Eve Online goes to retail with Atari

Acquisition-happy publisher is to distribute the Icelandic MMOG to shops; all expansions to be included.


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It's been a busy year for Atari and parent company Infogrames. In February, high-profile Sony executive Phil Harrison joined Infogrames as president, joining ex-EA exec David Gardner, the company's chief executive officer at the troubled firm. The industry waited to see where the two heavyweights would take Atari, which has struggled financially in recent times. Some clues emerged in May, when Harrison indicated in an interview that he saw the future of the industry lying in social games. "I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future," said Harrison talking about Alone in the Dark.

Ironically, that very game was partly responsible for boosting Infogrames' finances, but the company has moved in multiple directions since Harrison's arrival. Deals were recently announced to publish ex-Sierra Entertainment titles The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Ghostbusters, and the company this week announced it is going to publish Razorback's platformer The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity for the DS.

Atari's latest publishing deal, announced today, definitely takes it down the online multiplayer path that Harrison seemed to be favouring. The company is to work with Icelandic developer and publisher CCP to bring the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, originally released in 2003, to shops. Previously, Eve Online has only been available through digital distribution. The partnership was announced at CCP's annual Fanfest event.

Eve Online, a space-based MMOG with more than 250,000 players, features a player-run economy monitored by a real-life economist. There are nine expansion packs for the game, with EVE Online: Quantum Rise due for release on November 11. All of the expansions, along with the game client and a 60-day subscription, will be available within the boxed version of the game. The summer 2009 expansion, which is reported by Web site Ten Ton Hammer to have a working title of True Exploration, was announced at Fanfest and is reportedly set for release in March, but it has not been confirmed whether the boxed copy will be in shops before or after this expansion pack is available.

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Avatar image for Robert0288

I infact do think that casual gamers can get into it because of the skill training system, so that you can have your weekend of fun, or your occasional PVP ops while still gaining skill and not needing to stay glued to your computer 23/7.

Avatar image for Inconnux

I tried the demo and found the interface extremely frustrating

Avatar image for freerunner01

I tried out EVE recently and it is pretty fun to anyone who likes the genre. Instead of focusing on selling physical copies of the game which can be downloaded for free, what they need to do is distribute the time cards. It will be a lot easier to subscribe if one does not have to buy online.

Avatar image for durge666

not too many people know about EVE Online. If it's got a physical version of it in stores all over the world, more people will learn about it and start playing. It's just a way to reach the people who don't already know about it.

Avatar image for argo685

didnt atari already try to go the mmo route with Horizons?

Avatar image for jazilla

why do you need a boxed copy of an online game that is 4 years old? this makes no sense. you can't play the game without an internet connection, so if you have a connection, just download it and play. it's just tat easy. Atari continues to baffle me as a corporation. the are like The Oakland Raiders of video game publishing.

Avatar image for Gruug

I like EVE Online. It gets better and better as time goes on. It is also one of those games in which I feel I don't have to long in everyday to get my money's worth.

Avatar image for Xeserox

Ironwulfen - I wasn't saying that every casual gamer out there would be turned away by it, and it's great that you enjoy it and see it as not totally impossible.

Avatar image for Ironwulfen

Xeserox - Actually, I've been playing the game casually since mid 2006 and I've enjoyed it so far, so it's not totally impossible that any casual gamer would enjoy this game. Anyways, I think that making a boxed set is a great idea. It puts the game on the shelves for people to see and get interested in. I know a lot of gamers who had never ever heard about EVE before I told them about it because it didn't have a boxed set for them to stumble across on their weekly trip to the games store, and doing so together with the new take on the tutorials and the like, to help smoothen out the learning curve would be the best time to launch such a box. I think when True Exploration comes out, then there will not be a better time for CCP to launch those boxed sets.

Avatar image for KiroLM

"Hey Boss, we're almost out of money" "Have you come up with any way of resolving this problem?" "Well, why don't we give CD Projekt tons of money? I mean, they're responsible for the only decent game we've put out in a long time" "Nonsense. That's far too logical. Find me the most niche MMO you can possibly find, and make sure there's some way to purchase subscription time without paying real world money, so we make even less. That'll dig us out of this hole"

Avatar image for GareauRA

This really erks me. Out of the "250,000" players, I was and still am player #94. What does that mean, I was one of the very first beta testers and have been playing eve ever sense. What really drives the nail in the coffin is Eve-Online claims that buying this box set will give you all nine expansions with it, and a 60day GTC. What a deal? Heres the point... Goto eveonline.com and download it for free. What your buying is their 60Day Game Time Code(GTC). No big deal really, but please stop driving the point home CCP that your getting a deal. A deal would be getting a Limited Edition box set, say out of tin, embossed graphics, the whole nine yards, maybe some pewter figs of some of the ships or something, NOT what you can already get for free from their web site. Yes CCP does an excellent job of keeping the payers coming back for more. I mean 9 expansions is great. They do a very good job of that. But what they make up in great expansion and continual upgrades they lack in support and integrity. I wont even elaborate on the "mishaps" of the GM's and so on. But new players to the game wont understand the dynamics of how unhonest GM's tilt a game that depends on fairness to maintain a market, security of players, and so on. Make no mistake fellow readers, eve is a great game spite all its downfalls. Every MMO has its downfalls. I love Eve-Online and will play it till the day the flip the switch and shut down. But CCP needs to do a reality check on its Marketing of this Box Set. On a side note, players who have dial up may see this as the light at the end of the tunnel. Downloading the client (near 700mbs for the classic and well over 1.2gb for the enhanced versions) may seem impossible on a dial up. And allow me to share with you the play possibility of eve on dial up. It IS possible to play eve on a dial up. I was running Team speak and Eve-Online on a 56K dial up and had no problems engaging in fleet battles, talking to corp mates etc... SO for all you dial up techs, I say welcome to eve. Get the box set and happy eveing!

Avatar image for EvilToo

I have been playing EVE for over two years and still find the game a good thing to pass the time away. For those of you who still don't have a clue on things just join a larger sized active corp. We run British Federation in Lustrevik. People who start at same time don't have the same skills. There are many things that can accelerate the learning curve. Tehopenee :)

Avatar image for JunoFallon

I'm very fascinated by this games "little engine that could" effect on gaming. It seems to keep on moving forward despite it's age. Very impressive and good for them! :-)

Avatar image for DiscGuru101

I love Eve Online. As soon as we can leave ships and kick it on space stations and such, I'm back in. I have enough skills now to fly what I want, but not quite all the credits.

Avatar image for Stoner-Pimp

@ Megawizard1 According to the box (yes i still have mine with the cd and 1 page manual - cd is still in perfect working order aswell :D), Simon & Schuster Interactive the Publishing operation of Viacom Inc and also Crucial Entertainment.

Avatar image for ferozeak

I think Eve's orginal publisher was Simon & Schuster but was dumped pretty early after full release.

Avatar image for rodhrp

The open PvP will not let this game expand the way other "safe" mmos have.

Avatar image for zintarr

EVE just keeps going and going and going.

Avatar image for kingmickey2

I thought this game would have died out by now...

Avatar image for baystatethrashr

ive been keeping an eye out for this game for a while i might get it when the box version releases

Avatar image for Megawizard

Anyone remember who the original box publishers were? I lost mine a long time ago and can't remember.

Avatar image for Packfan104L4

There are going to be a lot of sales and quitters because of the extremely sharp learning curve. Make sure you do your research on the game before you dive into this MMORPG. I've been playing for 9 months now and there are still tons of areas I have no clue what to do in. People that have played since the beginning are STILL learning. Also, tons of WoW or many other MMO players won't understand the concept of a fixed training system. You can grind all day, but you'll still be equal in "experience" to someone who started the same day as you and only changes their skills when they finish.

Avatar image for Diehard_Si

Interesting! Now just need this site to update its review of Eve as its not been changed since 2003!

Avatar image for BadAshJL

60 days of gametime included in the box...so expect a pricepoint of about $40-$50 to cover the cost of box itself and some profit margin for atari as well. Not really very enticing for current players but the 60 days gametime should be pretty nice for new subs, that's double what you usually get when you buy a new mmo.

Avatar image for Xeserox

I've played Eve-Online since Beta... have the original box. It's good to see that eve is going back to a box, espicially here in the states. Might help get some new blood. Though I don't see casual gamers getting into this game at all. It's a tough game.... and very cut throat.

Avatar image for Zee666

W00t w00t, go Eve!

Avatar image for blueness

This is a great idea, and will expose many more casual gamers to Eve who might not otherwise know about this game (i.e. non-internet game community types). The only problem then will be keeping some of those more casual gamers as this game probably has the steepest learning curve of any game I've ever played in my 25+ years of gaming. However, it could still garner a decent number of additional subs to the game for those who choose to stick around, which can't hurt for all involved.

Avatar image for CrazyKinux

Here's a << LINK REMOVED >> for those interested. Enjoy! << LINK REMOVED >>