Iceland-based CCP Games raised $30 million to strengthen its VR development slate. The maker of long-lived massively multiplayer game EVE Online is developing highly anticipated space-fighter EVE: Valkyrie for the Rift and plans to release turret space-fighter Gunjack on Nov. 20 alongside the consumer Gear VR.
This puts CCP at the forefront of VR development on mobile, consoles and PCs, with Valkyrie in development since long before Oculus was a Facebook company. Valkyrie is also coming to PlayStation VR and features intense multiplayer battles with players in the driver seat of an agile one-person spaceship. Katee Sackhoff, a.k.a. Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, provided voice work for Valkyrie.
Valkyrie is likely to become a marquee title for the first generation of VR hardware as the experience is perfectly built to showcase how even sit down VR and a gamepad controller, with the ability to lean around a cockpit and look any direction for targets, can be more fun than traditional video games. Gunjack is built for the more limited movement tracking possible with the mobile phone-powered Gear VR, so you don’t control where the ship goes. Instead, you operate a turret on a larger spaceship and use your gaze to find targets.
“Our company vision is to create virtual worlds more meaningful than real life,” Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, said when the consumer Rift was first unveiled earlier this year. “When we are truly seeing the dawn of virtual reality, I don’t think we have to make excuses for that statement anymore.”
The investment was led by New Enterprise Associates “with participation from private equity firm Novator Partners LLP,” according to CCP. Valkyrie is being developed by CCP’s studio in Newcastle, England while Gunjack comes from the company’s Shanghai studio.
“We believe VR will revolutionize not just videogames, but the wider technology and media industry as a whole,” Pétursson said in a prepared statement. “We were there at the beginning, and this investment will give us strength to maintain our leading development efforts.”