China will be EVE Online's biggest market in two years

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CCP Games CEO Hilmar Petursson believes China will probably be eve echoes isk single most important market in just two years -- in part because of the Icelandic firm's own business plan, but also due to a growing fascination with science fiction in China itself. Petursson discussed the future of this pioneering MMO in an onstage interview with GamesIndustry.biz in Reboot Develop Blue past week. Though the last 18 months has contained several notable stumbles for CCP -- such as the decision to give up the VR organization, and also to shelve an EVE-inspired first-person shot -- he was bullish about the potential for growth in major Asian markets like Korea and China.

Of course, CCP Games is now owned by a Korean company, having been acquired by Pearl Abyss for $425 million in September last year. "It was the very first single-shard MMO, made in Korea in 1997," he explained. "Very little about it is known in the west, however, we analyzed it to pieces.

"Ever since then I've been following what happens in Korea. I have always discovered that what happens in Korea becomes our reality five decades after, and that I have 20 decades of observational data to support that." Pearl Abyss' struck MMO Black Desert Online inspired similar emotions in Petursson; a intricate game, a technical achievement, and a huge success all at one time. In fact Pearl Abyss revealed it has earned more than $1 billion in revenue from the Black Desert franchise. "You need to see the mobile edition," he added. "That boggles the mind -- it's like an artefact in the future."

Now, with a significant participant in the domestic market at its back, CCP is prepared to tap into what could turn into a huge market for its 16 year-old game. The same is true with China, where CCP first opened an EVE server in 2006. However, the company recently stepped up its efforts in the country through two deals with NetEase, which resulted in the publisher taking over EVE's Chinese server, and also the development of a mobile game, EVE: Echoes, together with China firmly in mind.

"A huge part of our strategy going forward needed to do with Asia overall," Petursson said. "The reason we're pushing on it today is that, historically, science fiction hasn't been a huge issue in Korea and China. But ever since China set its eyes on distance, building a massive space programme. And there was a pretty profound moment together with the novel The Three Body Problem -- an wonderful science fiction novel written by a Chinese writer [Liu Cixin] -- once you read that book it is like, yes, that's related to EVE Mobile ISK For Sale our times right now. That has turned sci-fi increasingly more popular in China."


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