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World of Darkness canceled as CCP Atlanta is hit with layoffs

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World of Darkness, the in-development massively multiplayer online title based on the Vampire: The Masquerade universe, is no more, developer CCP announced today.

The cancellation of World of Darkness will result in layoffs of 56 employees at CCP's Atlanta office, it was confirmed, with a number of staff offered roles within the company.

"The decision to end the World of Darkness MMO project is one of the hardest I've ever had to make," CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson said in a prepared statement. "I have always loved and valued the idea of a sandbox experience set in that universe, and over the years I've watched the team passionately strive to make that possible.

"... 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."

The remaining team in Atlanta will focus on developing games within the Eve universe, making the first time the company has worked on a single games universe as a whole since 2006. The studio is currently working on Eve Online, Dust 514 and Eve Valkyrie.

CCP has kept quiet about World of Darkness game since its initial reveal in 2006. The massively multiplayer title was brought into full production in 2009; however, the company laid off approximately 15 members of staff last December, in what the company called a "strategic adjustment" in Atlanta.

"The change was due to our evaluation of the game's design and ongoing development needs," read a statement from the studio at the time. "While this was a difficult decision, CCP remains committed to the franchise and our promise to make a compelling, rich and deep World of Darkness experience."

The long in-development game was said to incorporate the open-world sandbox style of DayZ and Rust, while maintaining the core dynamics of being either human or vampire. In 2013, executive producer Chris McDonough said the game was still years away from launch. At the time, CCP had a team of at least 70 working on the title and plans to include web-based social tools and player-versus-environment systems.