CCP Games posted yesterday that they have set a new record for concurrent players online in a single sharded world...10,744! Here is their official word on this:
You did it again!
A new simultaneous player record was set tonight, Sunday, when 10.744 players were on at the same time. This beats the old record by more than 500 players! The EVE game servers ran without any problems during this heavy load, so the recent hardware upgrades and performance tuning is paying off. This also confirms that the game servers are ready for the next release and the expected influx of new players.
UPDATE: It appears that they smashed their record again today. This time reaching 11,246 players online in a single world. The snippet from their site on this:
Another player record was set tonight, Monday, when 11.246 players were on at the same time. This is the first time a record is set on a Monday. Again, the servers weren´t affected, leaving us with plenty room for more players. Come and join us, you wont regret it!
Excellent work guys!