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World of Darkness Goes Dark April 14, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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CCP Games today announced that they have cancelled the World of Darkness massively multiplayer online (MMO) game project in development in their Atlanta, GA studio.

As a result of the change, 56 employees of the Atlanta studio have lost their jobs.  Some team members have been offered roles on other projects inside the company, and CCP has provided severance packages and job placement assistance for those affected.

The remaining team in Atlanta will focus on games in the EVE Universe, which will mark the first time since 2006 that the entirety of CCP will be working on a single universe.

-CCP Press Release

Well, that about wraps that up I guess.  This is the third and final cut, the World of Darkness team having faced layoffs back in 2011 and then again last year.

World of Darkness

World of Darkness

CCP bought White Wolf, the creators of World of Darkness, back in 2006, and had been working on an MMO version of the IP seriously starting in 2009.  Since then though, little has surfaced about the project aside from bad new.

I suppose this answers the question from earlier this year about what software was “derecognized” as an asset by CCP as part of their 2013 financial report.

CCP is solely focused on EVE Online and spin-offs such as DUST 514 and EVE Valkyrie.  We won’t get to see what CCP could do in the realm of fantasy now.

In the gaming world Zombies continue to rule, while vampire fortunes seem to be in a downward spiral.  I blame Stephenie Meyer.

Addendum: But CCP is still thinking about what to do with World of Darkness.

Comments»

1. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - April 14, 2014

That’s really unfortunate. As a tabletop gamer, particularly a fan of the World of Darkness games, I was hoping this would be the “missing link” that would demonstrate a bridge between tabletop RPGs and MMORPGs. I wanted to see something redefine MMOs as a genre.

I suspect a big problem was just trying to get a handle on it all. The fans would be rabid, so you had to treat the lore properly. There’d need to be interesting interactions, insane combat, and user created content given its roots. It’s not like you could just slap together a game and throw the name on it without some serious problems.

I always thought the CCP acquisition of White Wolf was a bit strange. I guess it was fated not to go so well. :/

I wish the people affected the best. I know from personal experience that MMO job searches are pretty rough.

2. bhagpuss - April 14, 2014

How many other major MMO development houses have 100% of their games tied to a single IP? While there’s plenty to be said for understanding your core and staying focused, there’s also that thing about having all your eggs in one basket…particularly when something as big and brash as Star Citizen is stomping around right outside your henhouse.

3. Wilhelm Arcturus - April 14, 2014

This is not an uncommon situation for acquisitions, especially here in Silicon Valley. Companies seen the upside, the potential additive advantages, and use words like “synergy” a lot. But actually getting two different companies/cultures to work together well… or even getting the dominant partner out of their standard mindset so they can accept change… can be an insurmountable problem.

A lot of good companies/products have disappeared in such mergers… and many, many more bad ones.

And then there is the business consultant aspect of things. If you are only focused on your core business, you need to diversify. If you are diversified, then you need to consolidate and focus on your core business. So here we have the consolidation. If things go well, expect them to try and diversify again in a few years.

Of course, this being CCP, there has to be some controversy. People are annoyed that CCP_Falcon said rumors of such a turn of events had no basis in fact just last Friday.

4. anom - April 14, 2014

Look guys dust isn’t a failure, thats not why we had to make all these cuts, its not dust it was all WoD. Typical ccp

5. Brian 'Psychochild' Green - April 14, 2014

Wilhelm: It seems most of the White Wolf tabletop devs have left CCP. They’re publishing books under the Onyx Path company. So, it looks like merger failed. I assumed they’d at least get a good MMO out of the IP, but even that’s not happening.

As you said, maybe in a few years.

6. Wilhelm Arcturus - April 15, 2014

@Brian – I know the name of that tune. The group I work with now is mostly made up of people I worked with at another company that got acquired, messed up, acquired again, messed up further, and so forth.

Yeah, it is a good IP, people know it, and a company with the right touch could do something good with it. Time will tell. Maybe we’ll get a jump in tech or a Diku MUD-like platform for 3D worlds that will lower the barrier to entry and let a thousand ideas bloom at last… or something.

7. Silverangel - April 15, 2014

This is depressing. On the other hand, now that they have clearly expressed their real level of commitment to the IP and the vampire genre, I’m glad they aren’t making it. Maybe next time.

8. Kevin Brill (@kevinbrill) - April 15, 2014

I live about a mile from where they (now) used to be located. For posterity’s sake, here’s a recent post from a local blog about the studio. Sad to see them go. Where they were located is an awesome area.

http://www.decaturish.com/2014/03/game-decatur-companys-world/


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