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Game Studio CCP Scales Back Virtual Reality Development ( 43

Developer CCP Games has significantly cut the time and money it is investing in virtual-reality based games. From a report: The Iceland-based studio is best known for sci-fi title Eve Online but has also created several VR-centred games. Spaceship dog-fighting simulator Eve Valkyrie helped launch the Oculus Rift headset and CCP also made the Sparc VR ball-tossing game for the PlayStation. CCP boss Hilmar Petursson said the company would re-invest in VR when market conditions improved. The move was a "blow to the viability of VR as a major gaming platform," said Adam Smith on the Rock, Paper Shotgun gaming news website, adding that Valkyrie was one of the few games that tempted him to try VR. The changes come just over a month after CCP overhauled Valkyrie in a bid to get more people playing it. CCP has cut its investment in VR as part of a broader restructuring effort. The structural changes mean more focus on PC and mobile games, it said in a statement. It is closing its Atlanta, US, office and selling off the development studio it maintains in Newcastle. The VR development work done at both locations will move to London.
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Game Studio CCP Scales Back Virtual Reality Development

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  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @01:25PM (#55464433)

    that REQUIRED the use of the Xbox controller. IIRC, the controller was needed to push a single button in the beginning of the game and then the players could use the touch controllers. I had to connect the controller to push that button to get past the introduction scene. Even then, the game was unplayable with the touch controller.

    So CCP, make a decent game that actually uses the touch controllers and you'll make money.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      I mean, if you look at their history they've made on notable game - Eve Online.... in 2003. Them stopping working on VR is the equivalent of your local high school cancelling its [insert sport] program being a major blow to [insert sport].
      • Like buying White Wolf wholesale, rather than just licensing rights to make a game. Then starting up that CCP Atlanta studio they ended up closing and burying.

        They've had like a half dozen projects that could have been gamechangers that they completed fucked up. What about Dust? If they had just not made it a PS3 exclusive they could still be selling subscriptions to it, and using it as a secondary facet to EVE Online today. Now that they have interior support fo the stations, adding interior support for th

        • What about Dust? If they had just not made it a PS3 exclusive they could still be selling subscriptions to it, and using it as a secondary facet to EVE Online today.

          It was PS3 exclusive because Sony was/is very open to PC-Playstation interaction. As you know, Dust players could actually communicate with PC players of EVE in game. While Sony may not be friendly to PS4/Xbox One cross play they are VERY open to PC/PS4 cross play.

          IIRC a CCP dev once mentioned going to Microsoft and they were interested in the shooter, but not interested in it connecting to Eve. They also didn't want the game to have the mouse/keyboard support it does. Microsoft has little intere

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This IS Clown Car Productions we're talking about, here. Competence is not their strongest point.

    • Sure to be sure, do you know whether "pushing a button" was just one of Microsoft's XBox platform requirements? I recall they had some inane requirement that a game couldn't load instantly - there was some minimum delay you had to implement before the game could become playable. Unfortunately I can't find a link to support that at the moment.
      • It was the "X" button. I know you may be thinking "But isn't there an 'X' button on the touch controllers." Sure, but it didn't work. Had to press the 'X" button on the XBox controller. It was stupid.

    • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

      I found it quite enjoyable on the PSVR using the ds4 controller. The options for flight sticks are multitudes higher than I'm currently prepared to pay.
      But I think the most fun was getting familiar with the the game, doing the tutorials, then trying out some real online games.
      After the first few hours of that tho, the gameplay lost it's initial buzz, there was no voice feed from team members and very little clue as to what the team was up to. This led to boredom eventually and strangely I find that, while

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @01:44PM (#55464617)

    I think the big issue is that VR is a lot like the Uncanny Valley, any nearly imperfection, no matter how small will annoy the user. For VR, there really isn't much room for good enough, it really has to be perfect. Also the problem with games we have had for a long time, with full movement games, it requires a space where our hands are free and are safe to move around. Thus forcing you to clean your room before you play video games. Which may sound good to parents however it would mean not playing that game.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Ehh.. Not for me..

      Sure, resolution doesn't go as far as it does on a monitor, so in some respects resolution steps back a decade or so.

      Also, currently at least the rift lenses are pretty bad for rays of light that really detract.

      However, the amazing sensation of being utterly surrounded by the environment, rather than looking at a relatively tiny window into the environment, it's incredible. It doesn't in any way feel somehow more eerie than the stuff on a monitor, the way a almost-real-but-not-quite 3d re

    • I disagree 100% VR is the future. There is no doubt. There are tons of imperfections in the game but as long as the game is fun, those don't matter. Robo Recall is a perfect example. It's not perfect, but it doesn't require the space of a room. Hell, I've been playing it sitting down lately. Still fun.

      Games are just starting to scratch the surface of what they can do. First it was just the 3D effect. Then they started to actually change the weapons. Upgraded to a laser/flashlight? Well attach tha

  • Bad move: VR may not currently have the adoption rate that folks like this were hoping for but anyone* who's tried it should be able to see that it's the future.

    *I didn't get nauseous until I hit a wall in a racing game and my brain expected sudden deceleration but there was none...

    • It's a lot of investment for little return today, and nobody's going to come back in the future to play old VR games. You're looking at an industry where last year's GOTY is some retro garbage nerds play, and we have new titles to deal with.

      The first to make a big hit on VR will be the loser. They'll be the company that makes it big, but not as big as the second big title, or the new one a year later when VR adoption ratchets up in response and the audience is bigger.

    • anyone* who's tried it should be able to see that it's the future.

      I read the same sentiment about 3D TV's back when they were a premium product and priced accordingly.
      Now my local retailers don't really even bother stocking them because it turned out that no-one wanted to pay the extra for 3D, so they had to sell them for the same price as a normal TV.
      Then it turned out that the people who did wind up with a 3D TV used the 3D feature twice then forgot about it.
      I can see VR being a nice niche feature for the few who want to pay extra for it, but for the mass market,

    • It didn't say they were eliminating their VR team entirely, just cutting down on the resources for the time being. When the VR market gets bigger and there is more money to be made they can resume developing their game or whatever. These guys are game developers, right? I don't think they are looking to pour huge amounts into R&D without having a product to ship... a market to sell it to.
  • I can see it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlueCoder ( 223005 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @02:18PM (#55464865)

    VR should be fringe right now no matter how much big business wants it to be a big thing so quickly. It needs to slow cook (rather than pressure cook) with developer time. VR games are different than what has come before. There is a difference between the way people want it to work and how it has to work. The killer app will eventually come which will be 4k/8k goggles. Problem is producing it when the majority of cell phones (where the scale of economy exists) will not see 8k screen phones. When we get 8k for VR that will open up business apps otherwise it's like 3D on a Nintendo64.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      My concern is that it becomes chicken and egg. The technology could crtainly be a tad better, but it's pretty damn effective. The problem right now is that there is a crucial lack of *quality* games. There have been a fair number of games, and some of them have been pretty techonologically and artisitically impressive, but generally they are no more than 'arcarde' deep, with emphasis on short playtimes and/or wonder of an environment but lack of story or gameplay to actually drive things beyond looking n

    • Re:I can see it (Score:4, Informative)

      by vix86 ( 592763 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @03:39PM (#55465461)

      Pimax: World's First 8k VR []

      It's been reviewed by a number of outlets already, so its not vaporware, though it has a few issues.

    • All successful platforms were *driven* by the killer app. The killer app existed before the platform was ready -- PC, networking, gaming consoles, smartphones, anything. The only thing VR delivers is a novel physical sensation, at a huge inconvenience, and sensations diminish with repetition.

      That said, I wish I were wrong on VR. If there's a successful platform for which the killer app came after, I'd like to know. No I don't think porn qualifies.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      +1 VR needs 8K. That will need the next gpu range. Prescription lens support.
  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2017 @03:32PM (#55465401) Journal

    ....let's be clear: CCP does EVE.

    Everything else it tries to do, it fucks up supremely.


    • One thing about CCP is that they've never been afraid to try something that other game companies haven't been willing to do, and unfortunately early innovation leads to failure more often than not. They've demonstrated the capability of doing good work on relatively innovative projects - even MMOs of that scale were not exactly common when Eve came out in 2003 - but of course they're going to fuck up sometimes. They're going to fuck up most of the time. That's the nature of innovation.

      The things that CCP
  • Size and bulkiness of headgear.
    Display resolution in the headset.
    Reading text is nigh impossible.
    Horsepower required to run it.
    Price of both headunit and PC hardware.
    Roomspace requirements.
    Motion sickness for some.
    Niche community thus, low user base.
    No AAA titles to push it.
    Platform exclusive titles.
    Prescription eyewear sucks with this.

    These are the ones off the top of my head.

    Some you can fix with better design, hardware and vendor collaboration, some ( like motion sickness ) probably not.

    Too much fighting

    • Roomspace requirements.

      This one is the big fail for me; until I can use my whole body as a controller, and move freely about the virtual space as I do reality, the technology will be a base novelty.

      That said, Arizona Sunshine is a pretty fun game, forced teleportation aside.

  • what this vr is only a fad that has quickly died off like it has every time sense the frigging 80s im so shocked kinda like 3d movies and tvs it quickly dies off again.

"Well I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy." -- Ellyn Mustard, about marriage