No-one knows how long an MMO will last and even as new generations of them appear in their shiny new suits of armour, the old games still manage to survive. It’s easy to see why when you see just how much content is swilling around inside the likes of Ultima Online, EverQuest and, yes, EVE. (Hard to believe it’s almost five years old.)
The elders among the MMO fraternity are like the wise old wizards, with the newcomers the brave knights on their fresh steeds, keen to find favour in the imaginations of the great unwashed. Some will fall early in the battle, others will ascend to command vast armies, and yet, the old ones hidden amongst towers of books seem not to care. With so many games surviving to a ripe old age and new ones arriving almost every month, we have to wonder where all the players are coming from… EA-Land, perhaps?
It’s hard to imagine EVE Online ever disappearing. It’s five year mission thus far has been singularly unique and having enjoyed sustained growth throughout that time, and with such impressive investment in the game’s infrastructure (Christ, I sound like an accountant), the next five years promise to continue along the same trajectory. I do wonder where it will end though. In an interview that completely missed my eye, CCP’s co-founder Reynir Hardarson said “MMOs do not have to age. The nature of a game like EVE is that there is no need for sequels – why shouldn’t it run for fifty years?”
Indeed, why shouldn’t it? Whether there’ll be anyone left alive in 50 years is neither here nor there, but if we humans do happen to survive the great surge of methane that’s apparently simmering under the polar ice caps, EVE is probably the best-placed MMO to ride out the wave of obsolescence that will surely engulf Ultima Online and EverQuest and certain other old wizards. EVE may be nearing its fifth birthday, but Trinity gave it a new suit of armour, one that though perhaps not needed, will stand it in good stead for a good while. Wizards in shiny plate may not be standard issue in MMO Land, but when was EVE ever a standard game?