EVE Online will soon have real-time, in-game voice communication as the result of a technology integration agreement between CCP Games and Vivox, a company that provides managed services which generate online interactions that reflect the intelligence, power and nuance of real-world communication. Vivox will provide CCP with game-embedded voice communication services customized for and integrated into EVE.
EVE players will be able to speak with each other in-game, create audio conference channels for their gang, corporation or alliance, and start, leave or rejoin voice conversations during game play without impacting game performance. On-screen indicators will show the gamer which channels are monitoring audio communications and which player within a channel is speaking. Players will also have moderator privileges to kick, mute, ban and un-ban other players, all synchronized with the rights of existing EVE moderator and user roles. I expect that this will have a great impact on the enjoyment level of EVE-Online, as communication and interaction among players is the single most central aspect of the game.
“Players of EVE are attracted by its unique role playing and space simulation features,” said Hilmar V. Petursson, CEO of CCP. “But when players unite to form corporations and alliances, the game’s dynamic, immersive experience really comes alive. Now users will be able to talk, strategize, plot and negotiate naturally with each other. To deliver this functionality to our subscribers, we wanted a partner with expertise in delivering voice communications with a simple, scalable and high quality solution so that we could focus on our core expertise of building game content.”
Unlike other MMOGs, the entire EVE player base shares the same server cluster. With Vivox providing the in-game voice services and managing the required infrastructure, there are no resource implications that could impact game server performance. This new feature will be a premium service option for game subscribers and, because of its tight integration into the game, ease of use, and massive scalability, presents a tremendous improvement over burdening gamers with maintaining their own voice servers with third party applications, as some EVE player corporations and alliances currently do.
“With its concurrent users numbering in the tens of thousands, and the game’s distinct depth and challenges, EVE is a stellar stage for our voice technology,” said Vivox CEO Rob Seaver. “Adding real-time voice to a game like EVE makes for an MMOG experience that grabs users and immerses them in game play that’s challenging and entertaining, and creates a sense of community and camaraderie. It’s this kind of technology that’s going to keep gamers heavily-invested in EVE and excited about the future of MMOGs.”