Today saw the concurrent user count in EVE Online pass the 50,000 mark, and the day is not over yet. (Though we are heading out of EUTZ prime time.)
Yesterday saw the count pass the 46K mark, surpassing the 2015 high water mark of 45,637 set back in January of that year.
We’re still 15K players shy of the all time high player count of 65,303 set back in May of 2013, but numbers are significantly higher than they have been, as the online peaks have been capping out just beyond the 30K mark on weekends since the Casino War wound down back in June.
This all comes because the Ascension expansion, launched this past Tuesday, added the “Alpha clone” option which allows players to play without subscribing, a feature which brought with it a spike in new character creation.
The catch is that Alpha clones only have access to a limited range of skills to work with, and they train those skills at half the rate of subscribers.
Of course, the question of the hour is whether or not all these new players… or returning old players… or current players just making alts and checking out the revised new player experience… will stick around and add some money to CCP’s bottom line. I have noted in the past that every MMO free conversion is rewarded with a spike in players, but the “happy time” after such conversions can be limited unless the game in question continues to adapt in order to keep players.
Data, aside from the first screen shot, take from EVE Offline, which keeps a historical record of user count and new user creation.