EVE Online E3 Report: CCP Builds a Player-Driven Future
EVE True Stories
These aforementioned stories were the second major focus of CCP’s EVE presentation. The EVE True Stories initiative is a way for the stories players create in the world of EVE — such as the fall of a major corporation or a particularly contentious political ploy — to make it to other media. Specifically, CCP is aiming to create a comic book, source book, and television series. The goal is to make players feel like they are impacting the world of EVE while giving CCP some great promotional and fictional material to work with.
The comic will be produced by Dark Horse, and will be available on tablets (for free) and as a physical comic book (obviously not for free). The television series is being produced by Baltasar Kormákur, an Icelandic filmmaker most famous for the film Contraband and working with Mark Wahlberg. Both will take the best stories from the True Stories initiative and spin them into cohesive, fictional narratives, with the current top-voted story being the fall of the Band of Brothers alliance.
This initiative is easily the most exciting thing from CCP this year. Hell, it might be the most exciting initiative from a game company ever. EVE is a game where player stories are king, and stories based on real events and real people have a connection to their audience that fictional stories often lack. While the context is fictional — EVE is, after all, a sci-fi universe — the actions and motivations of the major players in the True Stories projects are all real. Characters in these stories are not NPCs; these things actually happened, and the people doing them actually exist (well, kind of). That’s something special.
EVE Online’s Second Decade
CCP concluded its presentation with talk about the future of EVE Online. EVE has been running for a decade at this point — it originally launched in 2003, and to celebrate CCP is putting out a special collector’s edition — and CCP wants to capture what people liked so much about EVE in the first place. The plan for the next decade is to bring back the sense of discovery and wonderment EVE had in its beginnings.
Specifically, CCP mentioned that it wants to give players the ability to create infrastructure, just like the empires. In its example, this amounted to building stargates to new, unexplored systems that could then be exploited and colonized. The goal is to make the player-run empires feel like true empires, rather than landed knights still somewhat beholden to the NPC empires of high-security space. They want players to feel like they are conquering and claiming the new frontier, rather than continuing to fight over a stagnant map.
In addition, conquering NPC empire space was mentioned as an endgame goal. These player empires, secure in their systems, could declare war on and gradually cannibalize (but never outright capture) the lore-centric empires such as the Gallente or Amarr. It’s a very ambitious vision, and one that any EVE player will likely adore. After all, player-created empires with the sort of power and clout usually reserved for designer-created NPCs are non-existent in the MMO realm.
CCP aims to start this long journey towards discovery and conquest with this year’s winter expansion (currently unnamed). What link CCP will decide to forge first — stronger corporate identities, better infrastructure construction, sovereignty changes — is still unknown, as things are still in the planning stages.
With comics, shows, expansions, and a healthy player base, EVE Online looks to have a bright future. CCP was very enthusiastic about its commitment to EVE Online and its loyal fans, and its optimism was infectious. Here’s hoping the developers can pull it all off with relatively few bumps along the way.