CCP Announces shift in focus away from VR

Rhivre 2017-10-30

CCP today announced they are moving away from Virtual Reality to refocus their core business to PC gaming and the up and coming mobile sector.

As part of this, the Atlanta and Newcastle offices will be closing, as they handled VR R&D and Valkyrie Development respectively.

Of the current staff of 370, about 100 will be affected, and this includes some staff in Reykjavik as well.  Notable departures so far include CCP Logibro and CCP Manifest.  CCP Manifest was based in the Atlanta office, and was the primary PR contact for CCP.   CCP Logibro (Community Developer) is familiar to Eve players from his work on the Alliance Tournament and CSM, as well as being a regular on the CCP Twitch streams, and proactive in interacting with the community.

In an interview with Icelandic site mbl.is (Google translated version here), CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson laid out some of their plans for the future, and the reasoning behind this move. Whilst CCP have had success with the VR market, and still have faith in the sector, they expect there to be a slowdown in the market for the next few years.  Once the next wave of VR uptake comes along, CCP will be well positioned to come back into the market and lead again.

In the meantime, they will refocus their efforts onto PC games, as well as branching out into the burgeoning mobile sector. There was a taste of this new direction at Vegas when they introduced the new mobile game Project Aura. According to Hilmar CCP have been monitoring the growth of complex mobile games in the Chinese and South Korean markets, and he believes this is the direction game development will take in the West as well in the short to medium term.

CCP Falcon has posted on the Eve-O forums to reassure players that the Eve Development team are not affected by these changes, and CCP Badcop posted on Reddit to say that Project Nova is still continuing.

At the moment, this is a developing story, and details of who is leaving, and the changes themselves are still emerging.  We will update you as more information becomes available.

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Comments

  • earthquake!

    October 30, 2017 at 8:48 pm
    • IV Dystopia Matterall

      Was it an earthquake or someones soapbox shaking.

      Just kidding, every time CCP makes a institutional decision every community business expert comes out of the wood work.

      Hi experts did your mom layout your clothes for school tomorrow? That is so nice of her and have a fun time trick or treating. 😛

      October 31, 2017 at 3:12 pm
      • Rhivre IV Dystopia

        I just go by how the employees themselves are reacting. That says what needs to be said.

        October 31, 2017 at 8:25 pm
        • IV Dystopia Rhivre

          And how are they reacting? Because the general commenters I am addressing are acting as though they have lost thier favorite drinking buddy. That is not a reason to keep an employee.

          October 31, 2017 at 9:15 pm
          • Rhivre IV Dystopia

            “This is the worst day in my working life” – From people who were there during the summer of rage.
            Also the CCP flag at halfmast today

            October 31, 2017 at 10:31 pm
          • IV Dystopia Rhivre

            So Falcons response trumps Hilmar’s emotional presentation at EVE Vegas. You can’t tell me he did not know this was coming.

            If that is true why did he do it. Is he a bad person or is he the person truley responsible for making CCP as healthy and strong as possible. That means making the difficult decisions.

            Are you taking into account his feelings and hope for the future or are you just making him the bad guy to satisfy the emotional loss you and the other feel.

            Using the social injustice of the few to take down those still trying to make CCP great again is beyond foolish.

            October 31, 2017 at 10:57 pm
          • Rhivre IV Dystopia

            Me? I dont think anyone is the bad guy.
            I think people have not realised the full scope of the people leaving yet.

            November 1, 2017 at 5:05 am
          • IV Dystopia Rhivre

            I’m intrigued what scope? It looks like a common organizational restructuring.

            What areas (scope) do you think will be affected.

            November 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm
          • Rhivre IV Dystopia

            I think that reducing the community team to 2 members may have some impact. I think that other people who have left will also impact Eve.

            November 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm
          • Arrendis IV Dystopia

            AT can’t help but be affected – that was all Logibro’s baby. This Week in EVE just lost the only guy doing that. Lots of other low-profile ‘this is what makes the company work in ways players can trust’ hits got taken, too.

            As for Hilmar’s emotional presentation at Vegas… yeah. Yeah, I do think he didn’t see this coming. They announced 4 FanFests around the world at Vegas, remember? When asked about it this week, now Guard’s saying ‘we don’t know, we’ll have to see what happens’.

            That tells me ‘this was not planned before Vegas’. If this had been in the cards, you don’t make that announcement at Vegas.

            November 1, 2017 at 3:31 pm
          • IV Dystopia Arrendis

            So before I get mud holed for submitting a stupid reimbursement request.

            I don’t entirely disagree with your perspective on the AT within the constraints of the impact to a Dev’s personal pet project. But as it impacts the AT as a whole the impact will be minimal. The test server tools are built, CCP guidance still exists and there has been CCP turn over before.

            Didn’t a good portion of the community say they preferred EVE NT’s broadcast better?

            Has anyone in the community actually quantified the financial benefit?

            I would wager CCP has that that is why it has always been a dev pet project.

            I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that EVE does not work as an E-Sport and that its intelligibility only works for established players.

            So from my perspective, the AT is an expense that does not generate revenue. I do believe in its importance to EVE’s existing community, but with that perspective, it is better for EVE’s community to provide that service with CCP’s oversight.

            I don’t see the worldwide gatherings being a massive problem because it would be better for CCP to use a professional organizer like Eventbrite anyway. All it would take is a portion of the ticket revenue and CCP oversight to make each event feel unique and special.

            Finally in regards to Hilmar not knowing one month before the rift that it would happen is absolutely horrifying. That would imply that the Global CEO over CCP is not in control of hiring and firing his employee’s. That means the board of directors I.E. investors are guiding operations and investors don’t care about the game they care about returns.

            CCP Rough SWOT Anaysis
            CCP Strengths: Invested Community
            CCP Weaknesses: Invested Community
            CCP Threats: Invested Community
            CCP Opportunities: Invested Community

            Answer me this if CCP is using the above rough SWOT analysis to guide their restructuring. Why are the community’s complaints about specific employees more than just said community complaining about losing their favorite drinking/twitter buddies?

            This being said I do not want to minimize the physical and emotional impact on individual human beings and families who have worked late nights and long hours for our community. I hope they will remain a part of our community and find success in their chosen profession.

            I see this restructuring as an opportunity for CCP to focus on development which needs to occur so that the game we play today will become the most breathtaking experience that mystery and science can provide.

            November 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm
          • Rhivre IV Dystopia

            There are people well outside of community who have been let go, some of whom have been with CCP since before eve launched.

            Who the community have probably never heard of, so, this is not about drinking buddies

            November 1, 2017 at 9:09 pm
          • IV Dystopia Rhivre

            But I still contest the reason the EVE community is flaming CCP is because of its relationship with their drinking buddies. It might be the fault of CCP for allowing employees to be community icons which have created an emotional attachment by the player base.

            What I am saying is that we should look at the CCP restructuring as a healthy financial move by a company attempting to correct past mistakes. I.E. VR, employees that are not specialized in the correct area, redundant locations, creative differences, etc.

            What you keep missing is that I am not talking about people I am talking about a healthy corporate decision that people like you are interpreting as an attack against people you have become emotionally attached too. For CCP not to restructure at this point would be the equivalent of POS code being the basis for EVE 2.0.

            The only caveat to what I believe is Arrendis’ point and that is if Hilmar is not making the decisions and in that case, we’re fucked.

            My point is that by making ex CCP employees martyrs and pitchforking CCP Hilmar you are actually proving the point that the player base can’t handle the privilege of knowing and interacting with its devs.

            The only caveat to what I believe is Arrendis’ point and that is if Hilmar is not making the decisions and in that case were fucked.

            November 1, 2017 at 9:57 pm
          • Rhivre IV Dystopia

            I have not pitchforked Hilmar. I am not talking about the community icons when I say that I am concerned about some of the positions that have gone. I have never interacted with, nor heard of before the last few days, the people that concern me most.

            November 2, 2017 at 8:15 am
          • IV Dystopia Rhivre

            01011001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101011 01100101 01100101 01110000 00100000 01101110 01101111 01110100 00100000 01110101 01101110 01100100 01100101 01110010 01110011 01110100 01100001 01101110 01100100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01110011 01100001 01111001 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110011 01101111 00100000 01001001 00100000 01101101 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100101 01101100 01101100 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01101101 01110101 01101110 01101001 01100011 01100001 01110100 01100101 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101110 00100000 00111010 00101001

            November 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm
          • Arrendis IV Dystopia

            Finally in regards to Hilmar not knowing one month before the rift that it would happen is absolutely horrifying. That would imply that the Global CEO over CCP is not in control of hiring and firing his employee’s.

            I completely agree. But if Hilmar did know… can you see them making that presentation, a month before this kind of bloodletting?

            November 1, 2017 at 10:55 pm
          • IV Dystopia Arrendis

            That would be seriously cold right?

            Edit: unnecessary explicative.

            November 2, 2017 at 12:53 am
  • Arrendis

    CCP Atlanta is the last vestige of the original White Wolf Game Studio, which merged with/was acquired by CCP in 2006. Originally founded in 1986 as White Wolf Magazine, in 1990, the company merged with Lion Rampant, publisher of Ars Magica. A year later, under the direction of Mark Rein-Hagen, White Wolf unveiled the first game in the World of Darkness series, Vampire: The Masquerade. The popularity of the World of Darkness setting led to the merger/acquisition of White Wolf by CCP in 2006, making the Atlanta studio the oldest part of the company by a decade. In 2015, CCP sold off the White Wolf name and IP to Paradox Interactive, who subsequently spun off an all-new White Wolf undetr the leadership of CEO Tobias Sjögren. Martin Ericsson, formerly with CCP as a developer on the aborted World of Darkness MMO, is the Lead Storyteller for the revived White Wolf.

    October 30, 2017 at 9:08 pm
    • After various rounds (six by some count) layoffs, this round of layoffs eliminates the office in Atlanta.

      October 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm
      • Arrendis Matterall

        Yep, which is what prompted that observation. Beware conglomeration, folks, it takes your fate out of your own hands.

        November 1, 2017 at 2:59 pm
    • Lekly Arrendis

      There is a job posting for Senior Manager/Director, Communications – EVE Online. Was this Logibro’s position?

      October 31, 2017 at 6:53 am
      • Jin'taan Lekly

        No.

        October 31, 2017 at 9:12 am
      • Arrendis Lekly

        That was Manifest.

        November 1, 2017 at 6:38 am
  • A wise decision by CCP in my opinion. It was very brave of them to jump on the VR hype the way they did and become a leading dev for it while it lasted. Valkyrie was certainly an example of how VR games should and could be done. But I also agree with the notion that the VR hype is dying down again. It’s over its high point and as expected it was never able to leave the realm of being a gimmick. VR hardware will need a lot of R&D before it can become a truly viable living room accessoire, and that is simply not happening for the next few years. Instead of trying to break into a stagnant market, CCP decides to get out while they’re ahead. And that is indeed the best decision, despite people losing their jobs.

    October 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm
    • DevilDude TigerXtrm

      IMO VR doesn’t need much R&D at this point, no more than any other newly established tech anyway. What it needs is iteration and expansion. They need to work on mass production to get the price point down to where it’s accessible to more people, but the tech we have now is good enough once the price point swings into place.

      October 31, 2017 at 12:35 am
    • Freelancer117 TigerXtrm

      Eve Valkyrie was a very expensive game from the content it had, and still had microtransactions on top of that.
      source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=2108s&v=zm3FZJv2bW0

      October 31, 2017 at 7:01 am
  • But… I thought VR was, “the next big thing?”

    October 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm
    • DevilDude Ganthrithor

      It might be in 5 or 6 years but the hype of the current gen has passed and they just don’t have a good pricepoint yet. It’s a good move business wise to cut their losses. As to their hyping VR stuff, well you sort of have to, the only way they could be more stupid than staying in that market would be to go out on PR and be lackluster about it’s prospects while they’re still in it.

      October 31, 2017 at 12:32 am
      • I know, I’m just having a laugh. A trained ape could’ve told them VR was an over-priced, over-hyped gimmick that couldn’t deliver. Actually, an un-trained ape could’ve done it. I really don’t know what they were thinking.

        October 31, 2017 at 2:17 am
        • Walextheone Ganthrithor

          The VR market is on a steady rise man, but it will take another couple of years before is big enough for AAA games.
          A good VR system is now $399 where it for just a year ago sold for about $700-$800. Mass production etc drives prices down.

          October 31, 2017 at 7:24 am
          • Incorrect: there are no good VR systems. They still look like you’re peering into a world made of legos. Until they figure out how to do high resolution, there’s no point. The only games that really suit current VR tech are flight simulators (because the character is fixed in place), and who wants to fly a sim when you can’t read any of the instruments?

            October 31, 2017 at 6:11 pm
          • The entire elite dangerous community. The graphics aren’t so bad that you cant read printed text in the games but I agree that the headsets are a generation away from being acceptably smooth on the visuals.

            November 1, 2017 at 10:12 am
          • You can’t read gauges in a flight sim is what I mean. Text displays are probably OK.

            November 3, 2017 at 7:00 am
        • Just viciously overpriced.

          October 31, 2017 at 1:04 pm
  • Freelancer117

    To those affected by the lay offs, I wish you well and thank you for your dedication to the eve community !
    Especially ccp Logibro, loved flying with you in the past during live events and roleplaying in new eden.

    Regards, a Freelancer

    ps: so the dev team of perhaps a dozen or less will not be affected, yeah fu to Hilmar.

    October 30, 2017 at 10:50 pm
  • Alot

    The focus on “PC Games” (plural) leaves me confused. To my knowledge they’ve only ever managed to keep one title going.

    October 30, 2017 at 11:34 pm
    • DevilDude Alot

      They’re being fairly tight lipped about it but they’ve got another PC title in development called ‘project nova’ (probably a working title) it’s supposed to be some sort of successor to DUST. It appears they’ve learned the painful lesson of releasing a title linked with EvE on a platform that EvE’s player base is openly contemptuous of… If only we’d told them they were being morons trying to release an MMOFPS on an aging console… oh right we did.

      October 31, 2017 at 12:29 am
      • Alot DevilDude

        Im still sad they DUST’ed the world of darkness mmo. Masquerade was a beautifully done story with game complexity to match.

        I want my Voompers back 🙁

        October 31, 2017 at 8:47 am
      • Lekly DevilDude

        They should play to their strengths and stay with PC games. They keep trying to break into other markets and flopping.

        November 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    I try to be hopeful, but the bittervet in me just sees CCP as the most scattershot, unfocused group of game devs ever. Invest heavily in something, then promptly abandon it. Rinse and repeat that process while milking Eve Online to fund chasing whims.
    I also think CCP is ahead of the curve on many things. Cross-genre, cross-platform, dedicated games that interact? Early adopters of VR? All at the cutting edge and CCP deserves credit for that. But then they toss that in the trash and blaze a trail only to let others take over leading while CCP loses focus and chases the next squirrel in the yard.

    October 31, 2017 at 3:53 pm
    • Arrendis Alaric Faelen

      This isn’t the game devs’ doing. Willing to bet this isn’t even Hilmar’s doing. This comes from his shadowy masters.

      I mean, this is purely speculative, but CCP sold big chunks of the company to venture capitalists years ago. This year, their big releases were Sparc and Valk: Warzone.

      Sparc’s been released, that project’s now in a low-labor cycle. Valk tanked, hard, and VR in general isn’t a big profit-driver right now. And their new announcement of a mobile game got soundly *booed* at Vegas. So look at the closures and layoffs:

      Atlanta’s being closed down (betcha you’ll see some of those guys moving to Iceland), and Newcastle’s being sold off. CCP’s moving away from VR entirely after one of their *big* points being that they were an industry leader in it. And a lot of these layoffs are people who’ve been there for a long time, folks who aren’t at the bottom of the pay scale.

      There were layoffs in Shanghai, too, but those offices (which produced Gunjack) are staying open. The mobile game that got booed *wasn’t* in-house. It wasn’t the Shanghai team’s baby.

      Taken together… my guess is the VCs aren’t happy, and CCP’s been given orders to slim down and bring in payroll under a certain number, while being told to keep Shanghai churning out a new Gunjack every year.

      November 1, 2017 at 6:42 am
      • We also don’t know what they developed and can license to other studios

        November 1, 2017 at 4:46 pm
      • IV Dystopia Arrendis

        Fucking gloom if true.

        November 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm
      • SeaBassSA Arrendis

        Yeah, I’m almost positive this is the case. I think VC money pushed them into VR and now they’re pulling out. For now.

        November 3, 2017 at 2:29 am
        • Arrendis SeaBassSA

          Well, a group of devs made the Valkyrie alpha in their spare time as a ‘fun’ project the company didn’t know about. So it’s more likely to say VR got them the VCs, and now the VCs are telling them to play it safe and guarantee a return on the investment.

          November 3, 2017 at 4:41 am
  • b-rom

    “…up and coming mobile sector”?

    From my perspective the mobile sector has already come up, plateaued, gotten horribly saturated and deformed and is now incredibly difficult to be competitive in. From what I’ve seen of CCP in the past, over-saturated very competitive markets are not CCP’s forte.

    Or maybe that is a reference to developing for the Switch.

    October 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm
    • Lekly b-rom

      Even coming out with something for the Switch might be a bit behind, especially if they haven’t already started.

      November 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm