CCP's Magnus Bergsson has revealed that the company has set aside a large marketing budget for 2007 and is in talks with IBM and Microsoft about ways to handle the influx of new EVE Online players.
"This year we're spending about USD 7 million in marketing," Bergsson told GamesIndustry.biz.
"The hardcore gamers know about EVE... So we're expanding. We're still going to be in the hardcore gaming media, but we're adding more general gaming and even portals like Yahoo!.
"We need to expand, because if we're going to go beyond 300,000 subscribers, we can't just do that with hardcore gamers."
The significant marketing push, the first in the game's history, coupled with the growing popularity of EVE Online, has prompted CCP to enter into a round of research with IBM and Microsoft as the game's user-base soars past 200,000. EVE is played on a single server, as opposed to the shard model employed by other MMO operators such as Blizzard and NCsoft.
"Personally, I don't worry about the issue of performance," said Bergsson. â[New users] will just mean more money for us to invest in new hardware. There are new CPUs coming out, and we just have to swap out the old and move in with new.
"IBM has been really good at working with us and getting us the latest hardware. It's been great working with them," he added.
CCP is currently pushing for more than 300,000 EVE subscribers, a goal that will take the game's user-base higher than the population of Iceland. Bergsson said his personal goal was to top the figure before the end of the year.
Visit GamesIndustry.biz later this week to read the full interview.