EVE: Valkyrie Developer CCP Games is Winding Down VR Development
Developer CCP Games is pivoting their business model to back away from VR games, laying off 100 developers in the new reorganization.
Very few names in the VR development scene have been as stable as CCP Games. When VR was still in its nascent stages, Icelandic studio CCP Games was making waves with EVE: Valkyrie and wowing both critics and consumers alike. Now, amid what feels like a wind of change in the industry, CCP Games has announced that they will be dissolving their VR plans to focus more on a more PC/mobile-centric strategy.
In a statement to GameIndustry.biz, CCP Games had this to say:
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.
While it is never important to make grand assumptions based on the personal practices and strategies of one company, it is hard to ignore the feeling that this is a shot across the bow for the VR market as a whole. For instance, while the PlayStation VR launched over a year ago, virtual reality seems to be seeing waning support on AAA games — often instead being relegated to indie studios and sizzle reels inside of major press conferences.
However, that’s not to say that VR doesn’t have hopeful titles on the horizon, and many virtual reality studios and hardware developers aren’t following CCP Games’ train of thought on the matter. Also speaking with GameIndustry.biz, Turtle Rock Studios’ President said
I think that any studio or publisher decision to pivot is usually an individual story as opposed to a bellwether of the industry as a whole. The people who are yelling that ‘VR is dead’ are the same people who are also yelling that ‘single player is dead’ because EA is changing direction on the Visceral Star Wars title. So apparently according to these folks, single player is dead in the same year that Breath of the Wild came out. Ok…
More important than the overarching narrative are the closure of two studios: CCP Games’ Atlanta office and Newcastle office, many of the in-house developers being centralized (read “transferred”) to the three remaining studios. Unfortunately, there are casualties — roughly 100 developers have been laid off in the reorganization and strategy.
CCP Games, in the meantime, will be announcing more games within the next year and a half. Only last month, CCP unveiled a PC game and mobile game, “Project Nova” and “Project Aurora” respectively, that will be taking place in the EVE universe. With that said, more PC and mobile announcements are on their way.