CCP Mostly Remains Quiet on World of Darkness Information
First spoken of in 2006, World of Darkness was supposed to be a continuation/spin-off of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Set in the same world, it was supposed to achieve the same dark and dreary, slightly sexy and evil mood as Bloodlines did. For fans of either the VTMB world itself, or even those who played the original table games under the same world, news of an MMO was much appreciated. But news that originally was hyped slowly became more and more scarce as time went on.
The first visual exposure came in the form of a cinematic video that was played at EVE Fanfest in 2012. See the extended version of the trailer below. Please note that this trailer has some nudity and violence, and probably shouldn't be viewed by anyone under the age of 18.
While White Wolf Publishing, CCP Games, and Georgia all still claim the video game is "in development," many have questioned exactly why the game would be taking so long to release. What we do know is that the game is supposed to be one of the largest, most interactive sandbox worlds available to date. This is not surprising considering that CCP Games is also the maker of other large-scale games like EVE and DUST 514. But with large-scale games comes large-scale issues with servers and other infrastructure, all which must have the bugs worked out of it prior to any sort of alpha launch.
Questions have been raised about exactly how server infrastructure would be able to support such a game, or even how the average gaming PC would handle it. While there's nothing wrong with a high-end system game base, it does limit the audience for the game quite a bit.
In this writer's opinion, CCP probably doesn't want to take any of their resources away from EVE right now. EVE is massively popular and it continues to gain ground and make money. By putting development of World of Darkness off while more money is made via EVE, several benefits are gained by all three associated companies. CCP has made several claims about World of Darkness being one of the most advanced MMOs to ever be released. Developing advanced games requires a budget of several million dollars. It's likely that CCP is using funds generated from EVE itself to provide that budget, at least to some degree.
Picture: CCP CEO Veigar himself, looking very World of Darkness-ish. From Veigar's Twitter.
Recently, news has started to flow again regarding the game's development. A tweet by Rock Paper Shotgun on Valentine's Day revealed the following:
CCP are taking cues from Rust and DayZ for their World of Darkness MMO: http://t.co/J5btDiqOQo— Rock Paper Shotgun (@rockpapershot) February 14, 2014
In the article linked in the tweet, CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar revealed that yes, the game was definitely still in development, and that game development had stepped up a bit since the "indefinite hold" that was placed on it in early 2012. The connection between Rust and WoD is likely a parallel between the game's survival modes; it's likely that WoD's survival mode will be far more intricate than Rust is at this stage.
Then there is the bad news: CCP recently laid off 15 of its employees, all of whom were employees working on World of Darkness. Does this indicate a sudden and quick change in plans for the game, or is it simply restructuring to suit the lengthy process they claim they are undertaking?
It's quotes like this one that make understanding exactly what is going on confusing:
"CCP today made strategic adjustments to the staffing on the team working on the World of Darkness project in Atlanta that resulted in the elimination of approximately 15 positions at the company," announced CCP spokesperson Ned Coker in a statement sent to Eurogamer.
"The change was due to our evaluation of the game's design and ongoing development needs. While this was a difficult decision, CCP remains committed to the franchise and our promise to make a compelling, rich and deep World of Darkness experience."
Picture: Fan art by DeviantArt user dessavk; find his work here.
For the moment, it appears that little light has been shone on World of Darkness. That faint glimmer of hope for those of us who fell in love with the original table game may be struggling, but we hold out in the hopes that eventually, someday, when EVE fans stop demanding all of CCP's time, we might just get our own slice of the World of Darkness pie. In the mean time, we'll have settle for replays of the still-very-excellent Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.