Wednesday, January 5, 2022

EVE Online, Doctor Who, and The Interstellar Convergence

In my time, I have participated in several cross-over events in Final Fantasy XIV. I did the first Nier: Automata raid to get the 2B glamour set. I completed the Final Fantasy XV event to get the opportunity to purchase the Regalia Type-G mount. Between completing the Stormblood expansion and beginning Shadowbringers, I ground out the Yo-Kai Watch event. Somewhere along the way I ran through The Maiden's Rhaposdy, a cross-over with Final Fantasy XI. I even did the return of the Dragon Quest X event, Breaking Brick Mountains, this summer. So I think I know a little something about cross-over events.

One cross-over I never expected was one from Pearl Abyss' UK-based studio, CCP Games, and BBC Studios, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. I'll copy/paste the press release below:

REYKJAVÍK – January 4, 2022 – CCP Games and BBC Studios have joined forces for EVE Online x Doctor Who, an original crossover event between the beloved action-adventure series Doctor Who and the free-to-play deep space-faring MMO EVE Online. Universes will collide as Capsuleers and Whovians face the Daleks together in massive space battles in EVE Online x Doctor Who starting 13 January until 1 February.

EVE Online is a free-to-play, community-driven spaceship MMO game where players can choose their own path among the stars from countless options, developed by CCP Games in Reykjavik. The game first launched in 2003 and has since gained recognition for its scale, complexity, and the world record-breaking exploits of its online community. EVE Online is one of the most critically acclaimed MMORPG intellectual properties (IPs) in time and space, and one of the most extensive works of science fiction in the world.

“2022 will be off to an (inter)stellar start with EVE Online x Doctor Who,” said Bergur Finnbogason, EVE Online’s Creative Director. “We are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in EVE Online. Collaborating with BBC Studios gives us the opportunity to pay homage to an iconic series that has inspired us at CCP. We hope you’ll join us in New Eden on January 13 to see what happens when galaxies collide!”

“EVE Online x Doctor Who not only brings two iconic universes together, but also the passionate Whovians with the just-as-passionate pilots of New Eden,” said Kevin Jorge, Senior Producer at BBC Studios, “By bringing the fanbases together, the already massive battles of EVE Online are sure to become even more explosive. Only time will tell if New Eden’s fiercest pilots have what it takes to challenge the might of the Daleks.”

EVE Online x Doctor Who introduces new, Gallifrey-themed space where players will search for artifacts from Doctor Who’s Great Time War. The artifacts will provide players with clues to track down the infamous Daleks and face them in an interstellar battle of the ages. Players who survive the fight will reap unique rewards that they can take back to New Eden. Additionally, a login campaign with skill points and Doctor Who-themed items will be available to all players throughout the duration of the event.

EVE Online x Doctor Who is the first major collaboration for the spaceship MMO, reaching a new milestone in CCP’s journey to expand New Eden’s horizons and welcome fresh players into its storied universe. EVE Online has seen incredible growth over the course of 18 years, reaching more than 24 million active users in 2021. CCP recently overhauled EVE’s new player experience, making it a perfect time for rookie pilots to start their journey in EVE Online.

That's right. An EVE Online/Doctor Who cross-over event. A game famous for not allowing pink spaceships because it would clash with the artistic vision of the designers is now introducing an alien species, the Daleks. CCP posted additional information on its website.

The EVE Online x Doctor Who crossover will take place as an entirely original in-game event, called The Interstellar Convergence. Set before the Time Lords’ 400-year-long conflict with the Daleks, ‘The Last Great Time War ’, this very special EVE event will run for over three weeks until 1 February. The Interstellar Convergence will be unlike any other EVE event before it, introducing a beguiling mystery, a trail of clues, multiple challenges, themed items, and even a vibrant new area of space.

Unearth Doctor Who-related artifacts and use them to track down the Dalek menace. Face off against the infamous evildoers in an interstellar battle of the ages and claim Doctor Who-inspired rewards to take back to New Eden.

To find out more about the threat that is coming to the New Eden star cluster, keep an eye on the EVE Online news page, social channels, and more. There’s much to be learned about how wormhole-like phenomena have been taking ships from New Eden to an unknown area of space littered with wrecks of unknown vessels – and traces of others that have moved on. But what do those traces mean? And what does this have to do with the Daleks? Discover more starting 13 January!

My first thought was, "How much is Pearl Abyss paying the BBC for the tie-in?" My second thought was, "How desperate is the BBC for funds to agree to the tie-in?" While the two intellectual properties are both science fiction titles, the similarities end there. EVE Online is about massive conflicts solved with force, while The Doctor is known for solving problems with his intellect. 

On Monday I posted about Tranquility's poor concurrency numbers and how in 2016 CCP turned to the freemium model to boost its finances. The model in 2022 more than ever ties itself to in-game events. By hosting a cross-promotion with another intellectual property, CCP may fulfill one of Pearl Abyss' long-term goals of attracting new players to it's MMORPG games. I'm not sure how well such an event will work. I'll have to watch the VOD from Ashterothi's live stream on which CCP Fozzie and CCP Swift appeared to give further details of the event.

One concern is the inclusion of NFTs into the event. Not only has Pearl Abyss told investors they are exploring NFTs, but BBC Studios has a history of involvement with NFT-based games as well. BBC Studios teamed with Reality Gaming Group to publish an NFT card game, Doctor Who - Worlds Apart. However, CCP Swift stated on Twitter the event would not include NFTs.

I plan on participating in the event, just to see how it works out. I also intend to watch the concurrency numbers fairly closely to see the popularity of the event. For now, I plan on keeping an open mind until events prove otherwise.

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