Doctor Who is coming to New Eden. Yes, you heard that correctly. EVE Online is doing its first crossover in its near 20-year life. The Doctor Who event, named “The Interstellar Convergence” will start on February 1st 2020 stretching for three weeks. It appears that capsuleers will enter a new part of space, discovering new frontiers and fighting the Doctor’s greatest nemesis: the Daleks.
The event as it stands is veiled in mystery as more details will be announced on January 13th. From what we know so far; the post on the EVE homepage states CCP will be “introducing a beguiling mystery, a trail of clues, multiple challenges, themed items, and even a vibrant new area of space”. “This event has been designed with a lot of new player accessibility in mind” CCP Fozzie said, “The intent is that if a Doctor Who fan decided to try out EVE due to the event…they’d be able to play half the content without injecting”.
To those not familiar with this alternate universe; Doctor Who or The Time Lord is a BBC television series first aired in 1963. The Doctor, the central protagonist, is an alien of supreme intelligence who travels through time fighting against injustice and oppression in his ship “the Tardis” (which is shaped like an old Phonebox). There have been 13 different iterations of the Doctor (ok, 14, but John Hurt’s War Doctor is consistently left off of the official list), with British actor Jodie Whittaker currently filling the role.
Although the crossover is the first for EVE Online, it is not the first for the Doctor Who Universe (DWU). The famed series has seen links from its inception in the 1960s with the TV show Z-Cars, building to include official crossovers with Thunderbirds and Sherlock Holmes. There have also been unofficial crossovers involving Star Trek: The Next Generation. This latest crossover event will take place 400 years in the DWU’s past prior to the Time Lord’s war with the Daleks known as ‘The Last Great Time War’.
Who are the Daleks I hear you ask? Imagine an angry dustbin hellbent on the “extermination” of all life in the galaxy.
Attracting New Players
Doctor Who has seen a resurgence during its most recent series, with Jodie Whittaker’s new style growing its audience base and building its popularity amongst younger viewers. CCP will undoubtedly be looking to cement this new partnership with BBC studios in an attempt to tap into this market of sci-fi interested viewers from across the globe. The Doctor Who franchise is not to be under-estimated, with over 110 million viewers in 65 countries, there is huge potential for EVE Online to be linked with this universe.
Doctor What about EVE?
There will undoubtedly be concerns amongst EVE Online’s skeptical player base that this crossover will dilute existing EVE lore and disrupt the sandbox. Reddit has already seen posts questioning the narrative. This is new territory for CCP who have never opened up their franchise to crossover, yet with games like Fortnight drawing huge player numbers with the help of crossover skins and themes this could be an attempt to step toward pulling EVE Online into the modern gaming world.
Overall, reaction from across EVE has been mixed with the now standard outpouring of discontent already on r/EVE. However, BRAVE CEO Dunk Dinkle told INN, “I’m excited. My daughters grew up with Doctor Who and I look forward to fighting Daleks”. This was echoed by CSM16 member Brisc Rubal “I’m excited to see the new content, and since I’m a big Doctor Who fan, this is a great thing to me”. However, there have been some concerns from other notable figures, many of whom had never heard of Doctor Who before the announcement!
The main question the players will be asking is “how will this be implemented?” There have been growing concerns over the increase in instanced PvE in the form of abyssals and whether these limit the opportunities for non-instanced players. There will also be legitimate concerns the a blended franchise “limited offer” will be viewed as a perfect opportunity to experiment with the implementation of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that appear to be an area of interest for CCP in 2022.
CCP has a real trust problem to rectify following the hard two years of scarcity and the enormous flop of “the age of prosperity”. They will be hoping that this crossover will enhance the games visibility and draw in a new generation of players, whilst also creating a memorable event where existing players can travel to a new part of space and exterminate some dustbins!