CCP has announced that EVE Online: Trinity, the upcoming expansion to its space-based MMOG, will be available on December 5 as a free download for all EVE Online subscribers.
The new expansion will dramatically enhance the game’s graphics, taking advantage of Shader Model 3.0 technology, advanced lighting and complex surface materials in a new graphics engine to render even more detailed and realistic models. The update will be released in two versions: A Classic version for older video cards, which will be available for Microsoft Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, and a Premium version for Windows, which will offer the improved graphics options for gamers with hardware supporting Shader Model 3.0 or better. Premium editions of the update for Mac and Linux gamers will be available in the first quarter of 2008.
“EVE Online players always inspire and amaze everyone at CCP, and it is invigorating to see our subscriber numbers surpass 200,000 as we prepare for the Trinity release,” said CCP Chief Executive Hilmar Veigar Petursson. “We’re pleased that advances in graphics technology allow us to present the world of EVE as we had always envisioned it. We look forward to sharing the Trinity edition with the fast-growing, dedicated community that shares our passion to remove the barriers that constrain virtual worlds from meeting their full potential.”
Released in May 2003, EVE Online is unusual both for its self-published status and success despite tiny subscription numbers compared to MMOG behemoths like World of Warcraft, and CCP’s willingness to let “criminal activity” take place in the game much as it would in real life. Debate over the place of such activity in the game continues, but CCP has given no indication that it intends to take a direct hand in policing such behavior. A Chinese version of the game was launched in 2006.
More information about the EVE Online: Trinity update is available at www.eve-online.com/trinity, and a video preview of the update in action can be seen at myeve.eve-online.com/download/videos/.