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MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 05/06/03)  | Pub:CCP Games
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Interviews: Interview in a Box

By Jon Wood on February 23, 2009

Interview in a Box

Apocrypha won't be the first time that EVE Online has been retail-released with a box. Can you tell us the story behind EVE's original release?

Ryan Dancey:

CCP partnered with Simon & Schuster Interactive when EVE was first released in 2003. Soon afterwards, Simon & Schuster made an executive-level decision to get out of video game publishing and focus on their traditional publishing business instead (a decision unrelated to EVE). CCP negotiated a return of all rights from Simon & Schuster at that time, and has been self-distributing the game ever since.


What led to the decision to re-release a retail version of EVE Online after so long?

Ryan Dancey:

Our market is maturing. The early adopters who form the backbone of EVE's success have succeeded in creating a true virtual world, and experience that we think a larger audience will find attractive. We can now leverage traditional brick & mortar retail as an additional way to reach new customers who might not otherwise be exposed to EVE through our on-line marketing. In general, a retail edition has lots of upside, very little downside, and we just felt it was time to invest the resources necessary to return to the retail channel.

We know you're teaming with Atari for the project, can you tell us what role that company will play? What do they bring to the table?

Ryan Dancey:

We're grateful to be working with the team at Atari. They are bringing their contacts with retail buyers, and their knowledge of how the logistics system works to move a unit of EVE from a manufacturing facility to a local retailer's shelf. That's a core competency that we just don't have at CCP. They are also able to give us advice on how to maximize the impact of the packaging - to do the "little things" that are needed to get people to pick up that box and make a connection with EVE Online. They have helped us to shape the offer itself - what exactly will be delivered in the box, in addition to the basic installer itself.

Will there be a retail box for Mac users as well, or is this strictly a PC endeavour?

Ryan Dancey:

The EVE Online retail product contains an installer disc that has both Mac and PC versions.

Does CCP expect a significant rise in its player base once the game is visible on store shelves?

Ryan Dancey:

Yes we do. We always have aggressive growth goals for EVE Online, in keeping with a 6+ year tradition of consistent subscriber growth. The retail product will be a big component of growth for 2009 and beyond. That said, customers joining EVE from the retail experience will be only a portion of our total growth for 2009, most of which will continue to come from buddy referrals, online advertising, and our affiliate and partner programs.

With EVE being a single-server game, is there any concern that a large influx of new players could cause issues at peak times?

Ryan Dancey:

The virtual world operations team is working overdrive to make sure that we have the capacity to handle the influx of new players. Following on the incredible success of StacklessIO, an advanced interprocess communication technology developed by CCP, which was deployed as a part of the Quantum Rise expansion last November, Virtual World Ops has been busy replacing the core processors of the EVE cluster with cutting edge "Wolfdale" blades. We just added a solid-state memory system called a RamSan 500 to the cluster to further improve database speeds. We're confident that by the time the retail customers arrive, EVE will be ready to handle the load.

Do we have any idea, as of yet, how much the new box is going to cost, and what it will include?

Ryan Dancey:

The retail box will have an SRP of $39.95 in the US and €39.99 in Europe. In addition to the installer disc, the box will come with an exclusive Career Guide to help new pilots pick a career, and 60 days of game time (twice as much as the standard retail product for MMOs!) It will be possible to convert some of this time into PLEX, Pilot License Extensions, which can be sold in-game for ISK, or used in lieu of payment for game time. New characters created with the retail product will also receive a special shuttle with an expanded cargo capacity, and will have their faction standings enhanced so that they can dive right into Factional Warfare. And the game includes a VIP pass which can be given to a friend for an extended trial period, and if that friend becomes a subscriber, the retail customer will get an extra month of game time for free.