2022 is already off to an interesting year in EVE Online, with the holdover from the scarcity to prosperity discussion from late 2021 still casting a pall over many capsuleers. Since then EVE has seen NFTs hit the MMO’s Alliance Tournamnet, though not in the MMO itself, as well as the first major cross-over IP in EVE’s almost twenty year history. Yet as 2022 starts to deepen one question looms on my mind specifically: Fanfest.
It’s been a few years since the last proper EVE Fanfest, with developer CCP Games opting for a world tour in 2019. The the pandemic happened a year later and the annual trek to Reykjavik for many a capsuleer was put on hold. It’s now set to resume this May, though the current resurgence of cases has many wondering whether Fanfest will be on hold once again.
“We are closely monitoring the situation,” CCP Game‘s Saemundur Hermannsson stated in an interview with MMORPG.com last week. As the studio will have to look at a myriad of factors to determine whether it’s viable to move forward, from transmission rates of new variants to guidelines handed down by the Icelandic government, the studio is monitoring the current surge in positive cases from all angles.
Fanfest is a time like no other for many EVE players. It’s a chance to meet up in person with your corpmates, plan large movements and goals for the year, and just have a good time with fellow capsuleers in one of the most interesting destinations in the world. While Fanfest 2022 as of this writing is still a go, it’ll be interesting to see how it proceeds as we get closer to May.
Another major topic that has dominated not just EVE discourse, but gaming in general, is that of blockhain and, more specifically, NFTs. While many MMOs are dabbling in NFTs themselves, EVE did the same by introducing NFT killmails as part of last year’s Alliance Tournament. While the NFTs themselves aren’t in the actual MMO, meaning that you can’t earn NFTs for kills in your everyday gameplay like participants could during the tournament, CCP Games isn’t shying away from the technology. Blockchain is something we’ve heard CCP talk about before, and it doesn’t seem like that interest in learning more about the technology is going away any time soon.
“When you dig into the blockchain an dhow blockchain is created, there are incredible similarities to how EVE Online is built,” Creative Director Bergur Finnbogason said when asked if these NFT experiments will continue, or if they are one-off fascinations of the studio. “I’m not saying that this happened because we were Uber masters, maybe by chance or maybe it is the most logical way of building and storing massive amounts of information. The amount of transactions that happen in EVE Online every day, and I’m talking server transactions that happen in EVE Online every day, it’s way beyond what any cryptocurrency is doing right now. It’s like it’s way, way, way, way beyond. So we’re, in an odd way, almost too big for the blockchain right as it is right now.”
How blockchain is being implemented in the games world is something of a contentious topic. The technology itself is still being iterated on and evolving, something which both Saemundur and Bergur bring up when talking about the tech. However, Bergur states that as they stand right now, the blockchain world “is not necessarily at a place where it makes perfect sense for games to adopt.”
“I think there [are] a lot of interesting things in this blockchain world we can learn from and we can take learning from to push foward. I think, [from] my personal view, I think blockchain is not necessarily at a place where it makes perfect sense for games to adopt it. I think it still has a little bit more to go, but [thankfully] for most things move extremely fast in this world. “
“There [are] a lot of really cool things going on in the Web 3 space,” Saemi added as well. “And a lot not so good. It’s in the middle of a crazy innovation cycle. “