CCP have confirmed that their single-server MMO, Eve Online, hit a record 54,446 concurrent users last Sunday. The weekend also saw the eruption of a new conflict between very old powers within the game.
Followers of the wars within Eve might recall that the long-held enmity between Band Of Brothers and the Something Awful-spawned GoonSwarm came to a climax last year, when GoonSwarm were, thanks to an embittered BoB leader, able to disband the BoB alliance and capture Delve, the fortress-region of that major military alliance. Since then BoB and their allies have been homeless and seemingly without focus. Now though, with the territory-capturing mechanisms having been overhauled in the last patch, the newly formed IT Alliance, 4000-pilots strong, has made a play for stations in the Fountain region. (An area of Eve that I remember very fondly.)
Plagued by lag, the first major engagement in this new conflict saw the loss of four of Eve's most powerful craft, the Titan. This killboard listing shows the losses, which were heavily in favour of IT Alliance after the Pandemic Legion fleet jumped into an already overcrowded system. That's not to say that IT will be able to maintain their good fortune, however, as the odds are stacked against them. Half a dozen major alliances are aligned to take them on, and it's tough to see whether they'll be able to maintain the traction required to hold substantial territory. If they manage it, then this will be regarded the biggest comeback in Eve since the Russian Red Alliance fought back to dominance of the East of Eve have been pushed back to a single region. Like Red Alliance, IT will probably need other events in the Eve galaxy to swing in the favour, and for other significant powers to make their moves against the entrenched power-blocs of the Goons, Pandemic Legion, and the North. It's going to be an interesting struggle.