Level Up ! How a cross-platform MMO shames enterprise scale integration efforts

Dust514

If you’ve never heard of Eve Online, there are 500,000 other people who will gladly tell you about it. Eve is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game released by CCP Games for the PC. Set in the far flung human future in space, players take on the role of starship pilots and choose their race, political factions, and allegiances. With over 5,000 star systems, multiple online struggles, and 500,000 players, it’s an enormous and potentially limitless playing field.

But this is just the tip of CCP’s vision.

MMO for the Enterprise

Unlike many other MMOs, where there are numerous copies of the game universe intended to run at once (i.e. servers) that splinter the player base, Eve Online is functionally a single-universe game sitting on only one server with thousands of clients. If that wasn’t enough, CCP announced the beta of a game called Dust 514 on the Playstation3, which is directly connected to the Eve universe and takes place in real time. Console players now control ground-based soldiers who are aligned to the same factions that the space-faring PC players are in. Actions and interactions between the two games’ players and between the two platforms directly affect one another.

A ground campaign that wins a battle will directly impact political and economical decisions up in space, and conversely, pilots can be called upon to provide air support to the ground-based troops if they are in the vicinity of the planet under siege.

But let’s examine how this all happens:

  • Eve Online sits on one server with 500,000 players using PC-based clients
  • Massive ‘tournaments’ (campaigns and battles) are planned and executed
  • Dust 514 is a Playstation3 console game only
  • The connection of two separate games on two different architectural platforms with two business models
  • Multiple users with multiple goals
  • Real-time interaction and decision-making affects both games in one huge universe

Remove all the gaming references and you could almost imagine sitting in a large services organization. Unwittingly, CCP has created a shining example of how integration powers IT innovation, connects platforms and users, as well as increases real-time decision-making and goal execution.

Now excuse me while I grab my assault rifle, I have a planet to win.

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