Space MMO Eve Online is playing host to gaming's largest conflict ever, according to developer CCP Games.
Over 60,000 players are facing off as part of what's been dubbed the next great war in Eve Online.
Two major battles have already taken place in a virtual war that has sparked everything from player-created propaganda to recruitment videos.
CCP released a developer blog about the war, showcasing the 28th March "Battle of M-OEE8". This was the second largest battle in Eve Online history, behind 2014's infamous "Bloodbath of B-R5RB". It saw 5806 pilots get stuck in to a single battle that lasted for several hours. The image, below, shows what the scrap looked like.
The ongoing conflict has a few names: the Easter War, Northern War, World War Bee, and the Mercenary Wars. Whatever the name, it revolves around two opposing forces: the Imperium Coalition and the wonderfully-named Moneybadger Coalition.
Why are they fighting? Here's a summary, courtesy of Reddit user ShadowPhynix:
The largest coalition in the game decided to take a poke at the numerically inferior Low Sec alliances. Instead of crumbling as expected to the superpower, they banded together and pushed them back out of their area of space, taking all of the big coalition's income in the area as they did.
Once people saw it was possible to beat this super-coalition, most of the player groups in the game decided to band together, with encouragement from the enormously rich I Want Isk (IWI) gambling organisation who have grievances with the super-coalitions's component alliances.
The video, below, offers a useful summary:
What happens next? CCP expects even larger battles involving super capital ships to take place over chokepoints and staging systems.
One to watch!