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After years of jokes, Eve Online finally has official Microsoft Excel integration

The ‘spreadsheets in space’ game now does it for real

Ships race out of a purple nebula in Eve Online. Image: CCP Games
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

For years, it was affectionately known as “spreadsheets in space.” Now, the joke has finally become a reality, as hardcore massively multiplayer space game Eve Online becomes the first video game ever with an official add-in for Microsoft Excel.

Icelandic developer CCP announced the release of the Excel add-in with a typical mix of triumphalism and gentle self-mockery. A video shows the intuitive process for importing your Eve data into Excel, and the far from intuitive walls of figures and graphs that result, under captions proclaiming you can now use Excel to “calculate your manufacturing profits!” and “analyze your skill points distribution!”

Eve is a famously cerebral game with a stark interface and an intimidating learning curve, although for devotees, it offers an endless, persistent universe of combat, industry, and politicking. But the “spreadsheets in space” moniker has long been more than a dig at the game’s dryness. Many players already use home-made or third-party integrations to get their data into Excel, with some claiming to spend more time poring over spreadsheet analysis of their space empires than actually playing the game. So a slick, official Excel integration will be a meaningful quality-of-life improvement for Eve Online players.

CCP said the add-in was developed in collaboration with the Excel team at Microsoft, “including some in-house capsuleers” — in other words, Eve players. The data it can access includes the player’s assets, market orders, item market prices, wallet transactions, skills, and the finances of their corporation (read: capitalist space guild).

“We’re excited to see how players of EVE Online of all skill levels can use Excel to streamline data management and take their in-game experience to new heights,” said Microsoft’s Catherine Pidgeon, head of product for Excel.

Google Sheets next, please. Or, better yet, an Excel integration Diablo 4 theorycrafting...

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