CCP and the Transition of Project Nova

One of the news items that popped up while I was away for the last week… the last few posts were written in advance… was about CCP and Project Nova.  I saw multiple headlines saying it has been cancelled but, as with everything around this project, it just isn’t that simple.

Project Nova, the FPS game that CCP has seen as something of a successor to the late DUST 514, has been kicking around as an idea or concept or plan for quite a while now.  We even had a blog banter topic back in May of 2016 about Project Nova, which pre-dated the actual end of DUST 514. It isn’t a new thing.

It was even said to be “closer that we think” back at Fanfest in 2018 and we were shown demos and allowed to sign up for alpha at EVE Vegas later that year.

And then about a week later it was announced that the whole thing had been postponed.  Nothing like building something up at a convention only to pull the rug out immediately afterwards.  Of course, that was just after the Pearl Abyss acquisition closed and things were going to change.

Since then there has not been a lot of news about Project Nova.  What there has been is a series of job postings for a CCP project in the UK.  Then, in the Pearl Abyss earnings call it was apparently mentioned that Project Nova had been cancelled, so the headlines were based on that.

But we got the following announcement over on Reddit to clarify the situation.

We’re continuing to develop our sci-fi multiplayer shooter game concept, actively evolving it beyond the original scope for what was formerly codenamed Project Nova. Development efforts on this concept are now the full focus of CCP’s London studio. Project Nova team members based in Iceland have been moved onto other projects at our Reykjavík studio.

This decision was taken because Project Nova’s gameplay experience as presented at EVE Vegas ’18 would not have achieved our ambitious goals for this concept. Moreover, it is very common for games in active development to evolve over time, often substantially. We remain committed to offering a rock-solid, action-oriented gameplay experience with stellar visuals, but due to significant changes in the scope and direction of our sci-fi multiplayer shooter game concept, it also made sense to update how we refer to this project internally. So, we are no longer using the codename Project Nova for this game concept.

Furthermore, we are moving away from publicly announcing our internal project codenames and will wait until we’re ready for a full reveal. We want to show you rather than tell you how we have evolved this concept and we’re looking forward to doing so when the time comes to present this concept as a fully-fledged game.

So there is still an FPS under development at CCP.  The development is now being done in the UK at CCP’s London studio.  It isn’t clear if integration with EVE Online is still a goal of the project.  And, finally, the whole thing is no longer called Project Nova, but they are not going to tell us what the new code name is for it so we’re all going to either refer to it still as Project Nova, or possibly The Project formerly known as Project Nova.  I am not sure either is exactly an improvement.

However, it is probably a good thing for them to stop telling us about things that aren’t anywhere close to done as they can’t seem to keep themselves from giving estimated ship dates that are nowhere close to reality.

Anyway, “cancelled” didn’t really seem like the right word.  They didn’t say they were throwing away all the work and starting again from scratch.  But it makes for a catchy headline.  And, as with Titan over at Blizzard, we may not end up getting something that lines up with past visions of the project, but which may still contains elements of earlier plans.  We shall see.

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3 thoughts on “CCP and the Transition of Project Nova

  1. Nosy Gamer

    I think the thing that bugs me the most about this story isn’t that CCP shut Project Nova down. It’s all the reporting that Pearl Abyss made the announcement on the PA earnings call. Irrational I know, but if I can listen to the call (twice, including live), then the people getting paid to write for a living should do the same.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Nosy – There were certainly a range of headlines about this. I haven’t seen a supporting quote from the conference call that used the word “cancelled,” so I imagine it just makes for a better headline. You can make the case that the name has been cancelled I suppose, so “Project Nova” has been cancelled, if you want to be pedantic.

    I chose a variety of stories with different headlines to link to at the bottom of the post. Several say “cancelled,” one says “not cancelled,” while my favorite is Gamasutra which ran with a headline focused on the fact that CCP was going to stop going public with projects as early on.

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  3. TurAmarth

    “…CCP was going to stop going public with projects as early on.” that is the telling quote.

    I appreciate the leangths both you and Nosy go to in order to boil this stuff down for us. But what I look for most, what I want, are quotes like the above. Yes, “Project Nova” as a project name is cancelled… but it has been made clear that CCP is continuing and WILL continue to develop a First Person Shooter to “somehow” be related to or, more desired, actually involved in EVE at some level.

    I for one am damn happy they are finally shutting up about stuff they don’t have ready for us. I have always felt they talked “too much” to us. Yes I love that they are invested and involved with the playerbase, That is all good but there is a point where “as a company” you just keep yo mouf shut about things what jus aint ready. Walking in Stations might have been a smash hit and opened a whole new style of gameplay in EVE IF they had CONTENT ready instead of “we’re working on this idea, here is how it might look”.

    If when Incarna dropped you could have left your room, wandered around the station a bit, had a few things to interact with, maybe go to an Agent’s Office and pickup a mission, maybe go to but a ship from a seller’s office… maybe buy a drink, some clothing… or a gun… =]
    OR walk out and select and board a ship… then (in Standard EVE play) fly to a mission objective and Dock and BOARD a Sleeper Station and fight in FPS to get the loot…

    THAT would have been (and if they just MAKE it and keep dey moufs shut while dey do) it still COULD work and it might, just might, be GLORIOUS! Yes I still dream…

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