Sometimes, a single job posting can tell you a lot about the future of a studio. In the case of CCP's latest position listing, it's quite explicit. They're looking to hire an experienced lead designer to head up production in London on an as-yet-announced MMO. While thin on fine details, we can at least infer some interesting details about the Eve Online studio's short-term plans, and it paints an interesting picture.
According to the job posting, CCP hope to establish a 'small, tight-knit' team in London, headed up by someone with extensive industry experience, including 'fantastic knowledge' of MMOs both classic and contemporary.
Even for a well-known studio like CCP, it feels like an especially ambitious job posting, with them asking for someone with lead designer or design director experience on at least one major MMO or similar game, with the skills and experience to lead their London division. That's an impressive piece of talent they hope to attract, as successful MMO launches these days are a rare thing indeed. Interestingly, they mention that Unreal 4 engine experience would be a major advantage, hinting that whatever this game is to be, they likely already have an engine in mind.
This comes at an interesting time for CCP. The company seems to have spent much of the past few years restructuring after plans to branch into both VR and other MMOs failed to pan out. It's been some time since the World Of Darkness project fell through, so perhaps they're feeling confident enough to give it another shot. While there has also been some talk of them reviving their now-defunct EVE spinoff FPS Dust 514, we don't know much about the reboot beyond a name - Project Nova - and that flexible British studio Sumo Digital are collaborating on the project.
This announcement also comes not long after Eve Online - now fully transitioned to a hybrid free-to-play model - greatly expanded the range of ships available to its rank-and-file free players. While it does significantly lower the barrier for entry to CCP's existing MMO, the very nature of the game (highly social and overwhelmingly PvP-focused) means that it's still a hard sell, even if newcomers can get a significant chunk of the game for free.