Icelandic developer and publisher CCP Games generated $66 million in revenues from EVE Online
last year, and has brought in a total of $300 million from the MMORPG since its 2003 launch.
, as with World of Warcraft
, is one of the last online titles that's held onto its subscription business model years after its launch, as other games like EverQuest II, Aion, City of Heroes,
and many others have switched to free-to-play.
Despite EVE Online
's small userbase -- around 400,000 -- compared to those other games, CCP has stuck with the subscription model. It began introducing microtransactions to the game last year, though, which angered many players
The publisher said EVE Online
has remained profitable over the years thanks to "very healthy margins," according to a report
from TechCrunch. Its revenue has been grown at a compound annual rate of 53 percent over the years.
CCP, which employs a staff of more than 450 (down from the 600 it employed before layoffs last October
), is considering an IPO to fund more growth. Its managed to get this far on just $3 million in seed funding and EVE Online
"We want to be ready for an IPO from a policy standpoint," said CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson. "We're quite a substantial company, so we're thinking, 'Okay, what is the next step?'"
The company will release its next game Dust 514
, an MMO first-person shooter that takes place in the EVE Online
universe, for PlayStation 3 this summer. It will require an initial charge to buy the game but no subscriptions, relying instead on microtransactions.