CCP Games, the Icelandic studio behind EVE Online, has canceled production of what was supposed to be their newest MMO, World of Darkness. Based on White Wolf Publishing’s pen and paper RPG Vampire: The Masquerade, World of Darkness had been in development since 2009 , but as of today the project has been shut down, and 56 members of CCP’s Atlanta studio have been laid off as a result.
A statement from CCP’s CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson reads:
The decision to end the World of Darkness MMO project is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. I have always loved and valued the idea of a sandbox experience set in that universe, and over the years I’ve watched the team passionately strive to make that possible.
I would like to give special thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the World of Darkness MMO a reality, especially the team members affected by this decision. Their considerable contribution to CCP will not be forgotten, and we wish them well.
To our current and former employees and fans of World of Darkness, I am truly sorry that we could not deliver the experience that we aspired to make. We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short. One day I hope we will make it up to you.
Although this was a tough decision that affects our friends and family, uniting the company behind the EVE Universe will put us in a stronger position moving forward, and we are more committed than ever to solidify EVE as the biggest gaming universe in the world.
In spite of the bad news, the 56 employees who have lost their jobs have either found new positions within CCP or are being transitioned out via severance packages and job placement assistance. The remaining team members at CCP’s Atlanta studio will now be working on EVE Online, which also has two spin-offs: Free-to-play FPS Dust 514, and the upcoming dogfighting space sim Eve Valkyrie.
World of Darkness was announced way back in 2006 when White Wolf Publishing and CCP Games merged, with the former planning to adapt EVE Online into an RPG and the latter announcing the now-canceled MMORPG.
The game was initially designed to emphasize political maneuvering and social wit in the vampire-ridden sandbox world much like Day Z and Rust. However, CCP later admitted it had stretched itself too thin by committing to far too many projects, World of Darkness being one of them, and as a result wound up making several missteps with EVE Online.
Layoffs at the Atlanta-based studio began, and since production began in 2009, very little of the game was revealed.
Before they canceled the project, CCP had 70 developers working on World of Darkness.