EVE Online wasn't an overnight success. It launched to far less fanfare than newer titles are accustomed to and claimed only 50,000 subscriptions by late 2004. EVE was aimed at a relatively untested sci-fi niche within the MMO market and the number of players in that niche who would be interested was impossible to accurately estimate. To make matters worse, World of Warcraft was released in late 2004 and a large portion of the MMO market latched on to it, spelling disaster for its competitor's subscription numbers. Despite all of these initial problems, EVE Online has been a massive success with consistent subscriber growth. So what has been the secret to their success?
With just a few days to go until the Apocrypha expansion and box copies of EVE being released in stores, I take a look back at the choices CCP made and suggest what other developers could learn from EVE's success story.