In the latest episode of CCP’s divorce from virtual reality, the company has sold the Newcastle studio that developed EVE Valkyrie. Now CCP’s focus rests on EVE and on an upcoming, unknown MMORPG.

CCP Newcastle’s buyer is Sumo Digital, an independent British studio with roughly 300 employees. Sumo’s portfolio features fourteen years’ worth of racing, sports, shooters, and franchise tie-ins, including the unlucky Disney Infinity and the award-winning Forza Motorsport 7. Like most studios, Sumo has its share of hits and misses. It looks like Sumo is betting big on VR. Like Valkyrie, Sumo’s genres of choice dovetail well with VR technology. Unlike the anemic combat flight sim market, sports, shooting, and racing games have real traction.

In October, CCP announced they’d be collaborating with Sumo Digital on Project NOVA, a ‘spiritual successor’ to the ill-fated DUST 514 shooter. It remains to be seen whether the Newcastle purchase will affect the NOVA project.

CCP Newcastle isn’t just a location. When Sumo acquired the facility, they brought on most of its staff as well. A cohesive team of 34 CCP employees made the jump to Sumo. They’ll work under Owen O’Brien (a.k.a. CCP Digger), EVE Valkyrie’s Executive Producer.

O’Brien, incidentally, also produced the cult parkour game Mirror’s Edge – an experience that’ll serve him well if Sumo Digital stays true to form. Mirror’s Edge is a decade old, but it’s still my go-to method for tackling my fear of heights. I’m guessing the former CCP Newcastle will get the chance to build something equally immersive and driven by speed. Who knows? By the time their new game comes out, VR may even be affordable.

Jenne Exupery

Jenne Exupery is a low-wattage independent who dabbles in shipping, salvage, trade, exploration, and nearly victimless heists. He can usually be found bumming around Derelik and Domain under one name or another. Preferred contact method: in-game mail to Jenne Exupery of Manticore-Horizon Shipping [MANHO].


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