World of Darkness MMO gets a stake driven through its heart

World of Darkness cancelled

Put away your bloodsucking dentures, because as of today, CCP’s World of Darkness MMO is no more. CCP’s Atlanta studio has been hit hard by the cancellation, with 56 employees losing their jobs. Some have been offered positions in other parts of the company, while the remaining staff will focus on developing games in the EVE universe.

“The decision to end the World of Darkness MMO project is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make,” said CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson. “I have always loved and valued the idea of a sandbox experience set in that universe, and over the years I’ve watched the team passionately strive to make that possible.”

World of Darkness was announced back in 2006, but didn’t go into full development until 2009. Since then, CCP has revealed very little about the game. But what was detailed sounded fascinating. An urban sandbox, with all players starting off as humans and then choosing to become a vampire – it promised to be a social, player-lead experience; EVE’s philosophy transposed to an Earth-bound, contemporary setting.

After a long period of silence, CCP announced that 15 staff had been let go last year. “The change was due to our evaluation of the game’s design and ongoing development needs,” CCP spokesperson Ned Coker said. “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.”

And after that, the silence continued. So it is not surprising that the project has been canned, though it’s obviously a shame after so many years in development.

“To our current and former employees and fans of World of Darkness, I am truly sorry that we could not deliver the experience that we aspired to make,” Pétursson said. “We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short. One day I hope we will make it up to you.”

The specifics that have lead to the cancellation are not clear, beyond CCP not being happy with the MMOs progress.

If this unfortunate news has a silver lining, it’s that for the first time in many years, the entirety of CCP is focused on the EVE universe. “Although this was a tough decision that affects our friends and family, uniting the company behind the EVE Universe will put us in a stronger position moving forward, and we are more committed than ever to solidify EVE as the biggest gaming universe in the world,” finished Pétursson.