So, PC Gamer and MMORPG.com have both selected EVE online as the best online game of 2009. With a subscription base that went up 22% and 300k subscribers, EVE is obviously a success. What does EVE have that virtually no other online game has?
Offline advancement and a sandbox character/ship development system.
The idea of true offline advancement has taken a lot of heat, but here we have a very successful MMOG model built around both offline advancement and sandbox character development. Imagine what the numbers would be if EVE had dragons, elves, orcs, and barbarians; wings, mix-and-match melee and magic, and AION quality graphics.
EVE has broken the myth that offline advancement and sandbox-style progression cannot be very successful. Now, when are the game companies going to take what EVE did and run with it? When are we going to be treated with true, full offline progression and full sandbox character development in a larger variety of genres?
It's bizarre that there are so many companies willing to try and fail at rote amusement-park clones of WoW, and so few attempting to cash in on EVE's proven new model.