Like any online community, the more people are involved, the better the experience gets. This is true of social networks like the good ol’ MySpace, Facebook, but it holds particularly true for EVE Online where all players share the same universe. In other MMOs where a server contains a population of only a few thousand people, even when consolidation happens, you’re always going to feel like you’re amongst a crowd. With EVE, the universe changes drastically based on how many total subscribers you have.
If you’ve never played EVE Online, and it’s not difficult to have spent half an hour with the tutorial before giving up entirely, it might be hard to understand what makes it so special. Sure, there are quests and named NPCs like other games, but that’s not the allure because in reality, you’re going to want to partner with the mostly-player run environment. I’ve played EVE Online for a longer period of time than some and while I don’t have the chops to keep at it full-time, I have a lot of respect for what the game is trying to accomplish.
Just this past week, EVE developer CCP announced that the game had hit a half-million active subscribers, which is a great story for a game that’s celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and started out with a Simon & Schuster, a now-defunct publisher. CCP eventually bought back the rights to publish their game and the rest is history.