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CCP Games cancels Project Nova alpha

Project Nova

Project Nova may be on some more shaky foundations than originally thought, due to a recent announcement from developer CCP. It turns out that the Iceland-based company has decided to cancel plans for a special alpha test of the upcoming FPS due to undisclosed issues.

For those not in the know, Project Nova is the latest attempt by CCP to recreate a spiritual successor to Dust 514, the tie-in shooter to their flagship sci-fi MMO EVE Online. Dust 514 was an inventive, but ultimately flawed attempt by CCP to branch out with the EVE Online property into a new arena, in this case a free-to-play shooter on the PS3. And though the game formed a hardcore fanbase, it failed to gain widespread commercial success and appeal.

Project Nova was announced as a continuation of those attempts, but with a much tighter focus on crafting a quality shooting game first-and-foremost. Though the initial reveal looked promising, some missteps along the way seem to have hampered the development of the project. CCP terminating a lot of their employees and closing multiple offices when they scrapped VR development probably didn’t help matters. And now things are looking a bit bleak for the future of the unreleased game.

In a post on their website, CCP revealed that they were scrapping plans for an invite-only testing phase for Project Nova. The alpha had been announced this past October and planned to roll out in November, but that obviously didn’t happen. And now, it seems that a lot of the core game elements and other development work may have been for nothing.

Over the course of Project Nova’s development, we conducted a number of player research sessions with external partners, tirelessly playtested the game internally and brought community stalwarts in to help us evaluate the project. Now, after taking all this research and feedback into account, we see that the gameplay experience in its current form does not live up to our original vision and would not achieve our ambitious goals for this project. As a result, we will not be moving forward with the upcoming invite-only Alpha until further notice.

Work on Project Nova, as it currently stands, has therefore ceased, and CCP will “take a step back and return to the drawing board, where we will spend more time figuring out how all this hard work can translate into something better and more meaningful for the EVE Universe.”

The game isn’t dead yet, but this doesn’t shine a good light on things as they stand. Only time will tell if CCP can salvage the situation. However, it does send a good message that CCP is willing to retroactively undo bad progress or work, if that’s the case, and actually deliver an engaging game that both FPS and EVE Online fans will enjoy. Generic shooters with lazy mechanics are everywhere, and good on CCP for not jumping onto that bandwagon.

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