Sigurður ‘Siggi’ Gunnarsson is one of the most recognisable figures behind CCP Games’ flagship VR multiplayer game, EVE: Valkyrie, but he’s no longer working on it.
Gunnarsson, who is based at Valkyrie developer CCP Newcastle in the UK, took to Twitter today to reveal that he will be leaving the studio. The announcement comes just after EVE: Valkyrie launched its first major free update, introducing a brand new game mode, new maps and a range of fixes. The developer is staying with the company, however, as he’ll be moving to the CCP Atlanta team in Georgia in two weeks’ time. He’s also staying with VR; Gunnarsson tantalisingly teased that he would now be working on “some cutting-edge VR stuff.”
Time for an announcement. In two weeks I will be leaving the UK to join the VR team in CCP Atlanta to work on some cutting-edge VR stuff.
— Sigurdur Gunnarsson (@SiggiGG) June 24, 2016
He also noted that it was a “hard decision” to leave CCP Newcastle, where he’s worked for the last three years as a Senior Programmer. He’s been with Valkyrie since its early days, having been announced as one of the first full games for the Oculus Rift back in 2013. The game will continue to see strong support, though, with future plans including cross-play support across various HMDs.
CCP Atlanta is currently working on Project Arena, a competitive multiplayer VR game that takes a heavy dose of inspiration from classic sci-fi movie, Tron. Two players stand at opposite ends of a court and, in one mode, bat a ball back and forth using either the Oculus Touch controllers or HTC Vive controllers like a virtual game of tennis. The other has them trying to hit each other by throwing bouncing discs down the court. It’s not clear if and when the project will be released, though expect it to have a new name if it does launch.
So is Gunnarsson continuing to work on Project Arena, or does his tease refer to something else? CCP Games is certainly embracing VR as much as possible; EVE: Valkyrie is coming to every major console and PC-based headset while the Gunjack shooter series continues on the mobile side of VR. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear the company has yet more projects in the works right now.