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EVE breaks concurrent user record

As CCP considers leaving Iceland.

EVE Online developer CCP has announced that its space MMO EVE Online has just broken its peak concurrent user record. The number of players online at once now stands at 45,186.

That may not sound like much until you consider that it's almost one-fifth of the game's entire subscriber base - and that the vast majority of players all inhabit the same server (although there is a separate server for players in Asia).

It's also worth noting that, at five years of age, EVE Online is long past the point where most MMOs have started to lose players. CCP will be looking to grow its audience further with a big recruitment push alongside an expansion and an Atari-published box copy reissue this March.

It's not all good news for the Icelandic developer, however. Iceland's tail-spinning economy and collapsing currency are forcing CCP - one of the tiny country's most successful businesses - to consider leaving its homeland.

Chief economist Eyjolfur Gudmundsson told the Guardian just before Christmas that the restrictions on access to foreign currency are making its businesses untenable.

"To make new games, we need foreign investors," Gudmundsson said. "The present currency restrictions are putting us in a straitjacket. We are in talks with the government, but if we can't let capital in, we might be compelled to leave Iceland, even though this would be against our wishes."

For more on EVE Online, visit the EVE gamepage.