Here's one of those "quiet trends that are creeping into long-running titles with niche audiences" stories. Today CCP Games announced that Eve Anywhere, a cloud-based browser platform that allows users to play Eve Online on a web browser, is moving out of beta and is now accessible to all players.
Eve Anywhere was actually announced in August of 2020, and entered beta in August 2021. Since then, 11,000 players across the globe have streamed over 86,000 sessions of Eve Online. Eve Anywhere apparently uses Intel cloud technology for its infrastructure, and connects players to powerful PCs running Eve Online that are accessed through a browser window.
You might recall that Eve Online (which debuted in 2003) isn't exactly a game with high technical requirements—so why the interest in a cloud-based version? Bigger companies like Microsoft are investing in cloud-based platforms that make their games accessible across a number of devices, but CCP and other companies are specifically starting to target web browsers.
Eve Online has been around long enough for its developers to shrug off any notion that they need to be building a so-called "metaverse," but metaverse-minded companies have been talking about browser-based access for the last few months. Mythical Games even went so far as to purchase its own cloud streaming company to reduce friction in accessing different games across its platforms.
And while it's not powered by cloud technology, the makers of game-making platform Dot Big Bang told us that their interest in browser-based gameplay was also about making their game as accessible across as many platforms as possible.
CCP Games noted in early marketing for Eve Anywhere that the initiative "removes barriers for newcomers" while helping veteran players access the games from more locations.
If we were to zoom outward from questions about whether cloud gaming or in-browser versions of games is better for garnering new players, one might hypothesize that expansions into browser-based versions of popular games is another direction for publishers seeking new audiences to pursue. Some of the free-to-play industry veterans pushing into blockchain games have talked about the desire to make games for a whole new audience, as both the traditional game-playing and mobile audiences have seen slowing growth.
Whether or not that pays off is yet to be seen. But for now, if you'd like play Eve Online on a device as simple as a Chromebook...you now can!