Monday, January 23, 2023

A Project M5 Sighting At The Beginning Of 2023

Last week CCP caused a bit of a commotion by putting in new measures to prevent players from mainland China from accessing EVE Online's Tranquility game shard. Were the Icelandic game developers responding to a crackdown from Chinese authorities? Did CCP have to do so according to a contract with its Chinese publisher NetEase? I stumbled across a third reason. Maybe, just maybe, CCP is planning on launching a new game this year.

Hilmar announcing Project M5 at Fanfest 2022

The game is currently known as Project M5. CCP's Shanghai studio is currently working on the F2P 4X strategy game for mobile devices. Since the game is set in the EVE Universe, revenue from the title will undoubtedly wind up recorded in the EVE IP bucket in Pearl Abyss' financial reporting on earnings calls.

While Project M5 still has no release date, testing has begun. I ran across a video by an EVE Echoes YouTuber, Captain Benzie. Apparently he is part of closed testing for the game. In his video, he states that the second test dropped in the first week of 2023.

We will probably hear more details at the next Pearl Abyss earnings call in a few weeks. For now, I am assuming CCP is preparing to submit an application to run the game in the People's Republic of China. I would even go so far as predicting the Chinese publisher for Project M5 most likely is NetEase. So even if the launch of the game is a year out, CCP has to clean up to make itself presentable to the Chinese bureaucrats who will process the application.

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