According to an announcement on Sumo Digital, they have just went in and acquire CCP Newcastle Studio, along with a significant portion of its staff. This move will position these individuals in the new fourth studio, in addition to Sumo Digital’s Sheffield and Nottingham branches, as well as a team based in Pune, India.
A total of 34 staff is set to make their way from CCP to Sumo with this move, including former executive producer Owen O’Brien, who will retain as the new studio director. The team will remain in Newcastle.
2 months ago, right after releasing Sparc on the PSVR, CCP Games announced that they are shifting away from virtual reality development (for the next 2 to 3 years) and focus on PC and mobile games, along with its plan to sell its Newcastle office (and close its Atlantic office). Fortunately that news didn’t impact their plans to release Gunjack 2 VR on Samsung Gear VR (Oculus Store) last month, as well as Sparc for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on Steam in November. CCP Newcastle worked on Sparc, while CCP Atlantic worked on EVE: Valkyrie. CCP Games said back then that they were going to continue to maintain both titles out of their London studio.
Sumo Digital’s portfolio includes Snake Pass, LittleBigPlanet 3, Forza Motorsport 7, none of which are VR projects. It is also interesting to note that few weeks prior CCP Games’ announcement of them shifting away from virtual reality development, both CCP Games and Sumo Digital actually announced (at its annual EVE Vegas event) that they are co-developing Project Nova, a FPS set in the EVE universe that’s scheduled for release in 2018. Whether this is an indication of Sumo moving into VR remains to be seen, but for now it is a good news that at least a portion of these guys managed to land on their feet. Hopefully Sumo Digital is using their VR expertise and put them to work on Project Nova and integrated VR into the title.