EVE Online: the secrets of success of an MMO, which is already 13 years

In 2017, the EVE Online was 13 years old. About many MMOs in such a ripe old age simply forgotten. Correction: not even about many, and all, except for World of Warcraft and, in fact, EVE. But the endless space opera from the Icelandic developers not only survives, but is doing well.

Just recently, the company SSR – a developer and publisher of the game – reported for the year 2016. The numbers – it will not review the Steam and evaluation on Metacritic: it speaks for itself.

Last year, the USSR’s revenue exceeded $ 86 million, up more than 20 million more than in 2015. In this case, pre-tax income was $ 39 million, or 45% of revenue: a good indicator for the publisher, who takes care of all, and product development.

Over the last year the base of active players in EVE has grown in 2 times, and this is quite a niche MMO that haters called “Excel spreadsheets in space”, and, in principle, one of the most complex games in the history of the industry. In any case, the traditional Korean grindilka unlike EVE.

Director-General of the USSR, Hilmar Petursson Veygar (and is seen as the Drakkar sails away from the cold coast of Iceland) said that the next reincarnation EVE was due to three key factors: the sales skills, the release of a major upgrade Citadel and – of course! – the addition of free to play, without which the modern MMO does not.

Updating the Citadel was a logical continuation of the ideas took shape as early as the year 2008, with the advent of giant space cruisers class Titan. Initially, it was understood that the construction of the Titan out of 8 weeks, with the successful implementation of tasks necessary to coordinate the efforts of the 4 thousand people. Team SSR seriously believed that no Space Dreadnought and will not be built.

But the developers underestimated own community and the power of corporations, consisting of real players. Titans put production almost to the conveyor, and an absolute record managed to put in the 4 th quarter of 2011: 140 units were built during this period. As a result, the Titans become – as Land Cruiser’ov with a run in Tokyo do not stand out from the gray mass. Hardcore EVE players needed more. Well, there may be more than an incredibly huge space cruiser?

That’s right: an indescribable space base sizes. They were also introduced to update the Citadel. What is the status symbol more effective in real life – an expensive car or Mighty country house? A rhetorical question, of course. So that EVE came directly to strive for the elite, but for beginners – what a dream.

Incidentally, such an obvious comparison is not accidental to real life: SSR boss himself declares that EVE – only 50% of the game. The remaining 50% – this is an experiment in social economy. The inspiration for the Icelandic team is the analysis of objective reality into its constituent parts. management of cities and countries, the concept of property and arbitrage transactions, the subtleties of financial transactions, pricing mechanisms, payment specifics of routine work and creative work – all this is reflected in EVE.

The second pillar of rebirth – sales skills. For 13-year-old MMO is especially important, stresses Hilmar Petursson. Skills in EVE learn even offline, passively from books. But the trouble is that the skills – more than 450-year-pieces, and the study of even a basic level of one of the skills you need to, say, 26 hours of real time. Suppose a novice came to EVE recently – to friends. But the good of his corporation will be exactly zero: green cadet still can not fly on anything, using the desired module and to craft useful items. Accordingly, the skill premium injectors (for real), to push a heavy textbook in mind for a split second, this will help to jump over a hole in the 120 – 200 days.

Argue about the ethics, morality and eternal conflict free to play VS pay to win, you can at least until hoarse voice, but the above-described tool in EVE appeared and, judging by the statistics, people use it. Speaking of free to play: he just became that “third whale,” which helped EVE conquer the sea financial success in 2016, the year.

The author has had a long experience of the game in the MMO space back in 2008, and against this background that you can quickly see what is free EVE today. First of all, you become the alpha-clone: the surrogate teaches skills 2 times slower, plus at a certain level (conditionally call it average), there is a cut-off – it is impossible to study further, no matter how hard you try. That is piloting large vessels, construction of bases, corporate intrigue – all this alpha clones available.

But the free to play mode – still a breakthrough. You can without trial-limits to fly at least two, at least three months, to be miner or a fighter the NPC-pirates gain reputation in this or that faction by completing quests, to trade, to gain good sense (in the sense, to pump the necessary skills at least at a basic level). During this time you poymoto, like EVE Do you at all, or not. And without spending a penny.

If the first option, the status of high-grade omega-clone (in other words, a subscription) costs 600 rubles. per month. Not super cheap, but not crazy expensive. As the two games “up to 300 rubles.” In Steam, in which you have played a couple of hours and threw all.

But back to EVE as a phenomenon – it’s a whole universe, not just another MMO. Developers can boast of their success in the field of VR: impressive investments in Valkyrie is almost paid off, and Gunjack (rail cosmic shooting gallery in the world of EVE) razosholsya in the amount of 500+ thousand copies.. For the virtual reality market still being in its infancy, it’s serious record.

Of course, in the history of the USSR is not only ups, but also downs. And most of them became deafening Dust 514. This FPS looked brilliant in concept, on paper. Single server PC and PS3, the head of EVE Online corporations vie for the world, orders are sent thugs-konsolschikam of the Dust, cruiser of EVE have Dust’ovskim infantry support from orbit, and as a result of clashes celestial bodies pass from hand to hand.