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EVE Online hits 500,000 subscribers, heads into second decade

EVE Online hits 500,000 subscribers, heads into second decade
Brendan Drain
Brendan Drain|@nyphur|February 28, 2013 6:00 AM
EVE Online title image
Most modern MMOs launch to an initial flurry of sales followed by a steady decline in player activity, but sci-fi MMO EVE Online has lived life in reverse. The game initially failed to secure a large number of launch sales but has since grown organically into one of the most successful subscription MMOs on the planet. EVE developer CCP Games told Massively today that the game has now officially broken the 500,000 subscription barrier.

Subscription numbers hit the 450,000 mark following the relaunch of EVE's Chinese server Serenity in December of last year, and they have continued to climb ever since. This new subscription milestone is attributed to the success of EVE's recent Retribution expansion and the anticipation building over upcoming console MMOFPS DUST 514, which is set on actual planets in the EVE universe. EVE is due to hit its 10th anniversary this year on May 6th, and developers have been taking the opportunity to look forward at what the coming decade will bring to the game.

We caught up with CCP for a quick peek at the studio's plans for the future and to find out what kind of announcements we can expect from EVE Fanfest in April of this year.

Following the release of DUST 514, CCP aims to run regular evolving story arcs that play out across the battlefields of both EVE and DUST. The events will mirror the lore in the recent game novel Templar One and change the way that the NPC empires of EVE interact, but the story outcomes will rest largely in the hands of players. This strategy proved to be incredibly effective during the Sansha storyline leading up to EVE's Incursion expansion, so it will be very interesting to see how it plays out with DUST marines thrown into the mix.

Some big announcements are on the way for April's upcoming 10th anniversary Fanfest, which among other things will feature development plan reveals for the coming year and developer discussions with fans. This year's Fanfest will feature a competitive PvP tournament taking place across both EVE and DUST as an open story event. Developers also expect to announce new social tools for community-building and a new permanent visual record of EVE's rich and evolving player history. Details of the EVE summer expansion are due to be revealed at PAX East next month ahead of Fanfest 2013, so it won't be long until we find out what EVE's second decade will bring.
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EVE Online hits 500,000 subscribers, heads into second decade