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New report delves into why CCP canned  World of Darkness  MMO
New report delves into why CCP canned World of Darkness MMO
June 5, 2014 | By Mike Rose

June 5, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

"There were plenty of developers who would get redirected to create EVE content for three to six month cycles… During these times, World of Darkness development was significantly slowed down."
- a developer on canned CCP MMO World of Darkness discusses why the online game never made it to release.

EVE Online studio CCP Games cancelled its World of Darkness MMO in April and laid off dozens of staff, although the reasoning behind the move wasn't exactly made known.

Now an in-depth investigation from the Guardian has revealed that much of the reasoning was to do with poor upper management and lots of toing and froing between World of Darkness and EVE Online.

The report contains numerous chats with named and anonymous former CCP devs, noting that the game actually reached alpha three times over, but was scrapped each time.

"I tested it myself, on two different occasions out of those three,” noted Nick Blood, a former dev at CCP. "With the first playtest, I was amazed at how little of the core game was there – at this point the game had been in development for over half a decade. I mean, there was just nothing, literally nothing, for someone like me, a complete outsider to the WoD IP, to appreciate."

"The team just ended up building stuff and throwing it away, over and over again," said another dev. "It's something I saw on EVE and Dust as well - the teams would build a feature, then be told by management to make 'small changes' which necessitated a full, back-to-square-one rewrite."

Much of the issue came down to bad management, claim many of the sources. The CCP management didn't really know what it wanted from World of Darkness and would consistently shift those people working on the MMO over to EVE Online DLC development.

"When things started turning sour in 2010, it was categorically not the fault of management, executive or creative," said an anonymous source. "The line employees were blamed."

"One email sent on the eve of the company's 2010 team-building trip stated that all teams had to work through the weekend - and that this necessary overtime was the fault of the teams, that it was their failure to plan and scope their project accordingly. Never mind that management insisted on changing requirements and designs on a weekly basis, without pushing the schedule out to accommodate the changes."

There's plenty more in the in-depth article to chew on -- make sure you check it out.

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Lucky Red
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Well, at bottom-line this article puts all accusation on CCP's management. I sized up CCP from my time with EVE Online, and their behavior only recently changed with the approach to updates, or patching EVE Online. However, that their egotistical behavior had an effect to World of Darkness to the point they took all the key human resources over EVE Online truly shows how bad CCP management is when it comes to multiple projects.

James Yee
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This is me not surprised. My question becomes though, what happened to the IP? Can someone else make a WoD game? (Hopefully NOT an MMO)

Greg Scheel
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Yea, someone, anyone really, can make a vampire themed single player open world RPG, it could be done very well. By ditching MMO, you also get rid of the gankfest problem that would otherwise plague the game, although multiplayer RPG would work well. Just not massive, friends only. And for Gods sake, the sun needs to be a problem for vampires, eternal darkness as a convenience just ruins the theme.

You don't need WoD IP, make your own, WoD is based on Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, and a few other vampire writers that were popular at the time.

I got 2 other projects in my mind and on my plate, so it won't be me, at least not yet.

Leszek Szczepanski
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I'm furious, WoD is one of the few MMOs I really wanted to play.

What worries me more is CCP owns White Wolf. It would be terrible if they managed to also bury the pen'n'paper WoD somehow.

Greg Scheel
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It was staked through the heart and buried a long time ago, and now lies in torpor.

Vicente Cartas Espinel
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The rights for the pnp RPG are in the hands of Onyx Path Publishing, which has been producing material for quite a lot of time now.

Greg Quinn
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Seriously bummed about this one :(
Was looking forward to it.

But why does management have to always get in the way of game developers creativity??
But now its the developers getting fired? I hope a good portion of management gets fired too.

Aiden Eades
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Honestly, I'm okay with this. I love WoD (and to the above comments, it's not just vampires, werewolves, mages, and normal human campaigns are just as fun. Human especially)

In my mind WoD settings are about horror, if you read through al the sample text in the rulebooks it isn't DnD where you have Hctib fighting an epic battle against a balrog, weilding his trusty +1 mace of smiting. It's walking down a path and hearing a noise, finding a small pool of blood near the door, it's freaking creepy.

I don't think you could convey that in an MMO, I'd much rather see a game with elements of Heavy Rain for a WoD title, (elements not the entire game) an episodic story where you decide what to do next. Do you open the door where you saw that pool of blood? Do you turn around and run out of the house? As you progress through the story you can increase your skills. Do you up combat so you can fight against any aggressors? Do you increase your perception so you can avoid fights altogether?

Heck they could even have the insanity when you see a werewolf or vampire. See a werewolf transform (or the early stage of it) and then wake up somewhere completely different with no idea how you got there.

WoD in my mind as a game should be somewhere between Amnesia and Fahrenheit

Too many tabletop RPGs are converted to a simple hack'n'slash game.