How the ‘EVE Online’ TV Series Could Become the Next ‘Game of Thrones’

EVE Online is being developed as

Plans to produce a TV series based on the hit video game “EVE Online” were announced nearly a year ago, with “2 Guns” director Baltasar Kormakur attached to develop the project.

The game’s developer, CCP Games, however, is in “no hurry” to rush the series into production, according to the company’s CEO, Hilmar Veigar Petursson. The Iceland-based company is currently meeting with TV networks and studio executives to find a partner to produce the series and other potential offshoots.

“We would rather do it well than in a hurry,” Petursson told Variety at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas.

Petursson said CCP has no reason to get into the TV business given the success of the massively multiplayer online role playing game. “EVE Online” has more than 500,000 players around the world; they recently generated headlines for destroying $300,000 worth of virtual spaceships during an epic space battle.

The entire “EVE” Universe claims 900,000 players, spread out between the “EVE Online” and “Dust 514” games.

CCP sees linear forms of storytelling on other platforms as a way to engage with both the game’s hardcore fans and newcomers to the franchise — the way HBO has successfully turned “Game of Thrones” into a major hit.

In fact, the eventual TV series will feature an original concept and storyline set in the game’s universe, but in a unique move, the game’s creators are turning to players to come up with many of the tales it will tell on TV.

“We’re now in the process of capturing the stories,” Petursson said Wednesday during the opening panel of this year’s DICE Summit, which attracts the videogame industry’s gamemakers to discuss the latest trends impacting the biz. Event is taking place at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

CCP is first launching “EVE: True Stories” as a comicbook, published by Dark Horse, that incorporates stories that fans have submitted based on plots that they’ve participated in while playing the game. There’s also the fan-driven “True Stories From the First Decade” website, hardbound “EVE Online Source” and “Dust 514” books to appeal to players and newcomers to the series.

“This is a property that has been created by hundreds of thousands of people around the world,” Petursson said. “People understand the power of that. It is the biggest story ever written in a way. If we create a story out of that, we’ve created something very powerful” – and a stronger connection with “EVE’s” fanbase. “In the future, they will be able to think, ‘If I do an awesome job it will be in the TV series.’”

To make it more powerful, however, the focus needs to be about people, their relationships and their struggles, Petursson stresses.

“The whole sci-fi aspect (of ‘EVE’) should be window dressing and context,” he said. “The game is about spaceships. We can’t have spaceships talking to each other. You need to visualize the drama behind the scenes.”

“’Titanic’ isn’t about the ship,” Petursson added. “It’s about two people who fall in love.”

But with “Titanic,” Petursson stresses that audiences also don’t like surprises in the stories they experience.

They know that the ship will eventually sink, which heightens the film’s plot and relationship between its characters, for example. “Why is ‘Avatar’ the Pocahontas script?” Petursson asks. “Having the script be a familiar story gives you a rope to hang onto as you’re on the roller coaster ride.”

That familiarity has helped attract Hollywood.

“People in Hollywood have gotten an appreciation for something that (has a hardcore audience) and adding their flair so that it’s more accessible to a mass audience,” Petursson said. TV also is seen as an easier medium through which to engage with fans, he added.

CCP said it needed to think of new ways to introduce people to the “EVE” universe, because it found people were interested in the game and its world but didn’t want to devote the time to play it – or be consumed by it.

“Not everyone wants to take it that far,” Petursson said. “But there’s an audience that’s curious about it.”

And more are getting interested in the property – especially after an in-game war recently destroyed more than $300,000 worth of virtual items players paid for during a 20-hour battle.

CCP has no plans to produce and distribute the TV series on its own and go the Netflix route other produces are now embracing for their original productions.

“Our focus is on making the game,” Petursson said. “We know nothing about making good TV. We watch TV and have opinions, but it’s not the same thing. We don’t want to pretend to know something about what we don’t.”

“It’s helpful to have Baltasar,” Petursson added, “because (the storytelling) needs to go through a level of filtering.”

The comicbook also will be used as a way to “test what works and cuts through,” Petursson said.

The success of series like “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones” and film franchises like “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” and “Harry Potter” have encouraged gamemakers to consider expanding their properties onto other platforms.

“Often with computer games, we have been so preoccupied on the technology and the game design,” Petursson said. “The narrative and world-building wasn’t a big focus. But that was a big focus for us.”

The successful transition of genre properties from the book to the screen has also helped Hollywood grasp the potential of games with strong followings, as well.

“Hollywood is getting clued into the power” of the games and their franchise potential, Petursson said. “If you look at things that come out today versus five or 10 years ago, it’s way more authentic and people appreciate that authenticity.”

Peterson said he’s been impressed with studios and TV networks trying to make the adaptations “authentic for the core audience first, not because they’re the biggest part of the overall audience, but that’s where you connect the authenticity together.”

He cites “Lord of the Rings” as the best example of a film series that “visualized the story so that it matched the imagination of the people who read the books” and ultimately made them appealing in the first place. The same is true for “Game of Thrones” for him. “When I watch ‘Game of Thrones,’ I want to go to the wall and be part of it,” Petursson said.

But CCP’s Icelandic roots also don’t hurt.

“Because we’re Icelandic, sagas and world building has always been important to us,” Petursson said. “If you think of it as a cliche, everyone in Iceland would like to write a book, the way everyone in Paris wants to own a restaurant and everyone in America wants to be famous.”

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  1. To the people picking on the Raven, it has turret hardpoints and it’s shooting a planet because someone from Dust 514 called for an orbital strike. Those lasers can only be used for that.

    I like that CCP isn’t in a hurry to make this, it only means that the series will be great! Especially since they will use stories from players, we all know how awesome those can be, just look at Day of Darkness One and Two. I would prefer it to start off the series by telling the intro but in more depth, that’s how the series should start.

    I’ve been playing Eve, on and off, since 2005 and I want to say that I’ve seen huge 1k players fights, but I didn’t. My GFX card would start screaming and I usually put the camera in an angle where I had the most FPS and just use the UI to target and so on. In-game name is Spite Fallout if anyone has a question about how to mine in a Navy Megathron.

  2. Caldari Citizen38902 says:

    Spank your microwarps, ladies.

  3. Jakuba says:

    why is that raven firing lasers?

  4. Kid says:

    Game of Thrones is so successful (in part) because it defies traditional TV conventions — killing off major characters and creating a sense of suspense that “anything can happen.”

    This is the opposite of “Having the script be a familiar story [that] gives you a rope to hang onto as you’re on the roller coaster ride.”

    • jedi77 says:

      Exactly, and it’s that kind of mistaken understanding of why people watch GOT (or Walking Dead for that matter) that will ensure this project NOT being very good at all.

      • fermaguel says:

        except it is familiar, like and Shamalama dindong ovie (cant sel his fuckin name to save my life), its a long, drawn out tragedy trying to be deep by just refusing to bring it what keeps being repeated as the biggest threat, the whole time hanging the characters over the heads of fans going “look kitty at the tasty vegetables”

  5. Knives says:

    This is something I would really like to see as a player and enthusiast, but at the same time I want it to be made so people outside the game will like it as much as I do.

    I also can’t help but want SCOPE WERK to get in an episode or two, despite our small scale. I feel our little ragtag group of unaffiliated players shows the core ideas of the game, to an extent.

  6. tarx2004 says:

    Why is that raven firing lasers? come on….

  7. waffle911 says:

    To say that the players “paid for” that $300,000 worth of destroyed virtual items is deceptive. In truth, that number is the real-world equivalent value of the ships’ worth in the in-game currency, ISK, which is earned in-game rather than being purchased directly. People do indirectly purchase ISK with real money; they buy a 30-day game time extension, then convert it to an in-game item they can sell on the in-game open market for ISK. Players who earn their ISK the old fashioned way can then spend it on the game time rather than pay real money out-of-pocket to play the game; thus, dedicated players can effectively play for free, while more casual players with more real money to spend than available free time can still have in-game currency without having to grind for hours and hours to get it.

    To say that the players paid for those $300,000 in items would be to say they just threw away $300,000 in real money that could have been put to other, better uses. Rather, it was only the market equivalent of $300,000 worth of in-game currency (ISK) that was generated entirely in the game universe through people playing the game.

    • Paco says:

      you put way too much thought into that lol. im pretty sure everyone who plays eve understands what they meant.

    • lol no says:

      So basically, $300,000 worth of digital assets was destroyed. Way to ruin the magic by arguing semantics.

      • Malphas Vynneve says:

        Paco; that statement was for people who DON’T already play EVE, smartguy.

        lol no; Wanna have the magic un-ruined? Divide 300,000 by 20 (1 PLEX=$20), being 15000, then multiply that by 600,000,000 (the general ISK amount for ONE 30 day timecode item sold on in-game market, also known as a PLEX). and the magic? it’s 9,000,000,000,000 ISK. And that was just the price of the capital and sub-capital ships. There were dozens upon dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other battleships and battlecruisers there. Not to mention the many cruisers and lower that may have been caught up in the fray.

        Overall, i think waffle911’s statement needs to be seen by EVERYONE who didn’t know about EVE, then saw it on the news or whatever website and thought to themselves “Looks like a badass game, but i don’t wanna spend a bunch of real money on it.” I made a comment on one of the twitch streams put on youtube about this exact thing. To say the battle cost $300,000 is a terribly misleading statement and if CCP wants to attract new players, they better help people get their statements correct.

        They SHOULD have said the battle cost EVE Capsuleers over 9 TRILLION ISK, which is over $300,000 worth of game-time codes that can be purchased with real life money and then sold in-game for ISK.

  8. Cesar says:

    I use by Rohk as a mining ship although its a turret based BS (battleship)….and yes, I have fitted a Raven with Lasers and torps (torpedos) :)

    Lets bring BattleStar Galactica (new series) and Clear Skies (short animated stories) together…see what visual affects and story lines we get..

    look foward…till then, c u in Eve Online!

  9. Rossz says:

    Obviously you haven played eve in a long time the raven does have turret hard points secondly those lasers are for space to ground combat only do your homework before you make fool of yourself!

  10. LOL! says:

    two things are hilarious about this. one is a Raven shooting a planet with lasers, when the Raven battleship only can use missiles in-game (it has one turret hardpoint, but it’s a missile boat). second, the dude’s name is Veigar, and he’s not saying things like “FEAR ME” or “Is that a short joke?!?”.

    • Eve Junkie says:

      That’s an orbital strike, called down by people playing Dust 514, which at present can’t be done with missiles.

    • Deagor says:

      Last i checked (10seconds ago) the raven has 4 turret hardpoints and just because something gets bonuses one way doesn’t mean it can only be used that way kinda an important part of eve

      • MasaHuku says:

        It means exactly what it means…the only purpose of fitting lasers on a raven is to get laughed at when u get killed… AND you should be shot dead for such blasphemy ;) Please go past tutorials before posting things about EvE.


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