EVE Online has dominated this niche with a steadily growing playerbase that has now exceeded 300,000 paying subscribers. It's been noted that releases in the fantasy market tend not to affect EVE Online, showing that it's not directly competing with games in the fantasy market. Perhaps the target markets of sci-fi and fantasy MMOs have very little overlap or perhaps the gameplay in EVE is unique enough that no real alternatives exist. Whatever the reason, EVE has been blessed with a relative lack of competition since its release in 2003. But with four major sci-fi MMOs on the horizon, could the game's creators CCP be in for a rough ride?
In this speculative opinion piece, I examine how EVE reacted to competition in the past and suggest how it may react to the next wave of sci-fi MMOs to hit the market.