From intrigue and assassination to all-out war , EVE Online is a game rich with stories. But these systemic, player-driven narratives come at a cost: it's a complex game to learn. For CCP that posed a problem: how to introduce EVE's universe to new players, without further increasing the complexity of an already expansive MMO. The answer, CCP say, lies in games like EVE Valkyrie and Dust 514—titles that are still connected to the EVE universe, but present a separate and more accessible set of systems.
"For the longest time we were in the process of adding features to EVE in a way that made it horizontally complex," said CCP's CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, in an interview with PC Gamer. "It was a bad complexity. We want the game to be complex and challenging, but it shouldn't be difficult to understand. Your achievements should be overcoming obstacles and collaborating with players, but it shouldn't me managing too much complexity."
If further expanding EVE Online would have a detrimental effect, CCP decided to instead explore the EVE universe through smaller, less intricate games. "We came up with the idea of isolating these experiences to create more focused games, instead of just adding more and more to EVE Online. That became a much better way to structure the development process. Now we have teams that are very focused on their individual projects, which gives us much more momentum and innovation.
"We've always wanted to expand, but now we think making new products is the best way to do it, rather than spread the butter of EVE Online over too much bread."
The benefit of games like EVE Valkyrie is that they make the EVE universe more accessible. "Valkyrie is a very intuitive experience. I've seen people of all ages, all walks of life, play it and pick it up immediately, and have a lot of fun engaging with it."
"Through that we may learn new ways to make the core experience of EVE more innovative without harming the sense of freedom."