EVE Online will kick off its first ever crossover event later this month when CCP Games teams up with the BBC to bring Doctor Who to the big MMO galaxy of New Eden.
EVE Online x Doctor Who, as it’s properly known, will add a new “Gallifrey-themed space” to the game in which players will search for artifacts from the Great Time War that will ultimately lead them to a showdown with the infamous Daleks. Victory (or at least survival) will result in unique rewards that can be taken back into EVE Online proper, while a separate login campaign will offer a shot at Doctor Who-themed items for all players, even those who don’t want to square off against Team Exterminate.
“2022 will be off to an (inter)stellar start with EVE Online x Doctor Who,” EVE Online creative director Bergur Finnbogason said in a statement. “We are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in EVE Online. Collaborating with BBC Studios gives us the opportunity to pay homage to an iconic series that has inspired us at CCP.”
“EVE Online x Doctor Who not only brings two iconic universes together, but also the passionate Whovians with the just-as-passionate pilots of New Eden,” BBC Studios senior producer Kevin Jorge said. “By bringing the fanbases together, the already massive battles of EVE Online are sure to become even more explosive. Only time will tell if New Eden’s fiercest pilots have what it takes to challenge the might of the Daleks.”
This isn’t the Doctor’s first foray into videogames, but it is, as I mentioned, the first major collaboration for EVE Online, and the reaction hasn’t been universally positive. The teaser embedded above, for instance, currently has more dislikes than likes (279 likes vs 410 dislikes), and the EVE Online subreddit is similarly divided: Some players think the crossover is harmless and potentially even fun, but quite a few others view it as either a desperate effort to expand the player base, or a drain on resources that would be put to better use elsewhere.
There’s also some interesting discussion about how the broader narrative of Doctor Who—a low-budget children’s show, if we’re being honest with ourselves—fits with the bare-knuckle world of EVE. Several redditors posted suggestions for better crossover fits, like The Expanse, Firefly, Dune, Battlestar Galactica, even Stargate, but one made a good case for why, as much as they hate it, Doctor Who really is the best choice.
“While I think a Dr Who crossover is profoundly stupid, and consider all three live action Stargate franchises to be amongst the best sci-fi series ever made, time travel will be a necessary component of introducing any of these franchises to the EVE universe,” redditor Slavir_Nabru explained. “Stargate is set ‘now’, skipping 21,000 years into the future to match the setting of EVE would make the Tau’ri unrecognizable. Star Trek would be in the same boat, even the far future setting of Discovery seasons 3 and 4 is tens of thousands of years in EVE’s past.
“If they want to do a crossover with a sci-fi franchise, Dr Who is one of the more compatible ones at least. The timeline of Dr Who actually encapsulates the timeline of EVE. Continuity issues are easier to avoid with ubiquitous time travel as a plot element. Again. Profoundly stupid. I hate it. But it’s more reasonable than most alternative crossovers.”
It’s a coherent argument, although as redittor wallywot pointed out, it does fail on one major point: “There isn’t a SINGLE FUCKING PHONE BOOTH in EVE Online.”
EVE Online x Doctor Who is set to begin on January 13 and will run until February 1. Further details about what’s in store will be revealed through the EVE Online news page and social media channels, and at eveonline.com.