CCP, developer of the MMO EVE Online, has decided to shelve its VR arm for a while.
According to Icelandic business news site Morgunblaðið, the company is halting VR production. The main offices in Reykjavík will lose about 30 people as a result. There are also two other studios affected. The CCP offices in Atlanta will be closed and its studio in Newcastle, England, which produced Valkyrie, will be sold.
The odd thing about the news is that CCP’s focus seemed to be in VR for about the last four years. The company’s VR titles include EVE spinoff game Valkyrie, Gunjack and Gunjack 2, as well as the “full-body VR” e-sport Sparc. So all of its games (aside from EVE Online) have been virtual reality titles. The slogan on its website (which shows no signs of the closure) even says, “We create virtual worlds.”
"Virtual reality will eventually change the world."
The shutdown of its VR division does not appear to be permanent. Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, is a big proponent of VR. However, he seems to think that the company got involved in the technology too early. The plan for now is to step back and see how the market develops.
“[VR development] has gone really well [for us], but now we are going to see what happens in the market for the next 2-3 years,” says Pétursson. “We have faith in [VR] in the long run. Virtual reality will eventually change the world.”
In the meantime, CCP will focus on producing games on mobile devices and continuing to support EVE Online. In fact, that branch of the company has not been impacted by the decision at all. The move to cut VR means more resources can be poured into improving and maintaining EVE Online and other projects.