CCP Games shuts down VR development, lays off nearly 100 employees

CCP Games, best known as the creators of EVE Online, have announced today that it will be laying off nearly 100 employees as it winds down development on VR games and closes two offices in Newcastle, UK and Atlanta, USA to focus more on PC and mobile games.

First reported by Icelandic news outlet MBL and later confirmed in a press release, the global restructuring includes approximately 100 layoffs worldwide as the company reduces its five offices down to three. The two studios are CCP Newcastle, known for EVE: Valkyrie, and CCP Atlanta, which handles the company's other VR pursuits.

"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 in a press release. "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 was, until now, one of the biggest names in the VR industry. The studio has spent recent years developing VR games like EVE: Valkyrie, Gunjack, and Sparc, the latter of which only launched back in September. But the recent closure of a flagship VR dev does imply that, at least for right now, VR games aren't a great investment.

Fortunately EVE Online won't be hurt by this restructuring—in fact, it stands to benefit from it. EVE's community manager, Paul "CCP Falcon" Elsy, took to the official forums to make that clear. "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," he wrote.

To be fair, dropping VR development doesn't seem all that surprising. EVE: Valkyrie released a major update last month that dropped the requirement of a VR headset, but right now only has 10 people playing on Steam (keeping in mind it's also available on the Oculus Store and through Playstation VR).

The emphasis on mobile isn't all that surprising, either. At EVE Vegas, where the developer spent much of its time talking about EVE Online's latest expansion, they also announced a new mobile game set in the EVE Online universe.

The other slice of good news is that this restructuring won't affect Project Nova, the FPS that Pétursson said was "still in development" despite not sharing anymore details after an early round of open testing at EVE Fanfest in Iceland last year. Over on the EVE Online subreddit, developer CCP_Badcop confirmed that was still the case.