During an interview yesterday with Robert Purchese at Eurogamer I made the observation that Eve has recently come out of Beta and is entering its Golden Age. I'd like to officially name this age "Thera" based on what was revealed yesterday during the most recent o7 live broadcast.
And while it may seem a tad cheeky to suggest that Eve has been in Beta for the last decade, I truly believe we are well into what can only be described as its Golden Age. And, as such, the preceding years leading up to Post-Incarna Eve development seem rather Alpha/Beta do they not? And if you are reading this and being dismissive then I challenge you to think for a moment about pre-Incarna Eve/CCP. If you happened to be around for it, then take a moment to seriously think about it.
Remember the stone cold silence? Remember development from the top down? Remember grand plans and expansions driven by expansion? Remember drama and leaks and memos and poorly executed development without feedback? Remember the non-spaceship dream? I do.
And now relax and let your younger self give a moments consideration to a more open world. A more aggressive expansion schedule seemingly pulled directly from player-feedback. A brighter, more colorful CCP that streams live conversations post-expansion. That communicates, that is receptive, that seemingly understands (finally) that they do indeed have actual players that care deeply about the universe they've built.
We were all so concerned during Incarna. Would CCP learn anything from that experience? Would Eve even survive? And, even if it did, what would it look like?
It is more than apparent that CCP did indeed learn valuable lessons from the Incarna experience. Not only did they learn these things intellectually, which I believe was always possible, but they implemented those learnings into actual, concrete and definitive actions. Something that was always more of a hope than an actual belief at the time. It is always difficult to change. It is fundamentally insane to alter, modify and course-correct mid-stream. And yet, the evidence is overwhelming that such things did happen. And continue to happen.
The Golden Age began with the hiring of CCP Seagull as Executive Producer. Right now, more than at any time in the past, there is a clear and definable path ahead of us. The difference now, as opposed to previous paths, is that while we still may not know the details - we can sense the truth of it. And that is huge. It cannot be understated. We may not all agree on the direction that certain elements are taking and we may feel passionate about certain elements of the path. But it is not only expansive, but it truly seems to be working.
And working can be taken in multiple meanings. New content actually works and when it doesn't, it gets fixed pretty much right away. And it is working as intended. Space is more open, more ships are viable, more content is available, more things work now. And we have no reason to believe they won't work down the road.
If Eve lives on for another decade or two, then I believe the first decade will be remembered for laying the foundation for what was to come later. And while it may not be "beta" in the traditional sense, I do believe as a metaphor it works to think of it that way.
Eve is well into its Golden Age right now. It is changing and evolving right under us. And in ways that few of us could have imagined. This is the pure definition of a Golden Age.
Will this translate into increased subscribers? Greater numbers of active loggers on? Will Eve reach new customers? Will older players give it a new shot?
I don't know the answers to those questions. But I will tell you this much. During the last two weeks I have talked to a half-dozen or so players that left Eve around 2010-2011 that have just returned. That is as many as I probably talked to in the previous year combined.
Eve is better now than it has EVER been. It is more open, more inviting, more colorful and more better in every single way it could be. This is undeniable. And, from all indications, we are only seeing the early beginnings of what is yet to come.
This is a very exciting time to be an Eve player.
Welcome to the Golden Age.