CCP Games' EVE Online is a particular game. If you like EVE, you probably love it. If you don't like it, it seems like the most boring game ever. Over the game's ten years of existence, CCP has kept EVE mostly the same. While fans other MMOs lament how they've lost their way, EVE sits a monument to keeping your core fans happy to the exclusion of all else.
USGamer talked to CCP Games' CEO Hilmar Petursson about keeping the cutthroat nature of EVE alive for its 500,000 fans.
“As we have other products in the field, EVE is still our first one," said Petursson. "We have a passionate community growing every single year for 10 years, so that remains a huge priority and focus for us. Half a million people have come to expect that and nothing less."
"The core of EVE has remained absolutely the same. Right now, we're in a really nice place and its shows in the things we're releasing these days. The Odyssey expansion is some of the finest work that has ever been done for EVE Online. Even though has been around for a decade, there's a very clear sense for me and the company, that our best work is still ahead of us."
At the EVE FanFest in April, CCP announced that real EVE Online player stories were coming to comics and television. The comics are being made in partnership with Dark Horse Comics, while the television series is being developed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur. We asked Petursson how CCP intends to handle player names in its adaptations, since many viewers are probably not ready to watch or read the serious sci-fi tale of the pirate ButtSexxyMan.
"History is written by the winners,” he replied. “It’s funny, when you start to 'mine' stories out of EVE Online, you find people don't agree on exactly what happened. There's very different perspectives on what actually happen. We're dealing with a similar situation that you have when you make stories based on real-world events. When you do that, you often change the names to protect the innocent. We approach it like that. Some of the names that people make for a computer game are not ideal names to bring over to a comic book."
Right now, you can shoot a missile from EVE Online and its lands in a map on Dust. That's pretty amazing when you see it happening
CCP recently launched Dust 514, a free-to-play shooter that brings the hardcore nature of EVE Online to PlayStation 3. Events in one game have a real effect on the other, making the connection between the two kind of unique. Petursson told us that the link between EVE Online and Dust 514 is light at the moment, but will get stronger as both games move forward.
“We strategically decided to have the connection be moderate to begin with because there are many things to figure out," said Petursson. "We’re getting to grips on that and we're going to open the gates more and more. Right now, you can shoot a missile from EVE Online and its lands in a map on Dust. That's pretty amazing when you see it happening. It's not a small thing to make a console game in China, put it on the PlayStation 3, connect it into EVE Online, have a shared economy, shared social network and voice chatting, text between the games, and we pulled it off."
CCP also has its Atlanta branch working on the World of Darkness MMO, based on the classic pen-and-paper RPG. Unfortunately, the game has been hiding in the shadows since its first announcement. It started full production back in 2009, and some players have been waiting a long time to have sexy vampire clan wars. Petursson said the team was taking its time on the title, making sure CCP does the source material justice.
"We are taking great care to realize that potential of World of Darkness,” he said. “To take all the things we've learned from EVE and Dust and make sure we bring all that to bear, because there's a huge anticipation for the idea of CCP and White Wolf making World of Darkness. It's our dream product. So, we're absolutely making sure that we're bringing everything to make that in the most ideal way."
"World of Darkness lends itself very well to the way we do games. It's designed as a world, not a hero's journey. A hero's journey is not a very good motive for an MMO, especially a sandbox MMO, because everyone wants to be the hero. When you have something that's more like an operating system for a world, which World of Darkness is, it works very well with our style of making games.”