Eve Online PC MMO creator CCP, based in Iceland, has announced a merger with U.S. paper-gaming firm White Wolf, the world's second largest role-playing publisher, revealing intentions to build a World Of Darkness MMO.
According to a joint statement, the combined company "will introduce new online and offline gaming products across the science-fiction, horror and fantasy genres", indicating that multiple new products may be planned.
CCP was founded in 1997 and its massively multiplayer space combat/strategy title, EVE Online was launched in 2003. Although getting off to a slow start, the title has seen gradually increasing subscription and simultaneous player numbers, bucking the lifecycle trend of many competing MMOs. It also set a world record for most concurrent users in the same virtual environment with 30,538 in September 2006.
As for White Wolf, the veteran pen and paper RPG creator was formed in 1991, and has previously licensed its IP for PC and console games such as Vampire: the Masquerade and Hunter: The Reckoning. 'World Of Darkness' is the overarching name for their fictional universes used in those products, so it's likely that elements of both will be used in the new MMO.
It's also noted: "The merger will accelerate CCP's brand development of EVE Online as White Wolf will bring their expertise to the creation of EVE Online strategy guides, collectible card games, role-playing games, novels, and miniatures."
The combined company will continue to operate under their respective names. White Wolf will be operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CCP. Hilmar Petursson, Chief Executive Officer of CCP, will be CEO of the combined company. Mike Tinney, President of White Wolf, will continue as President of the independent subsidiary. Further, White Wolf will continue development and enhancement of their entire portfolio of gaming products.
"CCP brings industry-leading technical expertise and online game development experience to us," said Mike Tinney, White Wolf's President. "Together, we will create the industry's most innovative games leveraging both online and offline systems."