CCP Games has been one of the strongest supporters of virtual reality, but it is taking its flagship VR property, Eve: Valkyrie, and making a version for broader audiences without Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR headsets on the PC and PlayStation 4.
Dubbed Eve: Valkyrie — Warzone, the new version will enable PC and PlayStation 4 gamers to play together, both in and out of VR, in a big space combat multiplayer arena. CCP Games has been a huge supporter of virtual reality, but sales for PC-based VR systems have been slower than expected. To make it through the VR desert to the riches on the other side, companies are coming up with creative strategies.
Playful, another VR startup headed by Paul Bettner, also pursued the same strategy. It published Lucky’s Tale as an exclusive on the Oculus Rift VR headset in 2016, and it is now in the process of remaking it as Super Lucky’s Tale, which will be a 2D game for the Xbox One.
It is also pushing further into VR games with the upcoming Sparc virtual sports game. Eve: Valkyrie — Warzone will sell for $30 to new players, while Eve: Valkyrie owners can get the expansion as a free download. CCP made the game at its Newcastle, England, studio. Warzone will be available on September 26.
In some ways, it’s a pretty smart re-use of assets created for VR games. The developers can show how they are innovative on the VR headsets, but they can also make money by making the 2D screen versions and selling the game to a much wider installed base of users on the 2D screen consoles and PC.
Iceland-based CCP raises $30 million in November 2015 as it made its big push into VR. Veigar Pétursson said the company realized early on that the VR market would take a long time to develop, and it figured out ways to take its early game, Eve: Valkyrie (launched in March 2016), to as many VR platforms as possible. But the company can take some of the pressure off by adapting the game to the larger 2D audience.
“Releasing Eve: Valkyrie for high-end VR headsets embodied the culmination of a decades-long dream for CCP,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, the CEO of CCP Games, in a statement. “We’ve had great success in establishing the title as one of the most popular multiplayer games in virtual reality and grown it over the last two years with genre-leading post-launch support, which has resulted in a thriving community. Now we’re starting the next step in Eve: Valkyrie’s journey by bringing this great game to an even wider audience – those who haven’t made the leap into VR yet – all while we continue to experiment with additional unannounced VR projects in development.”
“If you can play first-person shooters, you can pilot one of Eve: Valkyrie — Warzone’s amazing ships,” said Andrew Willans, lead game designer at CCP’s Newcastle Studio. “Not having access to VR hardware will no longer hold gamers back from diving weapons-first into intense and highly competitive space combat with friends. We look forward to seeing the already intense competition between Valkyrie pilots going up a notch, as more players from around the world can join existing pilots for space-dogfighting battles.”
Eve: Valkyrie — Warzone introduces a new fleet of ships and weapons. Also new is the Extraction game mode that puts capture-the-flag in outer space for an exhilarating gameplay experience. The Warzone expansion also features two new maps, “Fleet” and “Outpost,” as well as new Wormholes that introduce a fresh challenge each week.
Stephanie Llamas, analyst at SuperData Research, said in an email, “Oculus co-published the former platform-exclusive, but now CCP has the freedom to expand its accessible audience– and revenue potential– far beyond the limited VR market. Plus, it allows VR players to get the most out of the game by finding more people to play with. It’s a win-win for everyone.”