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E3 2013: CCP Games and EVR Hands-On

by on 06/16/2013

If this article is the first you have heard about CCP Games and their EVE-VR Oculus Rift demo than you must not know how to internet very well. This set the internet ablaze this week and CCP has added credibility to the Oculus Rift platform in-general.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to people who are familiar with CCP Games and the EVE universe. These guys know how to run a company, their MMO – EVE Online has reached its 10th anniversary last month and has witnessed growth in their subscribers every single year.

As they keep updating their game through patches and content update, they also have the most interesting gaming community in my opinion. Listening to the CCP community manager talk about current events in the game was hypnotic. Telling us how players in DUST 514 and EVE Online were creating alliance through Reddit to help take over a sector in space. Telling us how one corporation of thousands of players formally declared war on a frontier and then how the developers have watched this war unfold in their world. Then, just simply telling us the little ways that players are interacting and communicating in their world is more amazing than any other gaming community.


The fact that they can watch their analytics come in and be able to write a daily/weekly newspaper if they wanted to and keep their 500,000+ subscriber based on real current events that are sparked by the players and not by the developers, shows how powerful of an asset that is.

Seeing the EVR in action was the icing on the cake. I used the Oculus Rift once before this, but it was for a meditation game that I found amusing but didn’t show off the power of the hardware. We went through a quick flying school tutorial with one of the developers and then immediately had the Oculus Rift and head phones placed on us, and of course a 360 controller in our hands.

We sat in what looked like a Tie Fighter jet and eagerly awaited a countdown so we can shoot out of our runway pods and into outer space. As we waited I started losing my mind, I could look all around inside of my cockpit and could see my chest, legs, and arms. I was completely in shock, at one point I tried looking behind me and could see the back of my fictional shoulder.

CCP can feel free to quote me on this, because as soon as I shot out into outer space I literally said, “What the fuck…” Lasers and missiles started coming in my direction and I had the biggest case of ADD in the world. I was staring out the side of my window watching asteroids spin by me and I was looking at the guns on my ship just barely shooting at my targets.

When I stopped being too awe-shocked I decided to fight the enemy ships. I was firing laser shots at ships and then locking with missiles with the LT. To lock on though you don’t simply guide a cross-hair onto your target. Instead you lock-on with your head, focusing your attention on following the ship for a few seconds will track it and register the lock on, and then you let go of LT and the missiles are in-bound.

It’s only a matter of time before my eyeballs will be able to track enemies and everything else with this device. I tried my best to describe how incredible the experience in EVR was, it is difficult though because as you watch the video above you can’t even fully appreciate that the head is separate from the controller movement.

Initially CCP had no intention of moving forward with EVR and was thought of as a tech demo more than anything. It was made by a small group who works on DUST 514 and EVE Online respectively, and are given 20% to work on side projects. After all the publicity so far, some of the team only had this to say, “We may need to reconsider the future of the project.”

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