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CCP’s CMO pictured here 'negotiating' MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson’s contract.

How many online games do you know that still exist, ten years down the line? Alright, yep, okay. Silly question. But how many that still have annual conventions held in their honour? That continue to grow their subscription base year on year?

Nearly none, and CCP know it. And so it is that the Eve developers, brimming with quiet confidence, have themed their 2013 Fanfest around a toast to the next 10 years of its existence.

“Fanfest is the truest celebration of the EVE universe, where online foes become instant friends and shared war stories over drinks bring our wonderful community even closer together,” said Hilmar Veigar Petursson, CEO of CCP.

“This year, as DUST 514’s journey truly begins and we celebrate ten glorious years of EVE Online with our fans, CCP will be going bigger and bolder than ever before by creating a truly amazing Fanfest for those attending or following along.”

The celebrations will kick off in Reykjavik on the night of April 24th with a Icelandic Symphony Orchestra performance of selections from the Eve soundtrack, and continue for the following three days.

In among the various panels, PvP tournaments, round tables and developer pub crawls, there are a couple of new standouts. First is ‘Make EVE Real’, a series of talks from “luminary speakers and scientific pioneers” working to build a future that looks a bit like that of the game. One lecture will feature Michael Laine, whose LiftPort Group are exploring the possibility of exploration via “space elevators”.

The second is Icelandic Mixed Martial Arts hero Gunnar ‘Gunni’ Nelson, who’ll take part in a “unique” spectacle, “bringing the fight to the ground like the DUST 514 mercenaries of the EVE Universe”. Oo-err.

I imagine any love Dust 514 players have for their game is a little too fresh and tentative to fuel a commitment as major as a plane ticket to Iceland. Perhaps next year we’ll begin to see the men and women on the ground confront their monied space-masters in person about orbital strikes that never came.

Tickets are reportedly nearly sold out - as is their wont - but you can try your luck and your wallet on the Fanfest site.

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