Wednesday, April 7, 2021

News On CCP Games' Next Shooter

Fans looking for news about CCP Games latest project received a taste last week of what is to come. The new head of CCP's London studio, Adrian Blunt, gave an interview with MCVUK/DEVELOP (Issue 967, April 2021, pp 44-46) the magazine published last week.

The project apparently is a shooter using the Unreal 4 engine, which I think was already known due to job postings. 

One of 8 open positions for CCP London found on 6 April 2021

The description of the game as a multi-player shooter is a bit different than the job posting found on CCP's website in February 2020, when the game was described as an "unannounced action MMORPG".

As seen on 19 February 2020

The change away from describing the game as an MMORPG is similar to Crimson Desert's, another Pearl Abyss title due to launch in 2021. We learned of the focus away from the genre in Crimson Desert's case back in December 2020. Does that mean that EVE and Black Desert Online are the last MMORPGs to come out of the stable of the South Korean company's stable of studios?

We knew from the news of Project Nova's demise that the people in Iceland working on the shooter were redistributed to other teams in Reykjavik. But the interview did make some news as we found out the number of employees in the London studio is now around 40. With the CCP job opportunities listing 8 additional openings for the project, the team is set to grow.

Perhaps the biggest news from the article was the unveiling of Adrian Blunt as the Studio Director at CCP London. Blount worked as a producer on mobile games in EA Mobile's UK Studio from 2005-2008 before moving on to become the lead producer of FIFA Online for 2 years. He spent a lot of time working in the Far East, not only at EA but at Ubisoft, where he managed the Singapore development of Assassin's Creed Unity as well as the development and launch of Ghost Recon Phantoms. After nearly 3 years at Ubisoft, Blount moved back to London to work as a producer for Square Enix for almost 2 years.

In 2015, Blount moved on to Fireteam and was present in 2016 when both Fireteam and Splash Damage were acquired by Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited, a Chinese poultry company. He would serve as both VP Platform and VP Operations at Fireteam before moving on to Splash Damage, where he worked until January of this year.

I want to point out one passage from the article that leads me to believe the launch of the game is still a few years out.

The game was in pre-production before Blunt’s arrival, and his first impressions were good: “When I had the opportunity to meet the team, play the game, and I was blown away by what the team has been able to create.” So, at very least, we know that this early version of the game was strong enough to entice Blunt from his previous position at Splash Damage.

The author leaves the reader with the impression that the game is currently in production, but was still in pre-production a few months ago. Giving the game 3+ years of development would appear to fit well with the release of Pearl Abyss' other upcoming games. Crimson Desert is due to launch at the end of 2021. DokeV and Plan 8 are still due to release in 2022 & 2023 respectively. A 2024 launch would allow Pearl Abyss to launch a new game every year for at least the next 4 years.

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