"Status quo ante bellum" is an expression in Latin meaning "the state things were in before the war." It's one of those phrases that gets inserted into a treaty to end a war if the victor is feeling magnanimous... or if the overall outcome of the war was in doubt. Two commonly-known examples are the U.S. Civil War and what those of us in the U.S. call the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain. In both cases, the treaties that ended these wars allowed both sides to retain the territory that they held before the war began.
I can't help thinking about this phrase when I look at the following chart:
Yeah, I haven't brought it up since February, but Snapcount is still off doing its thing. And the data shows pretty much what you would probably expect it to show: Crucible has been a great success. Overall, I think it's going to show something between a 10% and a 15% increase in the average count of people that play EVE Online. That would make it the most successful expansion in terms of increasing the player base since Quantum Rise all the way back in 2008! That's nothing but good news!
Still, there's something to worry about. For about 30 months, from February 2009 to August 2011, the active number of players didn't move more than a few percent away from 30,000:
Dear Heaven, did I catch a lot of flak for this chart when I (somewhat mockingly) first published it. But at the time, I called it the biggest potential problem in EVE's future. The game had stagnated to a stationary number of players and without growth, EVE's long-term future was in doubt. How long could CCP cater to the same 30,000 logged-in accounts? And if something happened to tick off those 30,000 playing accounts, CCP would be in REAL trouble.
And that's exactly what happened last summer.
After the Jita riots last July, the 90-day rolling average of EVE logged-in accounts dropped rapidly from 30,000 to 27,000. And then it stabilized there with CCP's announcements of all the new flying-in-space features for Crucible.
The good news is that Crucible has repaired all of last summer's losses. We're back to a 90-day rolling average of 30,000 people logged into EVE. The bad news is that Crucible hasn't done a thing to break the deadlock we were in before the summer of rage. We're right back to where we started in August 2011, and in February 2009 before that. After climbing rapidly from 27,000 back to 30,000 from January to March, some spikes and dips aside, we're right back to 30,000 people.
In late March, people stopped logging into EVE to go to Fanfest... then came back super-excited to play EVE for a while for a couple of weeks. Since then, we're back to being flat. Not even Burn Jita made that much of an impact. That Thursday and Friday were busier than Thursday and Friday typically are, but that's about it.
This chart goes through May 1. The two weeks since, that green line has been slowly sliding down. 30700. 30650. 30600.
Status quo ante.
If only there were some CCP plan to break the deadlock...