Escape Velocity is a single-player role-playing space trading and combat video game series first introduced in 1996 by Ambrosia Software for the Apple Macintosh. Two other similar games based on the original, EV Override? and EV Nova?, followed in 1998 and 2002 respectively, the latter of which is also available on Microsoft Windows. In addition there is a trading card game available based on the storyline of the EV Nova universe.
The series was created as a joint effort between several people and groups. Matt Burch? programmed all three games in their entirety except for the registration system and various libraries. He also devised and created the scenario for the first game. Ambrosia Software, headed by Andrew Welch?, managed marketing, registration, and distribution, as well as providing several external libraries used by the games. Early test versions of the game went by the name 'Merc' (short for 'mercenary').
Peter Cartwright? wrote the scenario for EV Override and the Australian company ATMOS created the scenario of EV Nova; both originated as plug-ins for the preceding games before being picked up by Ambrosia as sequels. The fighter pilot voices in the original game were provided by Patrick Delahanty. A plug-in of additional phrases was also created and later included as part of EV Override.
While there have been no announcements regarding the future of the series since the 2002 release of Escape Velocity Nova, the extensible plug-in system allows users to continue developing new third-party content for the game. Additionally, several community projects have arisen to build spiritual successors to the series, of which NAEV is one of the better-known.
The three games are alike in gameplay only; the universe and plot are completely separate and unrelated between the releases (though EV Nova contains the Kestrel from EV with a description of being from another universe). Each release's engine contains improvements on the previous version, although by far the most significant improvements were made in the third release.