How will this affect EVE and DUST 514?
Up until now, the responsibility for product development and deciding what direction to take with CCP's growing list of games has fallen to CEO Hilmar himself. With so many games and other items now produced by the studio and interesting connections like the EVE-DUST link, Hilmar felt that a dedicated person was needed solely to handle product development. "There are a lot of opportunities in connecting those experiences," he told me. "Having someone dedicated to that will allow us to take advantage of those opportunities."
"There are a lot of opportunities in connecting those experiences, and having someone dedicated to that will allow us to take advantage of those opportunities."
During our chat, Hilmar assured me that the plan for EVE
is still the same plan that was discussed at Fanfest and that fans really latched onto. He promised that nobody will be "making any big kneejerk changes to EVE
" and that CCP as a company won't forget the lessons it has learned over the past few years. CCP is currently looking at options that let players "customise the game experience" without upsetting game balance. Options like ship paintjobs are still on the table, but Hilmar explained that the focus right now is on more ideas along the same lines as the dual character training option recently released
When pressed about DUST 514
updates, Hilmar revealed that the game is now on a strict monthly iterative development cycle for the next quarter. "We're working on a monthly iteration cycle," he told me. "The first update is coming tomorrow; we're very excited for that." One of Sean's responsibilities as VP of product development will be to figure out what developers should work on in the next cycle based on community feedback. CCP has never had to deal with the sheer volume of players that free-to-play games attract, and Sean's experience on the Play4Free titles is sure to come in handy here.
EVE-VR and mobile gaming
This year's EVE Online
Fanfest included the reveal of a brand-new virtual reality dogfighter
for the Oculus Rift named EVE-VR
, which fans went absolutely nuts over. When asked whether this will be turned into a retail product, Hilmar confirmed that it will be one of the games under Sean's new remit, but he clarified, "Right now there are no specific plans." He added an optimistic note that CCP "took [EVE-VR] to Fanfest and E3 and the world is screaming for it."
Hilmar went on to reveal that CCP's plans to infiltrate the wide world of mobile gaming are well underway. Former EVE producer Jon Lander has taken on the task
of managing the company's mobile offerings, and this year will be mostly spent preparing for next year's full-scale app development. The first apps to be released will be "cohort apps to the EVE
universe," explained Hilmar, describing them as companion apps to enhance the game experience. The team will use this to get experience in mobile development, and then will later go on to work on "standalone mobile experiences."
When readers want the scoop on a launch or a patch (or even a brewing fiasco), Massively goes right to the source to interview the developers themselves. Be they John Smedley or Chris Roberts or anyone in between, we ask the devs the hard questions. Of course, whether they tell us the truth or not is up to them!