EVE Online has been waning in popularity a bit lately. Some major missteps in development and planning, like the pretty poorly received Invasion events led to a major drop in player numbers. Developer CCP has been fighting to gain ground against the ever-encroaching competition in a crowded MMO market, with limited success. The developer has also tried to lure players in with themed holiday events in the past, like the recent Halloween event. Overall, there’s one constant in the criticism levied against EVE and CCP, the game needs new players.
And this week the first major release of a new localized version of the game may give the server the injection of new talent it needs. As Chinese players flock to the main Tranquility server after the near-total shutdown of the Chinese Serenity server, now they’re joined by a new group of Asian gamers. CCP has just launched a full Korean localization of the EVE client, complete with translated trailers and promo materials.
CCP also announced that it would be at G-Star 2019, a huge gaming convention in Korea, to promote the launch of the new client. The Icelandic company is hoping to lure in new players to the space opera with renewed advertising and promotional efforts. Asia is an already massive, and growing gaming market, if CCP can manage to properly pull in gamers from China, Korea and Japan, it has the potential to revitalize the game. Another element in their Asia-centric strategy is a new mobile title called EVE Echoes.
This comes after changes to NullSec space left many players angry, causing a major dip in player numbers. The typical concurrent user counts for a normal day in EVE Online peaks around 30,000. During the September slump caused by changes that made NullSec less safe, those peaks went down to around 20,000 on some days. EVE Online’s CEO, Hilmar V. Petursson, EVE Online had 300,000 active players in the first few months of 2019. Many people within the community attribute this sag in player numbers with the eventual rollback of the changes referred to as “blackout”.
Is a new local client enough to save the game? No, but it’s a good starting point.