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EVE Online makers eyeing open source and blockchain tech for longevity

With its space sim now 20 years old, CCP Games wants EVE Online to grow beyond the studio and open up new opportunities for itself.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

July 3, 2024

2 Min Read
A ship exploring the universe in EVE Online.
Image via CCP Games.

CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson recently spoke with GamesIndustry at length about the studio's future, which will include making EVE Online's Carbon Development Platform into an open-source property.

Elements of the CDP will feature blockchain technology. While just a few years ago it seemed many studios would embrace the technology despite its controversy, many have backed away following waning public interest in favor of focusing on genAI.

Though CCP is using blockchain for its survival project, dubbed "Awakening," Pétursson noted that it will be entirely optional when CDP is opened up to everyone.

In the same way Linux doesn't have to be used for blockchain, he stressed CDP "can be used for whatever. Our engine is made of several components, and you can just have a mix and match as you want."

Calling blockchain a "weird database," Pétursson argued EVE was the "first database game ever made." Even so, he reiterated blockchain's output would depend on who uses it: "Tech is just tech, you can use whatever tech to good and bad means."

CCP wants EVE Online to never stop

Pétursson further noted that taking EVE into open source gives the game a chance to live forever. The studio's flagship MMO is now over 20 years old, and CCP itself is 27, making this a calculated move should it ever close its doors.

"Open sourcing the platform that powers it in my view is greatly increasing the odds of that happening," Pétursson said. "Generally code that is open and shared has a higher chance to be robust over a period of time."

He also noted that going open source can be "immensely helpful" to developers. The approach can lead to easier and more specific fixes (as seen with Linux and Unreal Engine) and foster an easier relationship with would-be developers at universities.

Ultimately, Pétursson knows there's a lot of "emergent potential" to come from EVE, and hopes open source can help foster it. The "resilient community" that's formed around the game has kept it going, and making its tools available for everyone can only widen its reach.

"When you give tools to people in a community, they will make awesome things. This is the story of human life, and they will outdo your creativity way more than you think. Every time you try to put a lid on it, you curb the potential. Make it open, and the sky is the limit."

GamesIndustry's full interview with Pétursson, which includes his thoughts on the EVE Online community as a whole, can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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