Over a year ago, CCP announced it was stopping work on virtual reality (VR) titles, shocking many in the VR and videogame sectors. CCP Chief Executive Officer Hilmar Veigar Pétursson has now revealed some of the reasoning behind the decision.
CCP had some of the earliest successes in VR, with EVE: Valkyrie spinning off from the hugely popular MMO EVE: Online and receiving critical praise as well as a loyal fanbase in its own right. However, last October CCP announced it was closing its Atlanta studio and selling off the Newcastle studio that produced EVE: Valkyrie.
Speaking with Destructoid, Pétursson said that the main reason for the decision was that the user base for VR had not attained the size they studio had hoped for, making it difficult to justify further investment in the sector.
“We expected VR to be two to three times as big as it was, period,” Pétursson said. “You can’t build a business on that.” Pétursson went on to explain that the decisions regarding this began to be made around May 2017, less than six months before the studios were closed and sold.
“Was it a surprise? Maybe,” he said. “But the picture was filling in that there would not be a way to continue with VR as heavily as we were.” Pétursson said there were no regrets about working on VR, and suggested that he had positive expectations for the Oculus Quest headset and what effect that might have on the wider VR market.
“If it does take off – and I mean if – we’ll reassess,” he said. “The important thing is we need to see the metrics for active users of VR. A lot of people bought headsets just to try it out. How many of those people are active? We found that in terms of our data, a lot of users weren’t.”
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