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The EVE Universe Prepares to Enter its ‘Second Decade’ with 500,000 Subscriptions

Ten years of growth, half-a-million subscribers, one misbehaving volcano. Welcome to Iceland's space programme.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

For more than a decade, CCP Games have developed the sandbox spaceship MMO EVE Online from their headquarters in the world’s northernmost capital city, Reykjavik. The Iceland-based studio showed early signs of ambition with their bold game design laying out an open-ended, lawless environment subject to player whim.

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Launched in May 2003, early EVE Online subscriber uptake was slow and the vast single-sharded star cluster of New Eden remained comparatively empty, with fewer than 10,000 peak concurrent users (PCU) and a modest total number of subscribers.

But CCP Games weren’t just reaching for the stars, they were building them. They dreamed of the day their customers outnumbered the 300,000 population of Iceland. Bucking the usual boom-and-bust population trends suffered by many MMOs, EVE Online‘s player population saw year-on-year growth and their goal of outnumbering their actual population with a virtual one was achieved in 2009.

Since then, EVE Online‘s rise has continued, albeit with some difficult challenges along the way. Despite the occasional misstep, CCP claims ten consecutive years of subscriber growth and a current total of over 500,000 subscribers, aided by the addition of the Playstation 3 massively multiplayer shooter DUST514 to the single EVE Universe and the recently relaunched Chinese EVE Online server (which operates separately to the rest of the world).

In truth, EVE Online is looking fighting-fit despite its age, and the PCU now regularly exceeds 50,000 players, all co-existing in a single game environment. All eyes are to the future. It seems that the ambitions of CCP Games and the goals of EVE Online remain as lofty as ever, with CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson stating;

“For me, this is a true testament that EVE can live on forever, as long as we do right by her. We have not come to this point alone; millions of players have helped push us to this milestone. I now know in my mind what I previously only believed in my heart: that EVE will outlive us all.”

The completion of EVE Online‘s first full decade of life will be marked by the sold-out EVE Fanfest event in April, initiating a year-long celebration “under a unified ‘Second Decade’ theme”. And maybe at long last somebody can fix Hilmar’s blind.

Comprehensive coverage of the whole thing will be found right here on GameSkinny.

Graph Image Source: EVE Offline

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Image of Mat Westhorpe
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.