Why EVE Online's developer and Oculus are publishing a game together

Developer CCP and Oculus both comment on what makes working together on this Oculus-exclusive project make more sense than going it alone.

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EVE Online publisher CCP announced that they'll be partnering with the developers of the upcoming virtual reality headset Oculus to co-publish their next game in the EVE universe: Valkyrie. This will lock-in the first-person space battle simulation as an Oculus exclusive, which is great news for the HMD developer but a potentially risky move for CCP.

If launching a game exclusive to a new home console like the Xbox One or PS4 can limit its audience, making it exclusive for an unreleased piece of PC tech makes that risk even greater. But in an interview with GameSpot, CEO of CCP Hilmar Veigar Petursson gave us this response: "Why overthink it? I just think, 'It's cool. it's awesome. Let's do it.' It's not really a gigantic investment for us. I mean it's right up our alley." Referring back to his talk at the D.I.C.E. summit titled "The Human Brain is the Platform" where he said that gaming can be more meaningful than real life in some ways, Hilmar said, "We'd be speaking out of our asses if we didn't follow through on it."

"They have the platform, so it's a logical thing to do it with them. And we didn't initially self-publish EVE Online, so it's not something that we're stuck on." Hlimar said, "And when I imagine the Oculus Rift store, you click on the game, you get it; what is publishing in that world? Once our customers get in the game, that's really when our relationship really starts. So the question of how they get in the game, that's not really something we think as much about.

"We love Oculus; they love Valkyrie; this is awesome; and we're doing it."

"For me, I've been a part of this system where you put a game out on the Internet and have people just show up; it's just been about giving them the experience they really want. That mentality of 'shipping' a game versus 'launching' a game is strange. When you think about it differently, 'shipping' is like putting a box on a ship, and then it goes away and you don't care about it. 'Launching' is like building a rocket and now you're in the launch process.

"Often these semantics of what it means to publish don't make a ton of sense. We love Oculus; they love Valkyrie; this is awesome; and we're doing it."

And on the Oculus side, one of their goals has been to help publishers bring made-for-VR experiences to their system. A representative for the company told GameSpot, "We want to ensure that the content that supports the Rift at launch is aspirational, across the board, without exception. Our co-publishing of Valkyrie is our endorsement of that experience."

There's no announced release date for the final version of Oculus (and thus, no date for Valkyrie) but Oculus has said that they're still exploring what they can add to the experience to make it even more immersive. If our experience with both the system and the game is anything to go on, they don't have much farther to go. Check out the video below to see Valkyrie and the latest version of the Oculus in action.

Justin Haywald on Google+
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