Is the VR trend beginning to fade?
CCP Games, the developer behind popular MMO EVE Online, has recently announced via press release that it will be shutting down its VR games division, laying off nearly 100 people in the process.
The layoffs are happening specifically at the company’s offices located in Newcastle, UK and Atlanta, USA. CCP Games will be forgoing VR completely in favor of focusing more heavily on PC and mobile game development.
“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 the 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.”
Though the company hasn’t given up completely on the market, this does give some indication as to where studios feel the trend will start to go in the near future. It’s especially concerning given how prominent EVE: Valkyrie was in the scene early on when it debuted on the Oculus Rift in March of 2016. Despite the game being among the titles available when the PlayStation VR went on sale too, it seems like Valkyrie failed to return a significant return on investment.
It remains to be seen what the future of VR is at this point. Sony seems confident it will last given the device’s presence at the company’s Paris Games Week media showcase yesterday, though it’s unknown whether competitors feel the same way.