It’s been one year since CCP Games released EVE: Valkyrie and the Icelandic developer hasn’t slowed down its support for the platform. Since beginning its development back in 2012, CCP Games has targeted Valkyrie as being one of the premier VR experiences for users, regardless of headset.
Having been built from the ground up, Valkyrie stands out among VR games as a catalyst for the technology slowly becoming more and more mainstream. The project was originally announced at CCP’s FanFest convention in Reykjavik and worked on during the developer’s personal time, and it quickly picked up steam and was presented to industry and media at E3 2013. Valkyrie has set the stage, giving VR a more mainstream appeal, rather than just glorified tech demos showing what’s possible. Valkyrie takes what’s possible and improves on it in every way.
Fans and players seem to agree: according to Leif Johnson of Glixel, CCP reports some staggering internal stats for its players. “Valkyrie has an average session length of 60 minutes, which is very favorable in comparison to other multiplayer games, like Battlefield, which is 90 minutes,” CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson told Johnson at Glixel. This is staggering, considering most people, myself included, experience some intense nausea and sickness after only 10-15 minutes with the headset.
This is encouraging to CCP, and it helps to strengthen their resolve when looking at VR as viable moving beyond even just EVE: Valkyrie. Virtual Reality in gaming is just scratching the surface, but with costs of the units themselves, plus the hardware on top of it, it’ll take time to really build up the attachment rate many companies would want to see before truly investing their resources into a game like Valkyrie. However, CCP doesn’t seem daunted.
“We remain bullish about the future potential of VR and its long-term appeal. VR is, fundamentally, a brand new medium and we’re still in the early stages of its life,” CCP’s Senior Communications Lead for VR Games George Kelion told me over email. ” We are highly intrigued to release quickly and make a positive impression with early adopters of the tech, as well as learn how to build super-compelling VR games, so that we’re in a good position to capitalize if and when the tech does go mainstream.”
EVE Valkyrie is CCP Games’ first real foray into VR, but it’s not its only plans for the medium. Gunjack, while also on PSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus, is also built from the ground up for Samsung VR, making it one of the more impressive mobile VR experiences to date. Sparc, the company’s first non-EVE game, looks to bring standing sport to virtual reality users in what Eurogamer calls a “full body game of Pong.”
“We have tried to be smart about our investment in VR, which has been about $30 million over the last 4 or so years and resulted in us releasing products on all the major high-end VR platforms,” Kelion says.
It’ll take a while for VR to become as mainstream as the more “traditional” games we’re used to. However, CCP is positioning itself at the fore, making sure that it addresses VR now and in the future. Valkyrie is a start, but the company has plans to make what it calls the “killer app” for the platform.
“Our goal has been to develop the ‘killer app’ for the three current modes of enjoying VR – with Gunjack for mobile VR, with EVE: Valkyrie for seated VR and with Sparc for standing VR. We’re poised to break even on our initial internal investment, so we now have the confidence and momentum to look even further into the future”
[Featured Image by CCP Games]