MMOs, the Final Frontier: How Will Atari Help EVE Online?
fellow humanoids! This special edition of MMOs, the Final
Frontier is being beamed to you directly from New Eden, thanks in part
to the latest and greatest implant technology rolling off the Minmatar
Science and Industry Division prototype assembly line. You read that
right folks – these words are being transmitted over a secure
channel in real time, by nothing more than a sheer act of willpower and
the cybernetic parts of my brain! How cool is that?
following database entries chronicle some of the events
that played out over the past week as I warped from one star system to
the next conducting research. Using an advanced scientific method that
involved warping up to strip-miners from enemy factions and hoping I
wouldn’t get podded, I set out to discover the answer to a
burning question – namely, what will the publishing deal with
Atari mean for href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/"> style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online?
will gain a strong retail presence thanks to Atari.
Anyone who’s experienced the gameplay of style="font-style: italic;">EVE Online
will tell you that the title is unlike anything else on the MMOG
market. The second thing they’ll point out is EVE’s
notoriously steep learning cliff. While I’ve played the game
off and on for a few years now, it’s always nice take a
refresher course on the game mechanics rather than hopping directly
into a larger ship after some time away. Besides, it’s been
quite a while since my last run through the tutorial, so I was curious
to see how it may have changed, and it helps me appreciate exactly what
a complete revamp to that portion of the game will mean moving forward.
Zipping to and from the local Naval Academy numerous times, it got me
thinking about some of the differences between high and low security
space. While low sec is EVE’s version of the Wild West, the
starting areas have a distinctly different vibe to them thanks to the
presence of CONCORD. While Atari may not share much in common with the
galactic police force, one of the ways the publisher will help EVE this
March does – specifically by providing EVE with a strong
Thanks to continual online advertising and the direct download nature
of the game client, it could easily be said that EVE has quite
comfortably existed primarily in the Wild West otherwise known as the
internet. Unlike many of its peers though, there hasn’t
really been any kind of presence for EVE in the high sec world of
retail. Branching out into the retail market is a necessary step
forward for EVE, as this year will see a flood of new sci-fi games
hitting store shelves. By having a shiny new retail box available
before the flood gates open, EVE could very well see a major increase
to New Eden’s population in the coming months.
a pilot and their ship, EVE and Atari will have a symbiotic
In EVE, the relationship between pilot and vessel is entirely
symbiotic, much like the cybernetic implants currently allowing me to
beam words directly from my brain and onto virtual paper without the
need for silly things like keyed input devices. This also cuts to the
heart of what could ultimately prove to be an excellent relationship
between CCP and Atari.
Though the entire catalog of Atari games may not see widespread
distribution, certain titles have been a staple on store shelves of
even the biggest retailers over the past few years. Walk into any
Target and you’re sure to find a copy of the newest style="font-style: italic;">Neverwinter Nights 2
expansion or style="font-style: italic;">The Witcher: Enhanced
Edition. In a rapidly
shrinking retail environment for PC games, that’s no small
feat considering most games only see store shelves for a month or two
before being swept aside to make room for the newest style="font-style: italic;">Sims
expansion. While this could be directly attributed to the quality of
the games involved, it also helps that the Atari brand has been a part
of pop culture in the US for decades. In that sense, EVE’s
retail release is certainly in the right hands with Atari.
Atari also stands to gain something important from the deal as well,
beyond basic monetary involvement. Looking towards the future, Atari
clearly has plans to establish itself within the realm of MMOG
publishing. The most recent example of this would be the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/50977" target="_blank">surprise
announcement that Infogrames
(Atari’s parent company) had purchased Cryptic Studios. As
Atari intends to become a major player in the industry of online
gaming, I can’t think of a better product to bring to market
than EVE to help facilitate the MMO distribution process.
3: The Scientific Approach (or, Podded… again.)
Greetings citizens! We regret to inform you that the regularly
scheduled transmission has been cancelled due to pilot overconfidence.
Be sure to tune in next time for another exciting episode of,
Be Pirates in EVE!”
are the beating pulse of EVE.
4: The Scientific Approach, Take Two
Rather than babble on about the importance of paying attention to the
Overview in EVE when warping up to enemy strip-mining operations to
conduct highly scientific research, instead I’d like to share
with you some of the data I’ve managed to salvage from the
wreckage of my last few ships.
EVE, like all MMOGs, is ultimately about the people who play it. Due to
the sandbox nature and a highly involved political and social
hierarchy, the beating pulse of EVE will be found out here in the
vastness of space among the hundreds of thousands of pilots. With this
in mind, I set out to get a feel for what current players of the game
thought about the upcoming retail release. A word of caution to all you
newcomers to New Eden though – while you’ll find
some really great long-time players in random asteroid belts out here
in low sec space, it’s best to announce your intentions
before warping up to them in a relatively defenseless frigate!
Since I wanted to get a good cross-section of opinions, I did what any
highly skilled researcher would do in my situation and began picking
random star systems on the 3D map, and then warping out to equally
random asteroid belts. While a few of the pilots I spoke to
didn’t even realize that a retail box was due to hit shelves
to coincide with the release of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/61302" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Apocrypha,
the vast majority of them were not only aware of it, but seemingly have
plans of purchasing a copy even though they’re long-time
For some, it’s a gesture of support for their favorite game
developer, a way of saying thanks for all the hard work
that’s gone into EVE over the past few years. Other pilots
were looking forward to the chance to get some of their friends into
the game, the ones who’ve been on the fence about downloading
the client but who would perhaps be more willing if they had a physical
copy in their hands.
The main thing I learned here is that many current players look at the
retail release as a good thing, as it means an expanding player base is
just over the horizon. New blood in a game like EVE can indeed be a
good thing – not only does it expand the social networks of
current players, but it can also help to insure a long, healthy future
for the game. Mind you, some pilots I spoke to are simply looking
forward to having new players to pod, but that’s beside the
retail release coincides with the launch of the Apocrypha expansion
Log: Stardate 1260.9
Over the years, I’ve built up quite a collection of MMOG
boxes. Call it what you will, but owning physical copies of the games
I’m most passionate about provides a unique timeline that
simply doesn’t exist in the realm of direct downloads. Much
like looking back at old family photo albums, each box brings to mind
some of my fondest memories of time spent with friends online.
Not only am I excited for a chance to add an EVE box to the ranks of
the MMOG soldiers currently lining the bookshelves in my office, but
I’m also looking forward to seeing copies out in the wild. It
can be easy to forget that there’s thousands (millions?) of
gamers out there that may have never even heard of EVE before. For the
curious among them, the upcoming retail release could very well be the
best gaming purchase they make this year. This isn’t a fresh
MMOG launch complete with bugs and server crashes, but rather a solid,
polished and awesome galaxy waiting to be explored.
As always, I’d love to hear your opinions, so be sure to let
me know what you think about the retail release of EVE in our forums,
or you can even feel free to href="mailto:[email protected]">email me directly.
Until next time, dear readers, this is Captain Sardu singing off!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EVE Online Game Page.