September 28th, 2018

CCP closes VR studios until the VR market improves

CCP closes VR studios until the VR market improves

Right from the start of this second coming of VR, CCP was pushing hard to show that VR games could be exciting. EVE Valkyrie was used extensively as a game to demonstrate VR for Oculus.

Today CCP announced that 100 staff members at their VR studios have been let go with the closing of their UK based Newcastle office and their office in Atlanta.

“Despite the success of the VR games we have released we will be shifting our focus to our PC and mobile initiatives, and will be centralizing those initiatives, along with the support of our existing VR games, to our offices in Reykjavík and London,” said CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson. “We will continue to support our VR games but will not be making material VR investments until we see market conditions that justify further investments beyond what we have already made.”

CCP’s EVE Valkyrie managed to impress potential VR customers but stayed as a VR only title until September this year when they launched EVE Valkyrie Warzone. The relaunched version allows conventional monitors to be used as well as a VR headset. This relaunch was a too little too late for the title which has seen low concurrent player numbers since the Warzone relaunch. There have only been 10 or 20 players logging in daily which is appalling.

CCP also launched Sparc for the PSVR which they hoped could become a competitive VR game. It has not made it to PC and is unlikely to do so now.

Their other VR release was the shooter Gunjack which was a small but enjoyable shooting gallery type game where you are placed inside a gun turret tasked with shooting alien ships. It was reasonably entertaining for a low priced VR release.

As for CCP? Well, there’s no change to operations for EVE Online as was confirmed in their forums:

Obviously this is a really difficult day for CCP, and it’s been super tough to see a lot of our friends and colleagues end their journey with CCP.

With regards to EVE, it’s kind of bittersweet that this puts us in a more solid position going forward, as a lot more focus is back on EVE Online, its services and all the technology and support around it.

The EVE Online development team was not impacted at all by these changes, and remains the same size, working toward the same goals and features that have already been announced.

What this new tells us is that VR is not a profitable venture yet. Headset prices are still too high for consumers despite a recent price reduction from Oculus.

Update: To confirm, the Newcastle Studio will remain intact while they CCP works through a consultation period for the proposed sale of the studio. The studio will also release a winter update for EVE Valykrie and Sparc will be maintained from CCP’s London studio.

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  • Paul Younger

    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

    • Colin

      Valkyrie didn’t impress customers at all – the reviews were quite mixed. VR may or may not end up being profitable but this game isn’t a good example from which to draw such a conclusion.