EVE Online’s Secret Sauce: An MMO Menu for the Future?

What can be learned from CCP Games' journey? Will the EVE Online developers continue to stay ahead of or completely ignore the curve?

CCP Games has made significant contribution to the shape of modern MMO development, but it has taken some time for industry competitors to identify this. Only in recent years have we started to see other studios embrace more active development of the ideas successfully implemented in EVE Online.

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A decade is a long time in game development and, although the confluence of ideas and their implementation worked at the time, that doesn’t necessarily mean they would be as effective out of the box today, nor are individual elements certain to be successful if implemented in isolation.

For the consumer, it is great news that more developers will be embracing what were once considered niche ideals, and we can look forward to a refreshing and interesting future for online gaming as a result. Funcom’s The Secret World and Sony Online Entertainment’s Everquest Next are both aiming for the sandbox market, NCSOFT’s Wildstar will feature a PLEX-like system, and there are many other MMO developers who will be reaching beyond traditional solutions as the market continues to change.

For CCP Games, having now reached a point where they have begun to diversify, it will be interesting to see if they can adapt their own secret sauce to other products. Last year’s rather bland but improving DUST 514 release suggests that the process is not certain. Forthcoming projects such as the recently announced and potentially far spicier EVE:Valkyrie will certainly put the formula to a further test. And lets not forget that lurking somewhere in the shadows is the vampire MMO World of Darkness, which could offer an enticing base for a variation on the EVE Online recipe.

The MMO landscape has changed significantly since the turn of the millennium and consumers’ palettes have diversified and refined. What the flavour of the future will be is anyone’s guess, but I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on the Icelandic menu.

Bon Appétit.

CCP’s Secret Sauce Article List

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Mat Westhorpe
Broken paramedic and coffee-drinking Englishman whose favourite dumb animal is an oxymoron. After over a decade of humping and dumping the fat and the dead, my lower spine did things normally reserved for Rubik's cubes, bringing my career as a medical clinician to an unexpectedly early end. Fortunately, my real passion is in writing and given that I'm now highly qualified in the art of sitting down, I have the time to pursue it. Having blogged about video games (well, mostly EVE Online) for years, I hope to channel my enjoyment of wordcraft and my hobby of gaming into one handy new career that doesn't involve other people's vomit.