Monday, October 03, 2016

Demographic Shift

I've been continuing to ponder on the upcoming change to EVE to allow for unlimited play via Alpha clones and although I'm still leaning towards the position that not much will change in terms of EVE's cluster population since the game is still very niche and complicated, I've been considering the potential impacts to the game in case I'm wrong. And one thing I've come to realize that it seems pundits and podcasters seem to have overlooked is that if the Alpha clone change is successful, it probably means a large demographic shift.

Consider the assumption that there is a significant portion of potential EVE players who would be players if the subscription cost was not such a large barrier to entry to the game, as opposed to those potential players where the cost is not a big factor but the return on the cost is (i.e. I don't have enough time to play to get my ~$15 worth every month). Chances are this pool of potential players probably skews to younger ages that lack credit cards, or are in school so lack sources of income.

We know currently that the current demographic of players in EVE skews older than your typical game with the median age being almost 32:
Click for full size
So if everything goes according to plan and this pool of potential players that lack funds but have the time and inclination to play jump in with both feet, we could see that demographic map radically change to the left and the median age dropping significantly. If so, existing groups that welcome these new Alpha players in will have to prepare themselves mentally for dealing with players that are recognizably from a different generation with different priorities than the current crop of players.

Its possible that relaxed fleet comms discussing raising children or taking family vacations or house moves or renovations (etc) will change to other topics. In order to not date myself, I'm not going pretend I know enough about what 20 year olds talk about nowadays to try and give examples.

Corporations preparing to welcome with open arms these new players better be prepared for the culture shock at the same time on both sides.


  1. Oh, joy - dealing with more millennials. I can't wait.

    1. We're not so...

      Oh, crap, I'm old.

      Bah humbug, down with the youth of today!

    2. Can't happen. Not without copious videos of Kittens