I can't remember exactly how your mission statement is phrased, but it's something like "creating emotional experiences as valid or even more engaging than your real life."
It's got a lot of interesting implications.
TFO: Well, look at it. I mean, there's a lot of opportunities that we just simply will never experience in real life. That's what games provide, and movies provide for you. We really will never know what it's like to command a starship and destroy a fleet of a thousand people. You don't know. But EVE allows you to experience that.
I mean, that's what players tell us. They experience it. It's so real. Because the investment in the starship, and the investment in the infrastructure, and the build-up of it took as long as it would have taken in real life.
They didn't just press a button and get the starship. It wasn't a spawned instance. They actually lose something really valuable. But there's also something really valuable to get.
So, attainment is the ingredient?
TFO: There's a lot of ingredients, I think. I mean, it's investment, attainment. It's collaboration. Most things in EVE... EVE is a multiplayer game. I speak to a lot of people that say, "Oh yeah, I played EVE. It wasn't really fun." "That's okay. Did you play with someone? Were you in a corporation?" "No, I just played alone." "Ah."
That's like being on Facebook alone. Like, having no friends and just taking pictures of yourself. It's not going to last for long. [laughs] The whole chemistry of the game is it's a massively multiplayer game. And you collaborate.
At the magnitude you're at, you see corporations, but then you also see specializations within the corporations. People just interface with probably primarily a small group within the corporation.
TFO: Right. Absolutely.
That's an example of something I don't know whether you anticipated it emerging, or if that emerged through scale?
TFO: We did in a way. We are veterans of Ultima Online and MUDs, and original sandbox games. Some of these originals were actually much more true to building worlds, rather than linear experiences of the massively multiplayer games of today. And you can totally see that in these games, some people will focus solely on crafting, or hunting, or preparing, or building something for other players, or catering, or whatever.
So, yeah, we certainly didn't anticipate it, but it's been really exciting. We've seen jobs spring up which we didn't anticipate. Like when we introduced wormholes in Apocrypha, which are these places somewhere in the universe, where you go to a wormhole to somewhere, and you actually don't know where it is. And then the wormhole closes, and you have to scan for a wormhole.
People would get stuck there for days and weeks. While other MMOs would just not allow that mechanic because it's not fun, people thought it was really exciting to be stuck in a wormhole. And companies sprung up, trying to rescue people that were stuck in wormholes. That was a mechanic we couldn't anticipate.
I remember, at one point I met a player who was essentially a trucker.
You know, he hauls cargo for a corporation... That's really interesting.
TFO: Yeah. And it's exciting. It can be really exciting because you often have to pass through really dangerous ideas. There's a lot of gameplay and mechanics in there. Although they don't involve companies. But it also makes it more real... When you buy something deep in zero security space, when you buy some commodity, you know it's been hauled by one of the truckers and manufactured by another player, from all that was actually harvested by another player.
Like the real economic functions of capitalism.
The idea that there's a universe now that can be touched directly by totally different interfaces and different play styles is a big deal, I think.
TFO: Yeah. And we want to do more of it. We would like other avenues for other people to interface with the universe and experience it.