EVE Online Goes Free to Play Today

Massively has an article giving the details. See: EVE ONLINE IS OFFICIALLY FREE-TO-PLAY TODAY WITH ASCENSION.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8M0OM5qXkw

I’ve been watching the news on EVE going free to play (F2P). I tried Eve some time ago. With this new F2P I’ll try it with my new computer. But, reading the stories like EVE EVOLVED: THREE ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR NEW ALPHA CLONE PLAYERS and hearing them say it takes months to learn to play… I am not sure I want to spend that much time. 

I am curious what is happening in the gaming world and how game companies see the users and what users are doing.

EVE had its record peak use in 2011 and 2013. There was a near peak use in 2014. Since then EVE has been in steady decline. VG 24/7 has the user numbers in a nice graph. This month they dropped below the 2008 low. I presume management has decided they have to do something.

The number of players logged in is shown as a 30-day average on the VG 24/7 graph. You can see more graphs at http://jestertrek.com/eve/players/. There is an explanation of the information on Reddit.

In January 2012 Second Life hit over 70,000 concurrent users. I don’t have a good monthly average as I only track min/max concurrent users for the month, not the daily numbers needed for an average. But, average of the min/max for January 2016 was 50,593. The JesterTrek graphs are from May to May so picking a January 2016 number is shaky but, about 20,000.

Fortunately, there is no drama in EVE… (sarcasm)

While Second Life has lost about 28% of its peak concurrency EVE has lost about 33%. For Second Life that happened over 4 years. For EVE with its better numbers running into 2014 (March, April?) the slide has happened in less than 2 years.

I suspect EVE will last for some time as I think Second Life will. But, the thinking is big games like EVE with a monthly cost to play are done. EVE appears to be trying to make the transition.

Another interesting point, EVE is a war game and war is destructive and costly. You probably have read of the amazing cost of some of the battles in EVE. (War Damages US$500,000) Even virtual battles are expensive.

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