CCP fire EVE community team (and WoD devs) to focus on … EVE

In classic ‘just before Xmas’ firings, CCP announced today that they had laid off 20% of their development team and put World of Darkness Online onto the back burner in order to focus on EVE. Makes sense if they have cashflow issues since EVE is the game which is currently bringing in money.

But players are intrigued to find that the 20% laid off includes members of the EVE community team who are popular with the playerbase. That’s an odd way to focus on EVE and its community …

Sympathy and best wishes to anyone who was laid off. But CCP is acting like a chicken with the head cut off at the moment. I’ve never known laying off 20% of the workforce to be a good sign for any company, and I’m sad (although not surprised) to hear about WoD which potentially could have brought in a whole new swathe of players and allowed CCP to show off their sandbox strengths to a new audience.

If they are able to focus on EVE and give the EVE players what they want then good luck to them. But firing community team from an active game with a lively community (to say the least) says that they don’t really understand the genre they are working with to me.

So, is CCP set to announce a Vampire MMO next week?

It must be at least a year since I last guesstimated that CCP/ White Wolf were about to loose the blinds from their long awaited Word of Darkness MMO. And I was wrong last time.

But maybe this year will be different. White Wolf are holding a Grand Masquerade WoD Convention next week and the rumours are already flying about a big announcement that is on the cards.

In particular, one of the panels on the schedule for Saturday 25th Sept is on “Tell the World of Darkness Development team what you want to see in the MMO.” A sign of things to come, or just a tease from a gaming company who know that their fans have an interest in the genre?

It does now have me thinking about what I personally would want to see in a WoD MMO.

  • Vampire-centric. The WoD gets muddled as you add more supernaturals and there are balance issues, those work better as mysterious NPCs.
  • Big emphasis on politics, alliances, turf wars, and gathering influence and information.
  • Real world setting. A big city to explore.
  • PvP as economic and influence struggle as well as face to face combat.
  • Be able to make a vampire that perches on rooftops, as per Underworld or Christopher Walken in Prophecy.
  • Lots of blood. And dressing up.

In any case, a company that is asking fans about what they want to see doesn’t sound like one that is ready to release a game any time soon. I’d say 2012 at the earliest for this one. And it will be nice for fans of modern urban fantasy to have a few options on the table, between WoD and The Secret World.

Are you looking forwards to the World of Darkness MMO, and what would you want to see in it?