Eve Online players are battling it out in the largest conflict in gaming history

Eve Online, a space-based MMORPG with over half a million subscribers, has seen its share of large conflicts. But the currently escalating war between two groups, the Imperium Coalition and the Moneybadger Coalition, points toward an epic struggle that will involve tens of thousands of players. A recent post from developer CCP Games recounts a March 28 battle consisting of 5,806 pilots that went on for hours. This wasn’t the largest battle in the game’s 13-year history, either. That honor go to the super-capital “Bloodbath of B-R5Rb,” in which 7,548 pilots participated.

The Imperium Coalition is a group of over 40,000 players from numerous guilds, and is the largest group on Eve. Its authority has been challenged before, but the Moneybadger Coalition is a dedicated group that was temporarily formed just to fight back. The above video does a good job explaining what it’s all about.

The latest battle is just one in what will likely be a long and bloody conflict. This “great war” has yet to be named, but so far Easter War, Northern War, World War Bee, and Mercenary Wars have been called out. It depends mostly on how the players view the hostilities.

This new conflict has reportedly brought back players who left the game in addition to new players and veterans. The potential is there for battles involving tens of thousands of pilots at a time.

As in real-life wars, there are avenues for massive victories and losses, retreats and charges, and profiteering from shrewd opportunists who play both sides. Eve Online players have even started posting propaganda praising one side and berating the other.

As more players choose to enlist in each side, we should see campaigns and skirmishes on a massive scale never seen before in gaming history. This is how empires assert their dominance and either grow in power and numbers … or get taken down.