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As I logged in Sunday night and put up my fleet advert and welcomed old faces and new faces into a small roam around the warzone, I was struck by how even though I had been afk for the month of December, everything still felt familiar in my low sec hunting grounds.

Cal Mil fleets and gangs occasionally sighted; pirate gangs here and there; solo pilots either chased off or foolish enough to try and engage; and so on. We hit up the usual spots, got the usual fights and kills, and moved back home.

Its all so routine.

Although EVE itself has gone through a lot of changes in the past year with Citadels, Engineering Complexes, and most recently Refinery structures changing the landscape of space, and especially refineries changing the way moons are owned and fought over, the gameplay in low sec and faction warfare has overall stagnated. It stagnated so much that Gal Mil as an alliance took over sov in Cloud Ring as a lark and an exercise and still hold it.

This is part of the issue with my malaise in blogging recently: despite EVE development plugging along with The Agency, structures, and lots of PvE content, none of it directly affects my PvP gameplay in Black Rise and Essence. No new ships or tactics have emerged in the past year, and faction warfare mechanics have been left on the shelf in a box marked “good enough” in CCP’s headquarters.

Despite my lack of blogging output, I’m still playing and enjoying the game, just my enthusiasm has decreased. I want to know the next big thing that will impact me, I want CCP to dust off FW plex mechanics, I want a serious go around on structures in low sec. And I want to know about the promised player owned stargates and “new space”.

Come on CCP, give me something to blog for.

Yesterday some terrible news was delivered:

EVE Valkyrie creator CCP is pulling out of VR with major layoffs
CCP Games is closing two studios and moving away from virtual reality, one of its main focal points for the last few years. The Iceland-based company will close its branch in Atlanta and sell the one in Newcastle as part of a round of layoffs, leaving the studios in London, Reykjavík, and Shanghai. The Iceland Monitor reports that today’s cuts will affect around 100 employees worldwide; CCP says that it’s providing relocation opportunities or severance packages to anyone who’s affected.
CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson calls the changes “tough, but important.” CCP will continue to run its flagship title EVE Online with no changes, and it is continuing with two previously announced projects: a multiplayer PC shooter called Project Nova and a free-to-play mobile game called Project Aurora, which is being developed by external studio PlayRaven. It will also maintain support for its existing VR titles, including the sci-fi sports game Sparc and EVE Valkyrie, which was recently updated to a VR-optional title called EVE Valkyrie – Warzone.

First of all, my heart goes out to the employees whose lives just got shattered by being let go. I’ve been laid off before and it was terrible. I hope all those affected find new jobs quickly.

Secondly, I feel that this move indicates a retrenching of the company and despite their assurances that EVE Online itself will suffer no changes, I can’t help but feel that is not true. Both CCP Manifest and CCP Logibro were affected by the layoffs and both were instrumental to supporting the EVE community and well liked.

CCP Falcon posted this on the forums:

Hey guys,
Just a quick follow up to this, given that there are questions about EVE, and the future.
Obviously this is a really difficult day for CCP, and it’s been super tough to see a lot of our friends and colleagues end their journey with CCP.
With regards to EVE, it’s kind of bittersweet that this puts us in a more solid position going forward, as a lot more focus is back on EVE Online, its services and all the technology and support around it.
The EVE Online development team was not impacted at all by these changes, and remains the same size, working toward the same goals and features that have already been announced.
We still have very big plans for EVE Online, and everything we’ve announced, plus more, is still going ahead, so there shouldn’t be any concerns from our pilots in that respect.
There’ll be more information about other projects, studios and suchlike in the coming days, and there’s also communication going out soon to the Valkyrie community too that has further information.

This does not make me feel better to be honest. Even if the development team itself was not impacted directly, there will be follow on indirect impacts as the work the laid off employees had gets farmed out to remaining employees, or dropped altogether. Will alliance tournaments be affected? Live events? Council of Stellar Management? Fan site and events support? All of these are considered non-development activities but how many of them will continue going forward? And by whom?

In the end, I feel this move is not only an abandonment of VR technologies, but an acknowledgement that EVE Online’s heyday is truly over. The hordes of Alpha players to power EVE into a new stratosphere of concurrency numbers did not appear like the Host of Rohan at the battle of Minas Tirith. We are definitely in the Sunset Period of EVE Online.

My own pic, actually a sunrise.

Is EVE dying? No, I wouldn’t go that far. But its not thriving anymore.

– Kirith Kodachi

We are proud to bring you the stories, opinions and musings of a long time pilot who has dabbled in everything New Eden has to offer, he writes and podcasts about his opinions and adventures at Ninveah.

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