In the eight years since CCP Games started their World of Darkness MMO, we've barely heard more than tales about the adaptation of White Wolf's supernatural RPG universe, whispers in the night from mouths awfully close to our necks. It was to be a sandbox world where vampires battled and politicked for power, where everyone started as a human and theoretically could stay so, where even vampires might suffer permadeath, and where we'd have as much fun dressing up as in any goth club. These plans and murmurs may be all we ever get, as today CCP officially cancelled it.
The team had been cut down several times over the years and it was clearly never the EVE Online creators' top priority, but now the World of Darkness MMO is properly dead. Not undead. Just gone.
CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson's described the decision to cancel it as "one of the hardest I've ever had to make." He continued:
To our current and former employees and fans of World of Darkness, I am truly sorry that we could not deliver the experience that we aspired to make. We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short. One day I hope we will make it up to you.
As recently as February, CCP teasingly told us that we might see something of World of Darkness at this year's Fanfest in May. Alas, it's not to be, though it does sound like the game wasn't working out quite like they or we had hoped. It certainly was promising an awful lot.
56 people have been laid off at CCP's Atlanta studio, though it'll remain open with those remaining working on the EVE universe. For the first time in eight years, EVE is all that CCP is working on, which Pétursson said "will put us in a stronger position moving forward." It may be sensible, given that the company lost $21.3 million last year. Of course, the EVE universe includes VR dogfighting game EVE: Valkyrie and console FPS DUST 514 as well as EVE Online.
Here's the most we've publicly seen of World of Darkness, an in-engine graphics test from the 2012 EVE Fanfest:
If you'd like keep the game alive in your memory, imagining what might have been, CCP talked about it a fair bit at the 2012 Fanfest and showed off more-in game tech at 2013's (as well as a brief cinematic demo CCP tried awfully hard to stop anyone leaking). Don't torture yourself about things that won't happen, dear. Even vampires stop brooding eventually.