Hadean and CCP Games have announced the second leg of their joint world record attempt: 10,000 players in a single video game battle, using Hadean's Aether Engine.

Hadean announced its intention to break the world record for most simultaneous players in a single digital battle back in February, with the plan to host a 10,000-player battle in its in-house Aether Wars title - created to showcase its highly-scalable Aether Engine. By March that plan had morphed to a partnership with CCP Games to use assets from Eve Online and Eve: Valkyrie to populate the Aether Wars universe, and it showed an early success with 10,412 concurrent combatants - but fell short of actually beating the world record, held by Eve Online itself at 6,142 simultaneous players, by using AI bots for the majority of ships and only scraping together 3,852 actual players. It did, however, serve as an accurate test of the Aether Engine's scalability: Each bot communicate with the game through client infrastructure, just as a real player would, indicating that the system can indeed handle 10,000-plus players.

Now, the companies have announced their second attack at the world record, targeting 10,000 real flesh-and-blood players. 'This is the start of something special,' claims Craig Beddis, Hadean chief executive. 'We wanted to show the world that our Aether Engine technology can perform flawlessly under unprecedented strain. We've done that. Now we want to show the world unique and exciting gameplay experiences that can only be delivered by our technology. It’s not just gamers who will be thrilled by Eve Aether Wars: Phase Two but the games industry as well. We can’t wait for everyone to join us in this ambitious project.'

'We are keen to build on the success of our joint efforts with Hadean on Eve Aether Wars and push our prototype even further,' adds Hilmar V. Pétursson, CCP Games chief executive. 'By using this technology to test the limits of the virtual worlds we can build, we hope to open up new possibilities for developers, the industry and ultimately the players themselves. We’re eager to explore the boundaries of what can be achieved in large-scale multiplayer gaming, which may even lead to the creation of spectacular new genres.'

The second-leg playtest is to take place at 1800 BST on Sunday August 18th. Full details, and the free sign-up form, can be found on the official website.

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