Eve Developer CCP Stops Making VR Games, Drops Two Studios

In 2013, Eve Online developer CCP Games introduced Eve: Valkyrie, one of the current crop of virtual reality hardware's flagship titles. Today the company announced it is halting VR development, closing, selling and streamlining studios, letting go of "around 100" employees in the process.

CCP's restructuring, prompted by "reduced investments in virtual reality and an increased focus on PC and mobile games," sees the company's five worldwide studios reduced to three.

The Atlanta studio, once home to the doomed World of Darkness MMO project before shifting focus to virtual reality projects like Eve: Valkyrie and PlayStation VR sports game Sparc, has been closed, with ongoing support for those games moving to the London Studio. CCP's Newcastle studio is being sold.

A third studio, located in Shanghai, is being "reduced and refocused" to support business in China through local partnerships.

That leaves London, Shanghai and CCP's headquarters in Reykjavík, Iceland. EVE Online will be unaffected by the restructuring. Two in-progress Eve-related games, PC first-person shooter "Project Nova" and the recently-announced mobile "Project Aurora" will proceed as planned. The London studio will provide ongoing support and development for Eve: Valkyrie and Sparc.

According to CCP senior director of communications Adam Kahn, the restructuring will affect "around 100 worldwide" employees. Severance packages and job placement assistance is being provided to those affected.

The move is not a good sign for the current state of virtual reality. Eve: Valkyrie is one of the most impressive examples of VR technology, extensively demoed during the early days of the Oculus Rift.

As of writing, the game is available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.

But Eve: Valkyrie is no longer a VR exclusive title. September's "Warzone" update allowed players on Steam and PlayStation 4 to play the space shooter without virtual reality hardware.

Speaking via today's statement, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said that while the company will continue to support the virtual reality games it has made, it's done with new VR games until the company sees "market conditions that justify further investments."

Pétursson's full statement follows.

"Today we have made tough, but important, changes to CCP in response to how we see the gaming market evolving in the coming years. We have been front and center in the second wave of VR and our belief in the long-term transformative power of the technology remains strong.

Despite the success of the VR games we have released we will be shifting our focus to our PC and mobile initiatives, and will be centralizing those initiatives, along with the support of our existing VR games, to our offices in Reykjavík and London. We will continue to support our VR games but will not be making material VR investments until we see market conditions that justify further investments beyond what we have already made.

I am very proud of our VR games and, more importantly, of the people here who made them.

These changes in strategy come with some tough decisions relating to our overall structure as a company. CCP is in a strong position to make these changes, and we are taking great care to support our departing employees to the very best of our ability. We will be offering relocations to some to our London office where we will be building up our efforts in addition to our development activities in Reykjavík."


Comments

    I recently purchased a Vive for uni game development, and while I think VR is great (it converted me), there are too many short comings, and the price point is the largest contributing factor. Mobile VR helps put the experience into the hands of a larger audience, but overall the quality and hardware isn't there yet.

    I’m not surprised, critics might have loved Valkyrie but it wasn’t a very good VR game. Elite Dangerous wasn’t designed for VR but does such a better job of VR in space the Valkyrie ever did.

    Plus Valkyrie being multiplayer only is also a huge turn-off.

      Elite Dangerous wasn’t designed for VRIt kinda was? I mean I can't say when exactly they added support during development, but it was right there in the first public beta release.

    Also doesnt help that the price to enter VR (hardware) the ganes being produced are on par with first party tech demos and third party indie projects.... that dont stand out as grwat ganes beyond being VR. Eve Valkayrie got critically panned for being a short experience for $60US with Day 1 micro transactions.

    Where is that absolute must have title to rope in players... there is none? Cause there is no reward for the risk.

    Sadly I feel like this will be the trend for developers.
    VR is great, but the install base is so low, I don't see how anyone can make money from a VR title.

    Once the average non gaming male is presented with a genuine VR porn experience which can be cost effectively achieved via a console plug and play device........VR will be a big big deal. Until then it will remain in the space of tech savvy early adopters only. Hence the experiences will be limited.

    It was also released at $60US a copy and quite bad. CCP are great and making EVE Online and that's it. Since the Talos Principle VR version popped up in the steam top 10 last week I think VR systems are doing quite well.

    I just backed the Pimax 8k to be my first HMD a few days ago. And while I'm finally happy with the (promised) specs of this unit (wide FOV, high res, eye tracking) I've been looking at the software catalogue for VR and it's giving me pause.
    There just isn't a whole lot there. Fallout 4 VR is the closest thing to a proper big RPG that interests me, and I'm not even sure how well that will work.
    The fact that there will now be less studios making VR stuff, just as the next gen of VR is rearing it's head, makes it seem like a less worthwhile investment.

    Given that VR needs highend pc GPU to do a decent job at it (we're talking at least 90fps on DUAL displays), its easy to see why VR has had a rough start. Lets not forget that high end gaming PCs are VERY expensive atm due to inflated memory/ssd/GPU prices.

    I think the Pimax 8k is the type of display I would expect as the v1.0 of VR, the others are just not to par with my visual fidelity needs (anyone who has been using 4k from the start understands this).

    Look forward to reviews, but I will likely never be able to afford VR any time soon, maybe end of 2018 if I'm real lucky, but lately the cost of living has gone up a fair bit so that means less and less money to spend on gadgets like this!

    Even if VR was free and didn't require an expensive high end PC it still has to overcome how technically difficult it is to set up and use. Most people have trouble installing a printer, how can you expect these people to successfully calibrate and set up a VR headset and multiple sensors correctly?

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