In early 2018, a sci-fi MMORPG with mechanics very similar to EVE Online, was officially shut down. But the developers at Avatar Creations did not abandon their community: Perpetuum Online server code has become open source and a community server was spun up at https://openperpetuum.com/ . The client was made available cheaply on Steam, and sold for a mere $9.99.
On August 5th 2021 the devs finally made the game completely free to play. Just head over to Steam and you can download the client for free. Game Server can also be downloaded as an optional tool for the game. You will need MS SQL Server Express installed prior to installing the server. If you just want to play the game and are not interested in running your own server, just connect to the community one running at openperpetuum.com
For those unfamiliar with the game, Perpetuum Online offers a persistent sandbox experience where players take control of huge mechs on an alien planet Nia with a complex industrial system, player-driven economy, and player-built settlements and infrastructure. The game was heavily inspired by EVE Online, and at some point in the past, in 2012 part of the EVE community, during a backlash over Incarna update, has joined Perpetuum Online.
“Perpetuum is a persistent, sandbox, single server, massively multiplayer sci-fi rpg (MMORPG). Control huge robots and mechs to gain access to an alien planet’s resources and knowledge, amass huge wealth, or even claim part of the world for yourself using terraforming and complex infrastructure.”