Eve Online developer CCP Games has confirmed it is exiting the virtual reality (VR) market for the foreseeable future, though it will continue to support its previously VR-exclusive Eve: Valkyrie spin-off.
Announced back in August 2013, Eve: Valkyrie started life as an exclusive space combat title for the Oculus Rift platform, based on the company's sci-fi massively multiplayer game Eve Online. Spun out from an internal experiment dubbed Eve-VR, Eve Valkyrie would eventually move from a VR exclusive to playable on non-VR platforms - and now CCP Games is moving away from VR entirely.
Following an interview with CCP Games' chief executive officer Hilmar Veigar Pétursson published in the Iceland Monitor, the company has confirmed it is backing away from VR development. '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 centre in the second wave of VR and our belief in the long-term transformative power of the technology remains strong,' claims Pétursson in a clarifying statement. '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.'
Those changes will, unfortunately, mean the closure of a
two studio s - CCP Atlanta and CCP Newcastle - and a reduction in headcount at CCP Shanghai, totalling to the loss of around a hundred jobs.
CCP Games has clarified that CCP Newcastle will not be closing, but will instead be sold to an unnamed third party as a going concern. 'The Newcastle team is in the office and working. We are working out details with a third part [sic] to sell the studio to them,' a spokesperson explained. 'Until those negotiations are complete, the team is unchanged.'
The company's spokesperson also confirmed that when the Newcastle studio is sold maintenance of both Eve: Valkyrie and Sparc, CCP's sports game for Sony's PlayStation VR platform, will transfer to the London studio. 'The Newcastle studio remains open and will complete development of the planned winter update for Eve: Valkyrie. After that, a team in London will maintain both Eve: Valkyrie and Sparc, which will remain available for play.
'We have no plans to begin development on new VR titles,' the spokesperson added in confirmation that the company is dropping future development of new VR-related titles.