Daily Archives: August 5, 2022

CCP Pulls the Plug on VR as EVE Valkyrie, EVE Gunjack, and Sparc Go Dark Today

The time has come.  As CCP announced last month, it’s small collection of VR titles, EVE Valkyrie, EVE Gunjack, and Sparc are all at the end of their life today.

A little over six years ago… which both seems like not that far back and forever ago at the same time… CCP bet on VR as a growing concern with their EVE Valkyrie online space sim shooter.  It was a launch title with the Oculus Rift, which meant anybody who bought the hardware got the game as well.

That seemed like a solid plan to get the game and the company situated to benefit from the coming VR boom.  VR was going to be everywhere and analysts had the projection charts to prove it.

A lot of things conspired to turn that future into a pipe dream.  I’ve been over the litany of VR headset sins, from cost to motion sickness.

But EVE Valkyrie was not blameless in its own demise.  It was a solid, good looking game that demoed VR quite well.  I played it at EVE Vegas and it was quite impressive, being in the cockpit of your ship, turning your head to track enemies, looking down to see your hands on the controls, all as you zoomed through scenes of New Eden that are a large part of the attraction of its parent game, EVE Online.

However, it was not exactly a deep game.  The game play was good when fresh, but repetition worked to make it go stale after not too long.  CCP did a bit to try and freshen the game with a few updates, but the user base just wasn’t there.

The last throw of the dice had them porting it to a non-VR version with the Warzone expansion in hopes of getting some sort of critical mass.  However, it wasn’t to be.

I bought a copy at that point and, looking at Steam, I have a little over five hours of play time, which was about all it took for the title to wear out on me.

Valkyrie Warzone

I am actually surprise I lasted that long.  What made it cool was the VR.  On a flat screen it was a somewhat tepid 3D dog fighter without much depth.  I have almost a hundred hours into War Thunder, so I can find fun in a flight sim even if I am bad at it.  But there has to be something there.

Throwing a lot of familiar hulls on screen to make it feel like EVE

I went back to try it one last time this past week… and that was where I was surprised I had even put five hours into the title.

A more recent screen shot of the same old thing

So eventually CCP decided it wasn’t worth keeping around, posting a farewell message to those still playing.

‘See you in the next life’
Thank you for being a part of EVE: Valkyrie

Intrepid pilots

All good things come to an end, even to the immortal Valkyries. Today, we have begun the process of discontinuing support for EVE: Valkyrie to focus CCP Games’ efforts and resources on new developments in our evolving portfolio of EVE Universe titles.

We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished with EVE: Valkyrie and its Warzone expansion and want to extend our deep appreciation to all our players for their support throughout the game’s lifecycle. It is an honor to have been a part of such a dedicated community.

For the time being, you won’t see any effect if you own a copy of the game. The game will continue to be playable with our servers remaining active until Fri 5 August 2022.

On Fri 5 August 2022, EVE: Valkyrie’s servers will be turned off, social media profiles will be closed, and this website will go offline. Once servers are deactivated, customer support for EVE: Valkyrie will no longer be provided.

Thank you for being a part of EVE: Valkyrie. We look forward to the next chapter in the EVE Universe and hope you’ll be a part of it and continue the journey with us.

As a server based game with match making, it was likely that it would eventually shut down.

The same goes for Sparc, CCP’s VR sports game.  I played that at EVE Vegas as well and it was fine, in a TRON meets Pong sort of way.

Sparc shield up and ready

You and another player smacking a virtual ball at each other with throws and shields.  Not bad, but once again, not much depth either.

And then there was EVE Gunjack, which was a single player VR rail shooter.  That too is getting shut down today.

That brought up the question as to why shut down a single player title?  There aren’t any servers to maintain. (Actually, there were, but that is another story.)

But servers aren’t all there are to maintaining a title.  There are a number of things that come to mind as to why CCP might want to just turn them all off and be done with them.  The most likely is the need to provide updates.

All of these titles need to run in VR environments, which are effectively consoles.  To stay up and active CCP would no doubt need to keep providing security and system updates to stay in online and active in the Oculus or Sony VR environments.

They probably hit the point where they were not longer contractually obligated to keep the titles active… I’d bet on that being part of the deal to be a launch title… so felt it was time to pull the plug.

VR as spectator sport – just like Meta, legless torsos playing games

So it goes.  Another bad bet by CCP has run its course.