On May 14th 2013, CCP Games optimistically launched its first attempt to penetrate the console & shooter markets with DUST 514. The game had made huge waves in the media for its ambitious plan for realtime links to PC MMO EVE Online, with EVE and DUST players living in the same sandbox universe and fighting on separate fronts of the same ongoing wars of New Eden. The reality never quite lived up the the plan, unfortunately, with both games having minimal impact on each other and DUST 514 failing to attract the millions of console gamers CCP courted in pre-launch marketing.
While it attracted a small dedicated following and reportedly turned a profit, DUST 514 was essentially dead on its feet and CCP recently announced that it will be officially shut down in May this year. The game's only hope of salvation came in the form of a complete reboot on PC codenamed Project Legion that was announced at Fanfest 2014, but at last year's event we learned that Legion may have been relegated to development limbo. Today at EVE Fanfest 2016, players cheered as CCP announced that Legion is back with the new name Project Nova and a reinvented focus as a more traditional first person shooter.
Read on for information on Project Nova and some first-hand impressions from EVE Fanfest 2016.
Ask the average gamer what he knows about EVE Online
and after the word "boring" and a spreadsheet joke or two, he'll probably talk about stories of massive scams, colossal space wars and savage politics. Though EVE
is well known for its cut-throat in-game universe
, the shared struggles of players have created some very close-knit communities and enduring friendships over the years. Those online communities and friendships bleed into the real world for a few special days each year when the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik plays host to the annual EVE
Fanfest. In-game rivalries are set aside, mortal enemies buy each other beers, and everyone celebrates their shared love of internet spaceships.
Fanfest is an opportunity for CCP Games to interact directly with the game's most dedicated fans, and is usually packed full of reveals, roundtable discussions, and player-run talks. EVE Fanfest 2016 kicks off in just a few days on Thursday 21st April and runs until Saturday 23rd, and Massively OP will be on the ground again this year to get the latest information on EVE Online, Valkyrie, and even some brand-new projects. The event schedule has been released, and it looks like there are also some fantastic player talks, panels on recent and future changes, and feedback-gathering roundtables. As usual, there will also be plenty of opportunity for interviews and posing questions to CCP and players.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I dig into the EVE Fanfest 2016 schedule and see what there is to look forward to this year. If you have any questions you'd like to be posed to CCP or even other players, let me know in the comments!
CCP Games has just announced that it will be sunsetting its EVE-universe shooter DUST 514 on the PlayStation 3 platform on May 30th. The company is planning a brand-new shooter for the PC; it's currently "in an early phase of production" and is set in the same universe, but it's not Project Legion exactly. DUST players will receive recognition rewards in the new game.
"CCP’s development team in Shanghai has been working on a prototype for a first-person shooter for PC with the goal of building a great FPS set in our sci-fi universe of New Eden (the universe in which EVE Online, DUST 514, EVE: Valkyrie, and Gunjack are set). Their experience is being utilized to build a new game from scratch using Unreal Engine 4 while harnessing all our learnings from DUST 514. This is in many ways an evolution of Project Legion, the concept we announced at EVE Fanfest 2014, but without the limitations of technical debt and development paths we quickly discovered in that effort that could never serve as a future-proof technology base for a full production game. This new project is still in an early phase of production, and we feel like we’re on the right track and plan to give an update at EVE Fanfest on April 21st as a part of the free livestream of the event. Since this new game will be different from DUST 514 (although keeping many of its great parts), we will provide tiered recognition rewards to our loyal DUST customers, details to be announced."
Fans of CCP Games have a pretty solid idea of what's on the company's docket: EVE Online, EVE Valkyrie, and EVE Gunjack, and if the developers aren't too busy with other matters, they might even roll out an update to DUST 514. It's all straightforward enough. But a new job listing for a Senior Producer indicates that the company is working on something else.
What might this something else be? That's unclear. It could be a producer for the murmured "Project Legion" followup to DUST 514. It could be something entirely different. There's no obvious red flags in the listing, like expecting experience with mobile titles, but it is specifically listed as being a Senior Producer for a new project rather than an existing title. Whatever it turns out to be, there's something new in the works today, and the fans will just have to wait a little while longer to find out what that something may be.
News is circulating in the EVE Online blogs and forum that developer CCP Games has just bought back $20 million in publicly traded bonds. The bonds were sold to the public back in 2013 and required the company to publish detailed financial accounts each year for investors to see. Now that the bonds have been bought back, CCP no longer has to report its financials publicly. The move has led to widespread speculation on exactly where CCP got the funds to buy back its bonds, though it may have simply found cheaper finance elsewhere. Adding fuel to the speculation is the fact that CCP has also recently removed its trademark on EVE Legion.
Blog The Nosy Gamer has put together a fascinating rundown of how the bonds came to exist and some speculation on what this move means for CCP as a company. The debt seems to originate from the time of the 2011 Monoclegate scandal, when CCP was pressed for cash and an $11.8 million US loan was due for repayment. The company managed to secure a long-term loan with Silicon Valley Bank to cover the repayment, and from then on it owed $20 million to that bank. A total of $20 million in bonds were then created in July 2012 and listed publicly on the Icelandic NASDAQ exchange the following year. The Nosy Gamer speculates that CCP may have a large new investor, perhaps due in part to its impressive focus on VR at EVE Fanfest 2015.
When I started writing about EVE Online for Massively back in 2008, the MMO genre was really hitting its stride, and emerging sites like Massively were starting to attract quite a bit of traffic. I was a young Computer Science student and massive EVE fanatic with just a few magazine articles and an amateur blog under my belt, equal parts excited to expose my favourite game to a wider audience and apprehensive about screwing it up. I cautiously penned my first EVE Evolved piece on April 27th 2008, a critical think-piece that set the tone for much of the column's tenure. Now seven years and over 320 articles later, I'm very glad that EVE Evolved is still here to dish out a regular dose of insight into the often impenetrable world of EVE Online.
I think it's safe to say that this has been one of the most interesting years in the column's lifetime, especially with Massively shutting down back in February and the staff striking out on our own as independent MMO news site MassivelyOP. It's been an equally interesting year for the MMO genre, with indications of paid subscriptions dropping across the board and EVE Online showing its first year of non-consecutive growth. As EVE approaches its 12th birthday next week, it's worth looking back on some of the year's highlights. We've seen the impact of EVE switching from two major expansions per year to ten smaller releases, a ton of improvements for new players, the exciting resurgence of the 2009 Sleeper storyline, and there's the promise of a complete nullsec overhaul just around the corner.
In this anniversary edition of EVE Evolved, I look back at the past year of the EVE Evolved column and highlights from EVE's 12th year!
H1Z1 this week announced and then canceled plans to charge a monthly pass for its battle royale mode; it's still happening, Smed says, but not soon -- after all, the game's still in alpha. Daybreak also laid out its roadmap for the game's coming year. What else is new in the land of MMO testing?
Our complete list of MMOs in testing is below.
At last year's EVE Online Fanfest, developer CCP Games announced Project Legion, a complete reimagining of failed console MMOFPS DUST 514 for the PC. DUST launched on PS3 back in 2013 to a lacklustre reception, failing to meet the company's goals of drawing millions of console gamers into the universe of EVE Online. A potential relaunch on PC with revamped gameplay had some EVE players excited at last year's fanfest, but this year CCP has been oddly silent on the title.
Yesterday's keynote speech at EVE Fanfest 2015 mentioned Legion only in passing by CEO Hilmar, who said there was "nothing to report on it" but that devs are still "exploring in that area." Questions about Legion have been met with fairly universal silence throughout the event, and the message now is that development efforts are continuing on DUST 514. Jeremy Peel over at PC Games N spoke with CCP's Shanghai office managing director Jean-Charles Gaudechon today and managed to tease a little more information out of him on the current state of Legion and DUST 514.
It's the time of year again when EVE Online fans and developers from around the world make the annual pilgrimage to a frozen volcanic rock at the top of the world for the EVE Online Fanfest. Over 1200 people are in attendance at this year's event, and the key talks are all being streamed live in HD for free via Twitch TV. I'm also here on the floor at the event to bring you all the latest from the EVE universe and visit some of the talks and roundtables that won't be streamed.
The focus of EVE Fanfest 2015 will be squarely on players, with all the reveals and announcements packed into the EVE Keynote later today to give the most time possible for roundtable discussions and feedback sessions. CCP has promised less talk about visions for EVE's future and more on things it can promise to deliver, with "less hype and more substance." We'll see some shiny new graphics, results of the overhauled new player experience testing, and info on upcoming balance changes and the sovereignty revamp. We're also promised a ton of interesting stats on EVE and a big feature reveal that players should go crazy over.