Now that EVE Online has added a limited free-to-play option, there's more and more new players unaware of the layers of politics and warfare that permeates EVE's null-sec empires—which is good for what is defintiely one of the best MMOs available. Those wars are distressingly similar to the wars fought in real life, and just like real life, propaganda is a crucial part of winning a war. Nothing makes the sting of defeat all the more painful than being turned into a meme by your attackers, and nothing rallies the troops quite like a rousing anthem reminding them of the reason they log in each night to fight.
But if you've ever wondered why some players are willing to throw away entire weekend to defend a single system, these videos will give you some idea of the kind of loyalty an alliance in EVE can inspire. Here are some of the greatest propaganda videos from EVE Online.
Heads-up: Many of these videos contain NSFW content, so watch at your discretion.
The galaxy of EVE can be a scary and brutal place, but in 2008, one player took it upon himself to rewrite The Beatles’ "Let it Be" in order to provide Goonswarm Federation "newbees" with some practical advice wrapped up in the warm lecturing of a wise uncle.
When talking about propaganda in EVE Online, you can't overstate the importance "Little Bees" had on both Goonswarm and the alliances around it. Uncle Suas' loving rewrite didn't just become an anthem for Goons new and old, it also demonstrated that propaganda doesn't have to be in-game videos mixed with loud techno, and the whole of New Eden is better for it.
RAZOR Alliance Glorious Informational Film #1
It's common for EVE propaganda to pull from real-world inspirations like the kind that circulated the United States during World War II. Eventually this type of lighthearted brainwashing became so popular that now it's largely considered poor taste to draw from such cliche sources. That is unless you're RAZOR Alliance.
RAZOR's propaganda department was the sort of apparatus that actual dictators wished they had, and each of their videos and the biting satire they contained is so well-produced I kind of wish we lived in some bizarro alternate reality where this actually took place. RAZOR Alliance Glorious Informational Film #1 was made more for members of RAZOR than as a tool to wield against the enemy, and the almost non-stop jabs at players who are too "weak willed" for combat is hilarious and only a little disturbing.
Also their anthem sums up propaganda in EVE perfectly:
To those who oppose us,
You really stand no chance!
RAZOR stands for perfection,
You'll collapse with one glance!
And even if we fail,
It can easily be spun!
Just see our propaganda; it says that we've won!
Stahlregen was, for a time, one of the Goonswarm's most prolific propagandists. In the late 2000s, his bizarre blend of pseudo-mysticism and techno helped create an image of Goonswarm being a divine legion sent by a god to smash the infidels. It's a theme that would become more realized as they would go on to forge The Imperium, a religiously-fueled empire that dominated EVE for years.
The latter half Stahlregen's video more closely resembles the frag videos seen from the early days of shooters like Counter-Strike, but the intro is so creepy and weird that it kind of all comes together in a strangely perfect way. It also represents some of the better battle montages that have come out of the EVE Community.
Rooks and Kings Clarion Call 4
The typical EVE propaganda tends to be a four-minute mashup of battleships exchanging salvos of laserfire, but the Rooks and Kings alliance created the Clarion Call series that recounts in great detail their history of battle against the bigger threats in EVE Online. Clocking in at just over an hour, Clarion Call 4 is more of a documentary than anything, but it was so popular among the EVE community that it helped engender sympathy and goodwill from just about everyone who wasn't directly opposed to them.
The whole series is absolutely worth a watch if you can spare a few hours. The videos are a chronicle of underdog Rooks and Kings rise to prominence in the null-sec alliances of EVE Online.
The Dronelands: Return of Ethereal Dawn
Speaking of propaganda videos that do more than show explosions in space, Return of Ethereal Dawn is a video so dramatic that might as well be a trailer for EVE Online. Charting the fall and rise of an alliance known as Ethereal Dawn, who years earlier disbanded after losing all their space only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, this video demonstrates EVE propaganda in its purest form: a rousing tale for pilots to rally behind.
What really sells Return of Ethereal Dawn is the latter half of the video when clips from fake EVE Online news stations begin playing in rapid succession showing Ethereal Dawn capturing system after system. It's a dramatic series of cuts that really drives home the impression that Ethereal Dawn are making waves by retaking their native homeland.
Delve 2012 is probably one of the more traditional propaganda videos the be churned out by EVE's various propagandists, but it's also one of the most popular. In 2012, TEST Alliance invaded a region known as Delve expecting to start a rather non-serious conflict for some good fun. Favors were called in to defend Delve, and before long TEST found themselves vastly outnumbered. They called in their own favors, and within weeks the Delve 2012 campaign ballooned from a proxy war into one of the biggest campaigns in EVE history.
This is REALLY EVE
Back in 2014, CCP Games released one of the greatest trailers of all time, "" This trailer let the players do the talking by using real voice communications from various battles to highlight how the battles and stories of EVE Online were forged by the players. But, and not to be critical of CCP in the slightest, the snapshots of dialogue used in the video weren't exactly indicative of the "full" EVE Online experience—that is, listening quietly while your fleet commander has a full-blown meltdown because someone made a mistake that cost the fleet the objective.
Cue this parody of CCP's mini-masterpiece. It uses a selection of clips from various fleet commanders, poking fun at the seriousness of EVE Online by subjecting you to almost four minutes of nonstop verbal harassment, insults, and probably the finest display of online etiquette since the first person ever elected to hold down the push-to-talk button while unloading obscenities into a chat room full of quiet strangers decades ago. It might not be the most flattering side of the EVE community, but I'll be damned if it isn't my favorite.
The propaganda machines of EVE Online never stop turning, and this is only a tiny sampling of the videos that alliances use to puff themselves up and make their enemies look weak. If you have your own personal favorites, let us know in the comments.