EVE Fanfest Keynote: "World Domination"
At the "Plans for World Domination" keynote on the final day of EVE Online Fanfest '08, various CCP higher-ups talked about the past, present, and future of the spacefaring MMO.
Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of the Iceland-based company, assured the attendees that even though Iceland was going through hard times, its hardy people had made it through worse. Furthermore, due to its global nature - with a quarter of a million people playing EVE all across the globe - CCP remained largely unaffected by the country's collapse. On the positive side, joked Pétursson, the price of beer at this year's Fanfest was half of what it had been a year ago.
Pétursson continued to talk about how CCP and EVE had grown, from 45 employees in 2005, to 267 employees at the time of Fanfest '07, and now almost 400 - 367, to be exact. Approximately 40,000 new players have joined EVE in the past year, with a plurality of them (about 70,000) from the United States. While they were still focused on EVE, Pétursson talked about expanding beyond the game, briefly showing a chart with five bars: two of the bars were identified as EVE Online and the World of Darkness project, but the remaining three were unnamed ... perhaps hinting at three further projects in the pipeline?
The CCP boss also talked about aspects of EVE beyond the game itself - specifically mentioning console gaming on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and the COSMOS social network. COSMOS is a network much like Facebook or Myspace, but will work both inside and outside of the game. Players will be able to talk on their in-game corporation channel from an external program, set dates on a shared in-game character, or add other characters as friends ... just to name a few.
Lead Designer Noah Ward took the stage to talk about the upcoming Quantum Rise expansion (hitting on Tuesday, November 11) and to show the trailer. Ward also went into detail of the upcoming Certification system, which will help players focus the skills they train towards specific ends. He also showed a bit of the Decoration medals, which enables corporations to award unique awards to their members.
Senior Producer Torfi Frans Olafsson then announced the new Summer '09 Expansion, which you can read about in detail here.
The final announcement was that CCP had arranged a deal with Atari to bring EVE Online back to store shelves in box form. They played a pre-recorded video of new Atari CEO David Gardner greeting the Fanfest attendees and talking briefly about the deal. Gardner said that he believed networking and online games were the future of electronic entertainment, and looked forward to working with CCP to bring EVE to the more than 50,000 stores Atari worked with around the world.
EVE is scheduled to hit stores in box form on March 10th, 2009.