CCP Games Ending VR Efforts After Building Its Biggest Titles

by Ian Hamilton • October 30th, 2017

In what can only be characterized as one of the biggest blows to the budding VR industry, CCP Games is shelving its VR efforts.

The Iceland-based creator of EVE Online is one of VR’s biggest proponents and earliest developers, producing some of the industry’s most prominent titles including Rift-first space battle game EVE: Valkyrie, mobile VR turret shooter Gunjack and PlayStation-first sports game Sparc. The company is closing its Atlanta office and selling its Newcastle office, according to a report by the Iceland Monitor. The decision affects around 100 employees.

The report indicates CCP leadership still believes in VR long term, but they need to wait a few years for the market to mature before continuing to invest in development.

CCP bundled EVE: Valkyrie for the Oculus Rift, shipping alongside Playful’s Lucky’s Tale as a gamepad-based VR game for the headset’s launch. It later shipped on PlayStation VR and Steam. Eventually, CCP launched a mode for the game outside VR headsets supporting cross-play across all systems so that there was a broad base of players with which to compete.

Gunjack launched on Gear VR with its sequel, Gunjack 2, coming exclusively to Google’s Daydream. Sparc launched on PlayStation VR with plans to come to other headsets later.

Some VR-focused companies have suffered early burnouts, with startups like Envelop headed off by Microsoft and social startup Altspace acquired after running out of cash. But CCP Games was a particularly early supporter of Oculus, all the way back to its Kickstarter campaign, and the many updates to EVE: Valkyrie suggested the company’s VR efforts were seeing enough adoption to warrant continued support. Ultimately, though, that just doesn’t seem like it was the case.

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  • impurekind

    This is a real shame.

  • Lukas Thompson

    Seems VR devs are going to have to go the microtransaction route in order to stay afloat. If they do it right it could work out but often times companies become too greedy. With development costs and a minimal player base having microtransactions may allow for a game to continue for a longer period of time. It would also give the devs the ability to recoup more money from people not willing to shell out $30-40 for a game they are unsure about. I think currently VR devs need to look at the possibility of games being F2P with the ability to purchase cosmetic items in a cash shop. If you make everything to where you’re basically just paying to enhance your graphical experience and not cause game play conflicts then I think it can be done. We’ll see where things go from here, but if VR games are losing more than they are making, this is probably one of the only solutions to the problem.

    • Smokey_the_Bear

      I think it will fix itself. Meaning, as VR becomes more affordable & with more HMD options, the user base will grow, and the money flowing to game developers will continue.

      • Lukas Thompson

        I sure hope so, I’m not for how all the microtransactions are going these days. I can see doing it to an extent, but some of these corporations are taking things way too far.

  • GmailIsDown

    With such a small user base, triple AAA game development in VR is not sustainable. Whew. Who would have thought.

    • daveinpublic

      That’s why Oculus has made so many ‘exclusives’. Some will say that Facebook is taking all of the best titles and excluding Vive users, others will say that Facebook is helping the industry by funding studios that just can’t afford to focus on VR. I think this gives us a peak inside the industry to show which is the case. I for one am excited that Facebook allows our small group of enthusiasts to enjoy a world of entertainment, as if VR really has already arrived. If you’re frustrated at Oculus exclusives, don’t be mad at Facebook, be glad that they’re making this far fetched idea possible. You may even want to buy an Oculus to encourage their efforts and use all the awesome games available.

      • mirak

        That’s really not worth buying an oculus.

        • daveinpublic

          It really is, though.

          • mirak

            I don’t see creating a closed ecosystem as an effort worth rewarding.

          • daveinpublic

            Oculus said they can’t create a SDK for any hardware unless they’re allowed. And, steam isn’t an open ecosystem. And you don’t have to reward oculus for being closed, you can reward them for starting the VR revolution and for keeping it on life support for the community.

          • mirak

            The guy who created revive is more concerned about it breaking on the oculus side, so the Oculus excuse doesn’t make sense.

          • daveinpublic

            It hasn’t broken on the Oculus side. Apple isn’t doing anything wrong, iPhones are great products and lots of people bought them, use them, and give them higher satisfaction scores than any other phone. As far as what Facebook wants, they’re just a company, and like every company, they want to make more money than they spend. People who pick sides aren’t hurting companies, they’re hurting themselves. You have a world of content open to you if you just look at it from a different perspective.

  • mirak

    They shot themselves in the foot by doing an occulus exclusive.

    • Walextheone

      Is Valkyrie an exlusive? I thought PSVR, vive, Rift and normal 2d screen gamers could play it.

      • mirak

        Did you leave in a cave for one year ?

        • MaeseDude

          Well, I did play Eve: Valkyrie on PSVR.

    • daveinpublic

      Doing an exclusive means you get money no matter how well the game does. The problem must have been doing some games across all platforms first.

      • mirak

        When the game came out there was not much concurrence, and it was restricted to Oculus with a smaller user base than the Vive.
        Now people have moved on from this game or feel it’s not worth it one year later.
        The user base wasn’t there in the beginning, and now the momentum is gone.

        • daveinpublic

          So the only way a game can gain momentum is to release on more than one of these systems, and it doesn’t have the resources to develop a AAA title without help, so I guess VR is an impossible problem in this world. Fortunately, there are others hammering out the solution for the people who won’t be happy either way.

          • mirak

            They still can fund it without requiring it to be an exclusive.
            That’s the long term run.

            I don’t mind oculus store exclusivity, I mind they don’t support the Vive.

            I bought Super hot though, but I felt there was more reason for them to accept the money than ccp which is much bigger.

          • daveinpublic

            You’re a very generous person, the only problem is… it’s with other people’s money.

          • mirak

            You don’t know what is ROI

          • daveinpublic

            It’s not that complicated. You’re telling Oculus on a VR forum to support your favorite games on your favorite VR headset. Sounds like a perfect world, and you’ve justified it in numerous ways, but I don’t see it happening because in the real world, other people need motivation to do the things they do.

    • Lord Satsuma

      opening it up to even lower percentage of the high priced VIve users being the dealbreaker..they were cross-platform for Rift & PSVR, that was large enough to build some ‘steam’. lot of these AAA companies have collateral to get loans, stay afloat, CCP just doesnt see the payoff coming quick enough to match all of their efforts, so they voluntarily backed out. On the other hand, the RIGS team was laid off by Sony.
      either way I’m bummed..too many making excuses why they don’t want VR, when they really just haven’t tried it, or can’t afford it so not even looking into it, still would rather play games in tiny screens, cell phones, the dumb masses hold back evolution, that’s why we 1% have to support it to the fullest.

  • Sami Tito

    Bad news for the vr industry or only bad news for ccp?

  • jarjarplinks

    The ROI on VR games is poor hence the non-existent appearance of major game publishers. Bethesda have the right idea though by ‘VR-a-fing’ their existing big titles which means a small investment in terms of game development. VR needs some recognised brands like this to encourage gamers in. I wish other publishers had the same forethought.

    • mirak

      It should be seen just as adding support for a new input device and a new output device.
      They are not used to invest in human machine interface because everything in 2d is so common now.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Micro transactions are micro aggressions, good riddance.

    • Lord Satsuma

      hatecha, & I usually like the French

  • CQCoder

    Seems a bit short sighted with all the sub $400 units coming out. The Windows ones in particular are intriguing – plug and play. I’m going to probably get one to supplement my Vive just to make sit down games easier.

    Oh and maybe next time don’t do exclusives.

  • MowTin

    Eve Valkarie and Warzone had almost no single player content. Multi-player only games seldom do well. They’re easier to make because you don’t have to create all that content a single player campaign involves. I’m a huge space / combat fan but I only recently bought Warzone after all this time because of this lack of single player content.

    At this point, devs should focus more on modding games for VR, rather than creating unsatisfying CCC titles.

  • Ted Joseph

    Played Artikta last night for a few hours. Non VR users have NO CLUE what they are missing… It is amazing…

  • Deleted Smith

    Somebody needs to step in and buy them. They did a bloody good job on EVE. There must be more to this story.

  • Lord Satsuma

    im nervous..the mass of unaware, the rubes that major companies depend on to stay afloat, are still playing games on tiny screens, & don’t get it.
    so its fvkin it up for the rest of us, who are ready for the next level.