Icelandic studio demonstrates Eve Online on smartphones and tablets

CCP: Mobile power to increase 100-fold by 2015

Icelandic MMO developer CCP could expand its empire to include tablet and smartphone games.

Speaking to Develop at its Fanfest event in Reykjavík, the firm said Eve Online would benefit greatly from an expansion to mobile.

On stage with representatives from Nvidia, CCP demonstrated a few seconds of both interactive spacecraft from Eve and the game’s UI on a Tegra-2 powered tablet device to delighted consumers.

The ambitious MMO was also shown for just a few seconds, running on an unconfirmed smartphone device.

“We have been working a lot on the backend to enable Eve over http. The problem that we run into there is that a lot of people seem to equate that with a web browser,” explained CCP’s CTO Halldór Fannar at a press conference immediately following the demonstration.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean browser,” he added. “What it means is any of these devices can start extracting data and also writing data back. It opens up the possibility of having dedicated applications for doing market transactions, managing your skill queue and fitting your spaceship.”

Describing the creation of Eve for mobile platforms as part of an ‘exploratory project’ undertaken in collaboration with Nvidia to look at the quality of graphics possible on such devices, Fannar would not offer a release date. He did, however, remark that following the reveal Eve’s infamously dedicated fanbase would likely demand to see a final product.

CCP has always involved its customers in designing and refining new features, and will likely play close attention to its customer’s interest in any potential mobile versions.

Explaining Nvidia’s relationship with CCP as mutually beneficial in driving the companies’ progress Tony Tamasi, SVP of content and technology at the hardware giant, took to the stage during the presntations and made bold predictions about the potential of mobiles as a platform for high end MMOs.

“We’re really at the launching point for mobile technologies,” he said.

“[Tegra 2 is] our first real stab at a mobile graphics processor. In the space of four-to-five years we are going to see about a 100 times increase in mobile capability. To give that a bit of context, in a couple of years on a mobile device – and by that I mean a tablet or phone – you’re going to see something potentially more versatile than your desktop PC today.”

However, during the press conference, Fannar was quick to point out that presently CCP is not looking at running a full version of Eve on mobile.

“[To do] trading on the market or managing your skill queue, you don’t need much in the way of graphics – but we are a very visually oriented company and our players are really attached to our models. It would be far more meaningful for them to see their assets.”

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