000 people who join EVE Online, the inherent value of the game becomes a stronger one," he continued. "EVE, with a half a million people playing it, is a much better experience than when we have 300,000 people playing it."

Sources: Polygon, VG247

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And they say that subscription-based MMO's are dying.

Having played on both I will let some of the non-Chinese readers know something about this.

EVE-Online in China (CEVE) has been on and off as the Chinese provider has changed - leading to months of downtime. This changed last summer where it was taken up by Tiancity. Tiancity made it free to play, you couldn't buy PLEX anywhere so there was no market for that. Then in December they switched to the subscription model. Naturally the player base took a hit, but not as large as you'd think. Problems to playing CEVE are registering and paying the subscription. Not the game itself (you can get a program that switches the whole interface from Chinese to English). Which can be prohibitive to people interested in CEVE.

I am pleased to see EVE doing so well, it's nice to see something different from 'WOW/Fantasy' in MMO's.

EVE is one of those things I enjoy reading about, but I don't think I'd ever play.

Just too much to learn, and too much like a spreadsheet.

While not really interested in Eve, Dust 514 really did pique my interest. Too bad it had to be an exclusive.

I am one of those people who joined after playing dust. I think both games are very fun. I have already got my business to the point that I can almost play the game with the sales from the stuff I make, instead of having to pay the monthly fee.

Captcha: Good Luck

:(

jurnag12:
And they say that subscription-based MMO's are dying.

Eve allows paying for game time with in game currency. It's not quite F2P but it's also not a pure sub model either.

And, further, this is what's known as a bullpoop story. The first time Eve launched in China, they had nearly a million subs. However, an 'unscripted gaming event' got out of control when the first alliance that was formed in the game managed to so utterly dominate the server that it's subs dropped almost as fast as TORtanic and was shuttered.

I must admit, I am very tempted to get a subscription to Eve.

Only thing that holds me back is the fact that it would take ages for me to properly get in to it.

frobalt:
I must admit, I am very tempted to get a subscription to Eve.

Only thing that holds me back is the fact that it would take ages for me to properly get in to it.

There in lies one misconception about the game, yes you wont be able to step into a dreadnought or battleship until months down the line but you can easily compete with most vets within a month of game time easy. I have been playing on and off for the last 2 years and really most of the consistent pvp (if that is what your looking for) you will find yourself in is with small roaming gangs. Cruisers and frigates are the main go to for pvpers since they are cheap and its easy to get into and play efficiently for newer players.

But to anyone that is thinking of getting into EVE, be aware that it is a very hardcore pvp game in its core and you will pretty much be thrown to the wolves once the tutorials are finished. This game is a playground for the trolls and griefers so if your not into losing your ships and money randomly (there is no safe havens in EVE) then it probably be wise to stay away from it. If your ok with all that then you will prosper and no doubt find probably one of the deepest games out there that could keep you learning for years.

Due to Chinese law, the chinese have a completely different EVE server that they can access. Apart from the people in the game, it's an identical game just with Chinese people or the rest of the world. And it's really interesting how things differ.

This is a map of the various factions and alliances in EVE


And this is the Chinese map.

Apparently the Chinese people are much more loyal and less fractious, it's normal to join up with an alliance and stay there for the rest of the game. There are only 6 major alliances.

Check out this series of articles on it here
http://themittani.com/features/eve-behind-great-firewall-inside-null-bloc

Only tangentially related, but I thought it was interesting

Daystar Clarion:
EVE is one of those things I enjoy reading about, but I don't think I'd ever play.

Just too much to learn, and too much like a spreadsheet.

the joke of eve is excel with graphics are somewhat true. but there are other career paths. i know folk who never opened an excel in thier life enjoy it, they just choose the "ships go boom" patch.

Good, more people means i can sell them more guns and ammo to blow themselves with, and they even pay me good money for it.

I do miss playing Eve, it was a a lot of fun, but it takes up far too much time to really play properly. I just cannot afford the time to get back into it. Pity, really, roaming through enemy-held space in a frigate pack and savaging squadrons of much larger ships that did not realise the threat a frigate could pose was exhilarating.

Haha, oh Captcha. "Stand and Deliver", really sums up a lot of my time in Eve.

BaronIveagh:
Eve allows paying for game time with in game currency. It's not quite F2P but it's also not a pure sub model either.

Well, sort of. Eve allows buying game time with in-game currency from other players who already paid real money for it. While it's possible for a particular individual to play without ever paying real money, CCP gets paid for every single second anyone spends in the game (not counting free trials and such of course). Quite a clever way of doing it really - from the point of view of players it looks almost like F2P, but from the point of view of the company it's indistinguishable from a regular subscription model. I've always been surprised that no other company (that I'm aware of at least) has used a similar method. Most of the benefits of F2P and subscriptions, while simultaneously making buying cash from gold farming completely pointless. Not that it actually eliminates gold farming completely, but nothing can ever completely remove the depths of human stupidity.

As for the numbers, I think people (mainly meaning developers) are going to have to start taking Eve more seriously. It's always done things differently, but at the same time has always been a relatively small niche product. Talking about continuous growth through its whole life sounds less great when it's pointed out that it's still only the sort of numbers that WoW loses down the back of the sofa without even noticing. But a game like The Old Republic was happy to boast about hitting a million subs back when it thought it was successful, and suddenly the numbers Eve has don't look quite so small any more. Eve still certainly isn't the biggest game around, but it's looking less and less like a minor niche product and more like a real player. And it's still growing. Every time someone tries to copy WoW and fails, people start talking about the death of MMOs, subscription models, and so on. Maybe they need to start looking at Eve and not WoW.

Kahani:

As for the numbers, I think people (mainly meaning developers) are going to have to start taking Eve more seriously. It's always done things differently, but at the same time has always been a relatively small niche product. Talking about continuous growth through its whole life sounds less great when it's pointed out that it's still only the sort of numbers that WoW loses down the back of the sofa without even noticing. But a game like The Old Republic was happy to boast about hitting a million subs back when it thought it was successful, and suddenly the numbers Eve has don't look quite so small any more. Eve still certainly isn't the biggest game around, but it's looking less and less like a minor niche product and more like a real player. And it's still growing. Every time someone tries to copy WoW and fails, people start talking about the death of MMOs, subscription models, and so on. Maybe they need to start looking at Eve and not WoW.

I think you're missing the point though. It wasn't what Eve's numbers are, but rather that they were greater in the past then they are now. The fact is that this is getting back up where they were before Eve was shut down in China the first time, though it's nice to see that they managed avoid the massive pitfall of the first launch where there was only one massive alliance that simply dominated the entire map.

 

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