You wouldn't know it at first glance, but EVE Online creator CCP Games is a money making machine. According to an Industry Gamers report, the company managed to rake in $66 million in 2011 – we assume – solely from its space-themed massively multiplayer online game EVE Online. The company, which is based in Iceland and is privately owned and operated, did not disclose details on its earnings.
CCP has managed to grow its subscriber base every year since the launch of EVE Online in 2003. The game currently has 400,000 subscribers. While the company currently only operates one game it's not for a lack of trying. It is currently working on two other properties: the World of Darkness MMO and the PS3 MMO Dust 514. Last year after users revolted over the introduction of a micro-transaction system and what they felt was a lack of attention to the game by CCP, the company cut its World of Darkness staff and refocused its efforts back on its flagship title.
Despite the hand wringing, lamentations, and apologies from the company's top executive, CCP Games managed to get by its hardship to make a decent profit. One thing driving EVE Online to be profitable is that it is one of the last remaining MMO's that charges a monthly fee above $10 – $14.95. Some experimental efforts have also driven profits such as allowing wealthier subscribers to pay other players in exchange for virtual currency, which around 40,000 have tried out.
On a related note, Chinese games company TianCity announced that EVE Online is returning to China, with a new update in the second quarter of this year. Jon Horddal, EVE Online's operations manager for Asia, announced that EVE Online China will be a free-to-play game with an online store for virtual items.