Friday, December 11, 2015

EVE: Valkyrie To Ship With The Oculus Rift

If one ignores the drama coming out of the "EVE community," CCP has had a really good past 30 days. On November 10th, CCP announced that EVE: Gunjack would launch as a first day title of Samsung's Gear VR. CCP followed that up two days later with the reveal that venture capitalists New Enterprise Associates and Novator Partners LLP were investing $30 million USD into CCP to fund the development of virtual reality games. Then on Tuesday CCP announced the hire of Maria Sayans from DICE to oversee "the company’s total relationship with its customers, overseeing CCP’s Marketing, Sales, Web Development, and Customer Services teams in Reykjavik, Shanghai, Atlanta, and Newcastle." Coming from EA and having worked on the marketing side of the Battlefield 4 launch, CCP probably hired someone who won't turn and run at the sight of the posting on Reddit.

But the news got a little better yesterday. Oculus announced that EVE: Valkyrie will ship with every pre-ordered Oculus Rift. That is a big deal. Not only will CCP make some nice money off the deal, but EVE: Valkyrie will get a lot of exposure. I'm pretty sure people will want to try the game at least once. If the game is as popular with the general public as with the EVE players who have attended various events over the past two years, Valkyrie could wind up as the "killer app" for the Oculus Rift. And with Valkyrie also slated to appear on the PS4 when Sony's VR headset comes out sometime next year, CCP may have a hit on its hands.

I have to say that I think CCP had a pretty good year in 2015, despite the declining peak concurrent user numbers in EVE. I think they set their financial house in order, although I always worry about hubris popping up and spoiling things. But I was really impressed with their work in the VR realm. Between Fanfest and EVE Vegas I got the chance to experience all of CCP's games and tech demos. Quite frankly, the two least impressive of those experiences were Gunjack and Valkyrie. So I'm feeling pretty good about CCP's future prospects right now. Hopefully, I'm not looking at the world through rose colored glasses.

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