China and South Korea are driving Eve Online into the future

"I have Eve Echoes in my pocket. It is like an artefact from the future"

China and South Korea are driving Eve Online into the future

Eve Online was looking to the East at this year's Reboot Develop Blue in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

While China first saw an Eve Online server in 2006, CCP Games has found it harder to break into neighbouring South Korea.

The MMO-savvy nation is aware of the cosmic capitalism sim, although relatively few have picked it up. But according to CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, South Korea has been a focal point for CCP since the beginning.

The world’s first single-shard MMO, Nexon’s Kingdom of the Winds, was an early target for Eve Online to break, and CCP is keen on watching new technology developments in the country.

“What happens in Korea is our reality five years later,” said Pétursson. “I now have 20 years of observation and data to support that.”

But while the South Korean industry can be intimidating, CCP has managed to get in on the local scene through an acquisition by Pearl Abyss. Where games like Black Desert Online were once intimidating spectacle, CCP can now make use of South Korea’s technological insight.

“When we actually got to know them, then it just sounded like a great way to take the next step of evolution for CCP to join up with a Korean company," said Pétursson.

Pocket spaceships

Pearl Abyss isn’t the only Asian firm taking CCP to new places, however. Pétursson went into brief detail on the upcoming mobile edition of Eve: Echoes, developed in partnership with NetEase.

“I have Eve Echoes in my pocket," said Pétursson. "It is again like an artefact from the future. It doesn’t make sense how it fits on a phone.”

The collaboration with NetEase more than makes sense for a game like Eve. The Chinese publisher has a long history with developing PC MMORPGs, bringing many of them to mobile.

“NetEase has done an amazing job of taking their own PC MMOs and making them mobile, and I guess inspired by the task of… okay, what’s the most impossible challenge, it’s obviously taking Eve Online and trying to make a mobile version of it," said Pétursson. "We, together, are pulling it off.”

Pétursson’s talk is available on the Reboot Develop Twitch archive here, starting at 01.31.16.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.