Whatever happened to sci-fi MMO ECO?

    
8

It has been the hottest of minutes since we cast eyes on ECO, the multiplayer planetary simulator that entered early access in February 2018; we reported on an April 2018 update that was all about (actual) garbage, and we even had a livestreamed peek with the devs ahead of its early access release.

But if you look back through the game’s updates along the way, there have been some notable additions, the largest of which arrived in September 2020, which brought player-run laws and governments, upgrades to mining and crafting, new animals, and new building updates. There’s also been an update this past February that adds residency features and an industrial elevator, the former of which is setting the table for additional features like rental properties and property law, along with a number of smaller updates along the way.

On the subject of updates, the game’s interactive roadmap features a wide variety of systems that are still yet to be added like pollution cleanup, natural disasters, a stock market, nuclear energy options, and a criminal justice system, on top of a dearth of polishing and improvement plans for existing features. None of this, however, offers a timeline for when the game will leave early access, with the devs simply stating that ECO is being designed as “a forever game.”

Even so, the game’s population appears to be engaged, if not burgeoning; player numbers in the game’s last 24-hour peak sit at over 3,000 — around half of the game’s all-time peak — and overall numbers saw some significant spikes in September 2020 and January and February 2021. Better yet, most of these new players appear to be sticking around, with only a 9% drop in numbers in the last 30 days. ECO currently sits at a “Very Positive” user review aggregate, and the game’s community looks to be generally invested, with an active Reddit that even has a space where players can advertise their servers.

sources: Steam (1, 2), official site, Steam Charts, Reddit
Advertisement

No posts to display

8
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Vanquesse V

looks like people need a reminder to read this website’s mission statement once more

About

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

MMO? Was it meant to be an MMO? servers for it are fairly small, not very mmo like. Neat game though and very moddable.

MilitiaMasterV
Reader
MilitiaMasterV

The concept is very interesting. I’ve off and on considered giving it a try. Think the too close to Minecraft graphics is what keeps making me say nevermind…

EmberStar
Reader
EmberStar

I still think “more primitive” / retro graphics can be charming if done well. Valhiem is a pretty strong example. The character models and textures look like they’re from the “Neverwinter Nights” era, but the game looks *amazing* in motion. And someone either put a ton of effort into the procedural landscape generator or it’s a solid case of “Happy little accident,” because it throws in all kinds of details like the occasional tree leaning into its neighbor or over the edge of a cliff or stream, little abandoned huts and animal pens at the edge of a meadow that would be completely plausible as an abandoned field, and so on.

Reader
Jason Engel

I’m confused why you ever thought ECO is an MMO? Its a private server based game. You can host a server from your own PC. It is clearly not an MMO.

EmberStar
Reader
EmberStar

Because the site apparently decided, years ago, to cover “online games” in general and not just exclusively “pure” MMOs? It is multiplayer, it is online. And they’ve even (rarely) covered singleplayer games when it seemed appropriate (or it was unclear that they were actually single player or not. Waves at launch version of No Man’s Sky.)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I think the confusion came from the author not calling it an ONLINE game (which it is) but instead calling it an MMO in the title (which it isn’t).

MMO as a genre and an acronym referring to a very specific set of criteria of which ECO is not and does not fit.

I was as confused as Jason as to why it was being called an MMO but I did wonder if originally it had intended to be one and then shifted goals at some point during development? which would have been fascinating.
The author doesn’t really clarify in the article, so it lends itself to people wondering why it was being miscategorized as an MMO.

I don’t think the issue was EVER that MOP was covering it at all we ALL know they cover whatever they want.
I certainly didn’t take Jason’s post as a why are they covering this non MMO at all? I just took it as him querying why it was being called an MMO at all when it isn’t one, which was the same thing I wondered when I read it.

EmberStar
Reader
EmberStar

My mistake then, I didn’t even notice that the title specifically used MMO. For myself, MMO is a term with no real meaning anyway. According to some people Fortnite isn’t an MMO because you just team with people using LFG and then never see them again… even though I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how dungeons work in WoW now.

“That game” has a persistent world and no LFG, but it’s not “MMO” because the maps only allow a couple dozen players per instance and not “many hundreds.” And so on. :/

Pick any definition of MMO you like, someone will argue that it’s not MMO enough. Oh, it’s a persistent online RPG where hundreds of players can be in the same instance. But it doesn’t force them all to team up at all times to fight A Giant Rat at any level where it still gives XP – NOT AN MMO! Because *everyone* knows that MMO stands for “You must team at all times for everything!”

Anyway, my fault for missing the MMO in the title. It’s clearly a sequence my brain just automatically filters out at this point.