‘EVE: Valkyrie’ Lead Designer: PS VR Launch Was Like A ‘Tsunami Of New Players’
You turn on your PC, put an Oculus Rift on your head, and boot up EVE: Valkyrie for a little late night gaming after a long day. You’re sitting in the lobby, or clone chamber as it were, waiting for a new match to start. As you look around, blue lights start to glow at the tops of players’ heads confirming that you’re not only in a full match of actual human players, but all those blue lights mean you’re playing with PlayStation VR gamers as well.
The future of cross-platform, multiplayer VR gaming has arrived and it spells excitement and success for game developers like CCP.
“Matchmaking is really working now,” said Andrew Willans, Lead Game Designer on EVE: Valkyrie at CCP, during an interview with UploadVR. “Now that we’ve got the players, it’s really working. When we set out looking at the core pillars of the game, we knew we wanted to have a statement. For us, that statement is to plunder as a space pirate — it’s all about combat and fame. You need players to keep that core pillar competitive, and now we have them.”
The massive wave of new players has been a breath of fresh air. Rift players are coming back to the game now that numbers are up. The mainstream popularity of the PS VR, combined with EVE: Valkyrie being one of the only AAA competitive shooters available right now, adds up to a huge opportunity for CCP as a developer, and for early adopter VR gamers.
“This game was built from the ground up for multiplayer, PvP combat, and we’re finally there,” said Willans.
When asked if the influx of new players from when the PS VR version of the game launched in mid-October is greater than the influx from when the original Rift version launched earlier this year, Willans replied in the affirmative: “It certainly feels like it. It’s hard to quantify in numbers for me, but the sensation is that I’m always in a full battle. So I think we definitely feel a tsunami of new players as opposed to a tidal wave.”
EVE: Valkyrie is seeing huge benefits by launching on the cheaper, more accessible, and consumer-friendly PS VR headset. Over 40 million people own a PS4 today and well over many hundreds of thousands reportedly purchased a PS VR at launch. With GameStop being forced to order more units to prepare for the Holiday rush, those numbers are expected to rise fast than ever.
In our review of the game’s original launch on the Oculus Rift, we praised it for its precision, intense fun, and surprising depth. Since then, new ships, progressions systems, and game modes have steadily trickled out, making EVE: Valkyrie one of the most fully-featured games in the early days of VR thus far.
EVE: Valkyrie is now available on both PS VR and Oculus Rift with an HTC Vive release coming later this month.