EVE Online developer, CCP, is to allow players to walk around in space stations after four years of them being confined to their ships. The feature will be added in an update due to be rolled out in 2008 and, according to Magnus Bergsson, head of marketing at CCP, it will be designed to add “flavour and fun” to what many see as quite a dry and impersonal game.
One of the main hurdles CCP must overcome in rolling out this development is getting people to actually leave the stations,
“One of the key things what we don’t want to do is to create a game in-station so people don’t have a reason to undock. That’s critical for us. The game is still outside. This is more flavour and fun. It really is. It’s not supposed to be like a first-person shooter at all.”
Being able to walk around and interact with other players or NPC’s in ‘person’ as it were will supposedly widen the games appeal to women, who are currently very thin on the ground in EVE’s universe (last I heard there were only 96, and my wife is one of them). CCP CEO, Hilmar Petursson says:
“One thing we found out is that women don’t want to be spaceships. I’ve shown EVE Online videos to lots of girls, and their eyes just glaze over… but I show it to guys and they’re like, ‘Hell yeah!’ Our research in to this, by hiring more girls into CCP and asking them what they want to do, shows that they want to be people. They don’t want to be spaceships. For the past two years, we’ve been adding people into EVE Online. This is something that we plan to release next year.”
Having played the game myself, and having a wife who still plays (when I let her on the computer) I can see the merits of this development. Some of the station interiors look quite spectacular and having the ability to wander around them and take in the sights will be quite something. It may also encourage more interaction between players docked at stations which doesn’t really happen at the moment.
EuroGamer will be publishing an in depth feature about their visit to CCP, along with details of the upcoming Revelations 2 update, later this week