CCP Working on Next-Gen Console Engine and World of Darkness MMO Update

Back in June of this year, Gaming Bus reported on CCP’s future Dust 514 project and the planned availability of cross platform play for EVE online with PC and PS3 gamers. Around the same time things at CCP became turbulent, when they first introduced micro-transactions to EVE, the player backlash was swift and brutal for the developer. After a month of working with a community appointed rep things seem to have calmed down for EVE, but we have heard very little about their current MMO’s in development or future plans for CCP and cross platform play.

Earlier this week Massively, picked up on some new information concerning World of Darkness from the developer.

“It’s CCP’s desire to emulate LARPing (live-action roleplaying) as much as possible with World of Darkness, with plenty of metaplots running inside the game and without. Players will begin as a mortal human who can make the choice to become a kindred (vampire) or stay mortal for the duration of their characters’ lives. There’s a very real danger that characters might experience “final death” — permadeath — if they take too many risks. If you get in over your head, you can retreat to your character’s Haven for safety.

The entire game will take place at night and on one server, and CCP is definitely aiming it toward the hardcore set. Nudity, gore, and insanity effects are all par for the course.”

The goals are ambitious and CCP is obviously working towards a mature rating when released. This is not the only ambitious move CCP is making. Yesterday, CCP’s vice-president of business development Thor Gunnarsson told Develop that they are currently working on next generation console engine.

“But, yes, we’re currently building tech for the next generation of consoles, as well as future PC tech too. Ultimately, CCP Newcastle will be working in full capacity on technology for the next generation of hardware. Newcastle really is an engineering office for us, that’s the kind of people we’re looking for. They’re working on internal tech, and with various middleware, and game engines too.

Currently there is no official information concerning next generation consoles specifications. It is rumored however that Microsoft might show it at the next E3 event, this comes from a source at chipmaker AMD told to Develop. This claim has not been verified at press time.

Analysis: CCP has been busy and silent these past few months. I don’t find it interesting that they are working on a next generation console engine specifically, game development companies are always trying to prepare themselves for what may come or in the works like with the Unreal Engine 3. This thing that interest to me is that it’s console related, because we know XBox Live is a closed system, PS3 is semi-open and that CCP is known for MMO’s.

This brings me to one of two possibilities: One, XBox Live might become more open in the next generation of consoles to cater to the MMO and casual gamers, the PS4 might be more cross platform friendly as well. Two, They are planning a future release on the PS4 or XBox for a current game in development or making plans for a new one.

Cross platform play is just something I can not see Microsoft from sitting out much longer on. Yes, their closed platform is lucrative, but with so many free to play MMO’s emerging and established MMO’s going free to play like DC Online. This is a phenomenon that they will need to invest in or be left behind and considered to close minded about the future.

The news coming out about World of Darkness is intriguing to say the least. I played White Wolf’s Pencil and Paper (P&P) World of Darkness games and enjoyed them 10 years ago. It does seem that they are trying to keep to the spirit of the original P&P games, but so much can change with character interaction and with no Story Teller to dynamically change the game, can CCP bring us a truly dynamic world?

This reason above all is why I am further interested to see how they plan to handle the story telling mechanic and how those mechanics will effect the World of Darkness with so many player decisions. CCP has a long road a head of them and with the soonest possible release being speculated at 2012. We should start hearing more about this question and others in the months to come.


About Brandon Mietzner