EVE Online to Expand the Known Universe in March

CCP Games on Thursday announced that Apocrypha, the tenth free expansion to its science-fiction MMOG EVE Online, will expand the known universe on March 10. Wormholes will connect new regions of space to New Eden, the environment where tens of thousands of players engage in their activities on a single server. New technologies wait on the other end of those wormholes, but so do deadly enemies.

March 10 will also see the first release of EVE Online as a boxed product, thanks to the company's partnership with Atari. CCP promises that the long-awaited Mac version of the Premium graphics option, which brings even more detail to New Eden, will also be available at that time.

Apocrypha also features Epic Mission Arcs, which are branching series of missions that offer in-depth stories and more intelligent adversaries. CCP aid that it will reveal more information on its web site in the coming weeks. In addition, CCP said that it is currently working on new ways to enhance the experience for new players, who sometimes find themselves lost in space without an idea of what they should do after completing the game's tutorial mission.

EVE Online senior producer Torfi Frans Olafsson said in a press release: "Just this past week we broke our concurrent user record with 45,186 people flying unbound in the same game world at the same time -- a huge percentage of our quarter of a million current subscribers."

CCP says that it defines subscribers thus: "Individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active electronic time code (ETC) to play EVE Online, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions and expired ETCs."