EvE Online passes 500,000 subscriber milestone

By Dave Cook
28 February 2013 11:04 GMT

EvE Online has defied the trend of MMOs going free-to-play by smashing through the 500,000 subscriber milestone.

As EvE enters its second decade, the game’s global subscriber numbers spiked as a result of CCP’s latest game update ‘Retribution’.

The content lets you place bounties on other player’s heads, sparking skirmishes, betrayal and other conflicts across the world of Tranquility. You can read my full interview feature on Retribution with CCP here.

The MMO also relaunched in China with the assistance of publisher Tiancity, which also saw a large spike in player numbers.

Speaking with VG247, CCP’s chief marketing officer David Reid shared some insight into working with Tiancity on the relaunch. The company also handled the Chinese launch of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and is said to be quite seasoned in the market.

Said Reid, “This time around, EvE was launched a little differently in China compared to how it was originally launched. The core moment-to-moment gameplay is of course the same, but what we’re seeing there is – at a high level – the Chinese players are embracing a lot of the same mechanics that we’re seeing in the West.

“The growth is fast. 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.

“It’s testament to the uniqueness of EvE that, when you’re in a big market like that, we really do stand out. It’s very appealing for a large number of gamers. Just because the social, shallow, casual end of games are very popular in a market like China, it dosn’t mean that Chinese gamers don’t want deeper experiences just like Western gamers.”

In response to the milestone, CCP’s CEO Hilmar Pétursson issued his thanks to players, along with his own thoughts looking back at the game’s success, “This is a bit of a sentimental moment for all of us at CCP. This is something we’ve strived for against all odds, against all rational, logical expectation of what is reasonable to do in a decade.”

He added that he hoped to, “Inspire a whole new decade of progress in EvE Online,” and to, “Explore what this concept is about to become. It has long since turned into more than a computer game. Having watched it now for a decade, our best work is ahead of us.

“I now really believe in my mind and my heart that EvE will outlive us all”

Are you still playing EvE Online? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for my full interview with CCP in the coming weeks.

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