The Imperium wins: Eve Online’s yearlong war ends with an epic retreat

Eve Online’s newest player-led war has actually pertained to an end, not with a bang however with a spacious whimper. Those on the offense have actually turned tail, and the protectors are putting whatever they have into running them down.

The enormous union referred to as PAPI campaigned for 55 weeks in a mission to damage The Imperium, led by Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco, prior to losing the will to combat. Along the method, Eve Online designer CCP Games informed Polygon, contenders damaged more than $3 million worth of in-game ships and virtual facilities in the dispute called World War Bee 2.

“This is as real as real talk gets,” stated Brave Collective’s Dunk Dinkle in a live address to his fleets, in what totaled up to PAPI’s concession speech. “The war is over and we have lost.”

Gouts of yellow flame errupt from a wounded starship backlit by a distant disk of stars.

A starship blows up in Delve, The Imperium’s house area in Eve Online.
Image: Razorien/CCP Games

Things began in the summertime of 2020 when, on July 5, war was formally stated. A fleet leader understood in-game just as Vily informed Polygon at the time that he led some 52,000 gamer accounts. By the end of the dispute, CCP states that more than 100,000 accounts were associated with one method or another.

“When we started this war, we knew that we were fighting this to the end,” Vily informed Polygon at the time. “For us, this is a war of extermination. This is a war to the death. We are aiming for the removal of Mittani and The Imperium from Eve Online. […] We are here to purge them.”

The dispute raved for months prior to the very first huge engagement, which happened in October 2020. That’s when some 8,825 accounts visited for the single biggest player-versus-player fight in computer game history. However the fight was undetermined and, simply a couple of months later on in January 2021, gamers when again devoted their ships in record numbers. Some 13,700 accounts were poised for fight when Eve itself buckled under the weight and spoiled their plans.

“These numbers are unrivaled,” wrote CCP in a post-mortem at the time, “and unrivaled numbers […] lead to uncharted territories when it comes to performance. Neither side of the war, or CCP, can, could or will be able to predict the server performance in these kinds of situations.”

With sino jammers filling the void with a glowing blue and yellow energy, dark shapes drift against a massive jump gate. A ship explodes.

Wreckage drifts around a jump gate in Delve.
Image: Razorien/CCP Games

That uncertainty continued to expand throughout 2020 and into 2021 as CCP tinkered with the economics of the game behind the scenes. Leaders on both sides say those changes made their work in prosecuting the war more complicated.

“We redid the industry system a little bit,” admitted Peter “CCP Swift” Farrell in an interview with Polygon. (He has previously gone by the handle Elise Randolph in Eve.) “There are more types of things that go into these larger [warships now], including resources in the game that weren’t really utilized that much, as well as others — like other components that have to be harvested from explorers.”

While gamers in distant corners of the video game who rely on exploration for their fun benefited, replacing the ships that PAPI and The Imperium had brought to bear became increasingly difficult. For these and other reasons, PAPI fleet commanders and gamers themselves balked at the prospect of launching the final push into enemy space. As its fleets assembled for that offensive, word came that allies all along the front line were pulling out. With their flanks exposed, most of the assembled capsuleers chose to turn and run.

A colorful representation of a large yellow blob getting smooshed by a large blue blob.

At the core of The Imperium is Alex “The Mittani” Gianturco’s Goonswarm. This timelapse video shows how his faction was pressed up against the edge of the galaxy by “the blue doughnut” of PAPI’s combined forces.
Image: CCP Games via Eve Online — Daily Sov Maps.

“As I have said before, the war would be decided over morale — not ship battles,” said Dinkle. “The will of our coalition is gone, and so the war is over. The Imperium held strong, did not waver, and outlasted the most ferocious assault ever seen in Eve. I offer an honest congratulations to all The Imperium pilots, and especially their leaders, who kept their community strong and intact over this long year of war. They have proved stronger than the entirety of Eve that pushed against them.”

The Imperium, for its part, refuses to mark the end of hostilities. CCP said it took Gianturco’s forces less than two weeks to regain the territory that they had actually lost over the last 13 months. Now they are out for revenge.

“You chose this path,” stated Gianturco in an intense livestream on Twitch soon after PAPI started its withdrawal. “You were given every opportunity to choose a different way. […] My people hunger for vengeance. You have failed and you have failed ugly.”

CCP notes, nevertheless, that both sides keep most of their most effective warships. With more daytime in between them, anticipate numerous months of running, advertisement hoc fights all over the galaxy of New Eden.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.