Not just Iceland and Vegas
After opening with a few words on the recent Vegas tragedy (and a list of blood drives attendees could visit), Icelandic developer CCP kicked off their sixth annual EVE Vegas fan event for the massively popular MMO EVE Online with some data, which nicely segued into their plan to expand the Fanfest banner into additional locations in 2019 — the existing Iceland and Vegas will stay, but will be joined by “EVE Down Under” in Australia, and an undisclosed east coast event (Boston and DC were mentioned, but not confirmed).
As for 2018 Eve Fanfest in Iceland is still alive and well from April 12-14, and tickets are actually on sale now for what will be one of their “biggest Fanfests ever.” You might want to attend that one if you’re a big EVEplayer too, because in light of the multi-event expansion, CCP also explained that the main Fanfest will be downplayed a bit in an effort to make the rest bigger. When 2020 hits, CCP says it’ll bring it back to full strength from April 2-4, but plans are still fairly nebulous that far out.
So how about that data? Well, of the roughly 812 fans attending the EVE Vegas event this weekend (of which I’m in attendance), 738 are from the US, followed by the UK and Canada. In all roughly 1,000 people will be partaking in the various activities of EVE Vegas, including panels, playable games (with a big emphasis on Sparc and Valkyrie), as well as social gatherings that promote general community building.
Having attended Fanfest proper and EVE Vegas, at this point I can form a clear picture of what the community is like at these officially sanctioned events. They’re passionate, and that feeds CCP in its development — something they didn’t just tell us about in the opening keynote, but showed, with lots of focus on fan requests that they’ve implemented over the years or are going to implement, and even granular reddit post slides.
They were also pretty hardcore about promoting all of the miniature grassroots fests thrown around the world, a process that eventually led them to expanding their horizons. If all of the cheers from the keynote were any indication, it’s only good news for CCP and the future of the game’s fanbase.