EVE Online celebrates 20th anniversary with a fireworks show and a free expansion

Not many MMOs make it to 20 years, but EVE Online is one of the few, and developer CCP Games is marking the big moment with the release of a brand-new free expansion in June called Viridian.

Viridian will be the first of two major EVE Online expansions planned for release in 2023, and while CCP isn't revealing details at this point, the studio said it will provide players with "new tools, personalization options and social-driven content to manifest the glory of their corporation."

"Viridian builds upon last year’s pivotal Uprising expansion by giving corporation leaders more means and methods to help their group flourish," creative director Bergur Finnbogason said. "There is no better time than the present for reconnecting with your corporation members to plan your next venture—you never know what’s on the horizon."

The timing of the corporate-focused expansion is coincidental but still amusing: The announcement comes just a few weeks after a former corporate CEO took advantage of an obscure rule to pull off the biggest heist in EVE Online history. (The biggest so far, that is—even casual EVE-watchers know that record isn't likely to stand forever.) The success of that heist hinged largely on the inattention of the target corporation's executive team, so perhaps these new tools will include some more urgent notifications that somebody is messing around with the paperwork.

Ahead of the release of Viridian, CCP will be holding a number of activities through the month of May, which is EVE's actual anniversary month—it debuted on May 6, 2003—including Capsuleer Day celebrations, a "cosmic fireworks extravaganza," and a chance to have your name carved into the Worlds Within a World monument, a real-life statue located in Reykjavík, Iceland. It was erected in 2013 to mark EVE's 10th anniversary and currently contains more than 500,000 character names; this will be the first addition of new names to the monument since then.

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The EVE Online anniversary celebrations are set to kick off at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on May 6 with a livestream on Twitch that will include interviews with developers, prize giveaways, and the promised fireworks display at Jita 4-4. More information about the EVE Online: Viridian expansion will be released later in May.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.