“We believe VR will revolutionize not just video games, but the wider technology and media industry as a whole,” CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said. “We were there at the beginning, and this investment will give us strength to maintain our leading development efforts.”
The company, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, jumped on VR early and already has two games developing. “Eve Valkyrie” is expected to launch with the Oculus Rift in 2016 and also be on PlayStation VR while “Gunjack” is schedule for release on Samsung’s Gear VR which launched Nov. 20.
The $30 million funding was led by New Enterprise Associates with participation from Novator Partners, a private equity firm. The number all but confirms what many had been thinking from the drop: developing for VR will be a pricey business.
Throwing that much on the table for VR is a multi-tiered gamble. For one, aside from the 12-year-old “Eve Online,” CCP Games hasn’t had the greatest track record in releasing new games that click with a wide audience.
Second, although excitement for VR appears higher than other attempts, many gamers historically haven’t taken to playing games in a way that deviates from the controller. Yes, Nintendo’s Wii found great success with its motion controls, but even that has all but gone the way of the buffalo at this point with PlayStation having long abandoned the PlayStation Move and Microsoft allowing Xbox One’s to function without a mandatory Kinect plugged in.
General partner at NEA Harry Weller doesn’t share this concern.
“We’ve been admirers of CCP for quite some time,” Weller said in a statement. “Their legacy with “EVE Online” and early investments in VR have put them in a leadership position, and we want to partner with them to further build on the great platform they have already established.”