The sci-fi MMO EVE Online set a new record this past weekend for users logged in at a given time: 54,181 pilots, up from the previous record of 53,850 set in March of this year. This new peak concurrent user (PCU) count is a significant milestone for the single shard setting of New Eden, where all of those players can (potentially) interact with one another. New Eden is a big place though, a galaxy with thousands of charted solar systems and thousands more uncharted, accessible through wormholes. Given the size of New Eden, those 54,181 pilots may not interact directly but their actions can impact everyone else in the game, regardless of whether it's through trading, establishing or toppling industrial empires, or alliance warfare on a massive scale.
The new PCU record comes in the wake of EVE Online's Dominion expansion launch on December 1 which focuses on revamping the game mechanics of territorial control, or sovereignty, in New Eden's lawless tracts of 0.0 security (nullsec) space. CCP Games Senior Producer Torfi Frans Ólafsson told Massively: "With Dominion, we've made zero security gameplay so much more engaging. We're seeing a lot of people are taking the leap, updating their clones and jumping into the deep end of the pool. They are realizing that taking risks can bring big rewards, and lots of adrenaline pumped moments as well. Co-operation and having good allies is the key to success in the dark and brutal world of zero point zero space. We're seeing players communicate more, team up more and generally have more fun. Each day since release has been exciting for the developers as they watch this expansion unfold and take on a life of its own, in the hands of our ever-creative playerbase."