EVE Online's spin-off FPS coming in 2018

Above: One of the few, early images of Project Nova.

Project Nova, the EVE Online spin-off FPS (a kind of spiritual successor to Playstation 3 exclusive Dust 514) was announced back in 2016 before disappearing behind the veil of development. With CCP laying off 100 people last year as it terminated VR development, the future of Project Nova seemed suspect. But during the opening ceremony of Fanfest 2018 in Iceland, CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson announced that Project Nova is not only still in active development, it will be unveiled and "playable" in some form on PC later in 2018. 

Most interestingly, Pétursson noted that instead of attempting to integrate Project Nova into the EVE Online universe from launch, the team are treating the spin-off as a standalone project at first. This is to focus on core elements to make the game feel good as a shooter before figuring out exactly how to link the two games together.

This is interesting because the initial appeal of Project Nova, and by extension its predecessor Dust 514, was that events in one game could impact events in the other. In Dust 514, for example, players were a kind of mercenary force that would fight land battles as directed by their EVE Online-playing overlords. The two games even had shared chat rooms. Project Nova won't feature this same functionality at first, but will slowly plug into EVE Online "first socially, then economically," Pétursson said.

"It's still the dream, and it's still our vision," he added. "And we want to build that with you, but we want to build that on a foundation where the game stands on its own and then we'll find a way to connect these experiences together."

Since its 2016 announcement, Project Nova has mostly stayed behind closed doors. Steven went hands on a few years ago, but the most recent coverage was little more than reassurances that it was DEFINITELY still alive. How Project Nova has changed since then isn't clear. Today's update revealed that CCP will be releasing Nova on PC "when it is ready and in the right way."

CCP isn't committing to a specific launch date but Pétursson did note that players should expect to see the game in months rather than years, so later in 2018. There's also the (unsurprising) likelihood that Project Nova will be first be made available as a beta or Early Access game. "We're going to be building this with the community," Pétursson said.

"One Universe, One War is still the dream," Pétursson reassured, but Nova needs to stand on its own first.

There's a signup sheet on Project Nova's official website if you fancy keeping tabs on developments. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.