If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Real-world economist 'has helped' EVE game design

CCP's Nathan Richardsson explains how in-game economy has benefited from fixes

Iceland-based CCP Games has seen the design for its flagship MMO, EVE Online, tangibly benefit since the introduction of Dr Eyjo Gudmondsson as the game's lead economist early last year.

That's according to the company's executive producer, Nathan Richardsson, who told GamesIndustry.biz that it's helped the development team fix significant issues with the game's economy - in particular resource management.

"There's always something happening around the economy, whether that's in the back end for analysis, or making new resources more accessible," he explained. "In general I think that getting Eyjol on board, getting a proper economist to look at that part of the game and see how we could improve it - but also see if real-world economic theories actually work in-game - was good.

"The thing is that you think about so many things as a value chain, with lots of links in-between. With this we've been seeing things like mistakes in resource distribution and fixed scarcity of moon minerals.

"We've seen when more people have come in, that fixed scarcity has really upset the entire balance, which means that we're moving more towards resources that are just totally player-dependent. It's still scarcity-based, but it's more that there's not a totally finite number that doesn't scale.

"So especially on the resource and industrial level, the economy has improved on that perspective, both by seeing where the major holes are and by seeing how small changes can affect the entire thing. It's more awareness-based."

The full interview with Nathan Richardsson, in which he also hints at new developments on the way, as well as talking about player narratives and EVE's accessibility, is available now.