EVE: Valkyrie Developer CCP Games Newcastle Acquired By Sumo Digital

by Jamie Feltham • January 2nd, 2018

Update: Sumo Digital Managing Director Paul Porter told UploadVR: “Sumo is interested in all platforms for interactive entertainment, including VR. Although we’re not yet announcing what the Newcastle studio is working on, their proven skills and experience in VR is a great addition for Sumo.”

Original Story: Two months after CCP Games scaled back its VR efforts, the developer’s Newcastle-based team has found a new home.

CCP Games Newcastle, best known for its flagship multiplayer VR title, EVE: Valkyrie, has been acquired by Sumo Digital for an undisclosed sum, GamesIndustry.biz reports. A total of 34 staff are transferring over to Sumo in the deal (it’s unclear how large the current team size is), and they’ll remain in Newcastle. They become the fourth branch of Sumo Digital, with two other teams based in the UK and another in India.

Sumo Digital has a long history of working with major publishers on everything from smartphone ports of popular titles to even creating sequels to some of the biggest series in the industry such as LittleBigPlanet 3 and the upcoming Crackdown 3. Recently, the developer released its very own title, Snake Pass. It’s not yet known if Sumo plans to develop VR content with its new team, though we’ve reached out to ask the company. The team might not be able to work on Valkyrie anymore, but it’s still hugely experienced within the VR industry.

CCP Games Newcastle could be considered one of if not the first VR-focused developers in the world. Valkyrie, which puts players in the cockpit of ships first seen in CCP’s ever-popular EVE Online MMO, was first revealed in 2013, nearly three years before the launch of the Oculus Rift headset it released on. Since launch in March 2016, the game has seen numerous expansion updates and arrived on both the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR (PSVR) with cross-play support. In its most recent update, the game added support for traditional displays, too. We’ve also reached out to CCP’s main branch to ask what the future of Valkyrie looks like.

CCP announced it was pulling out of VR back in October, closing down its Atlanta-based studio that developed the recently-released Sparc.

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What's your reaction?
  • drd7of14

    This isn’t a bad move, cause thus far…Sumo Digital has been involved been some pretty neat stuff. I can’t possibly know for sure how they’ll behave as owner/parent of CCP Games Newcastle, but going off their past works, I’d say they are in good hands. I look forward to what CCP NC can accomplish with Sumo Digital’s leadership.

  • Matthew Dymond

    Great, another franchise for them to fuck up. They screwed up LittleBigPlanet, now this.

    • Thor Mjolnirs

      Hardly. They’re not perfect but they’ve been involved with some great stuff like Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed.

      • Carl Wolsey

        Er… is this sarcasm?

      • Matthew Dymond

        Sonic games are terrible, always have been since they went 3D.

        I mean, c’mon, why does Sonic even need a damn car?

    • Carl Wolsey

      Came here to say the same thing. They’re just terrible.

  • After looking over Sumo Digital’s catalog of IPs, I can’t say there’s a single title in there that made me excited about this. Perhaps, if they have some new, unlisted IPs, this might change –but as is, this is very disappointing news.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be reporting that Id Software’s being bought by Disney or some such rubbish (**they’re not… that I know of, but I use this as an example of how much of a departure it is from EVE:Valkyrie to Virtua Tennis 3, or Snake Pass). Granted, its not as sad of news as the day that Psygnosis was bought out by Sony –effectively ending all development on all other platforms, but it sucks all the same. Luckily, “CCP Newcastle” was no “Psygnosis Liverpool” –that team at least went on to create RIGS, and then The Persistence. It’s possible that Sumo may surprise us all, and no doubt, they’ll do just fine, but it’ll very likely be from fans of their own properties rather than anything they’ve picked up in this purchase.