Video game developer CCP has seen a large uptick in returning players to their hit massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, EVE Online. “We see many users coming back now, for example, to chat with other users through the EVE chat feature,” Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, managing director of CCP, told MBL.
It seems that social distancing has revived interest in the MMO, which has been online since 2003. In addition to old players returning to the game, new players are also coming to the game. “This weekend we hit a new record, with 10,000 people signing up for a new account per day,” Hilmar said. For comparison, at this time last year, the average number of users signing up per day was around 3,000.
He also said it’s difficult to determine whether CCP’s own marketing had anything to do with the renewed interest in EVE Online. “We have increased the money we spend on marketing at the same time [as the global pandemic],” Hilmar said. “Of course in this industry, you have cast your line out to catch any fish, and we have seen a very significant increase in gaming since Sunday last week.”
Although the company is based in Reykjavík, they have offices in China, Korea, and England. As a result, they have felt the effects of the virus since day one. “We have naturally been dealing with this coronavirus stuff in the company since January, when it started in China, and later in Korea,” Hilmar said. “Now the Chinese office is starting to work again in our Shanghai office, but for the past two weeks, all our employees in the west have been working at home.”
As of this writing, EVE Online is free to play. We know what we’ll be doing this weekend.
As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.
Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!