CCP Newcastle officially opens

CCP Newcastle officially opens
Michael French

By Michael French

June 29th 2010 at 10:32AM

New UK studio owned by Icelandic firm will focus on new shooter Dust 514

EVE Online studio CCP has officially unveiled its fourth games studio - this time in the UK.

Word of CCP Newcastle originally leaked out earlier this year. Located in Gateshead Quays, the studio will focus on console game development and "charting new paths for gameplay and business models that will breathe new life into connected consoles" the firm said.

CCP Newcastle is already collaborating with CCP Asia in Shanghai on the development of the upcoming MMOFPS Dust 514 - specifically 'for delivering advanced solutions for lighting, physics and artificial intelligence to CCP's console projects'.

"The decision to establish a UK studio was an easy one for CCP," said Richard Smith, technical director of CCP Newcastle.

Smith added: "The North East has a distinguished heritage of game development, an experienced console-development talent pool and local universities producing exceptional graduates. We have been able to assemble a world-class team of console developers with unparalleled Unreal Engine expertise and integrate them with CCP's global organisation."

CCP Newcastle's founding engineers hail from Midway Games, where they were proven experts in Unreal Engine 3. The unit will 'spearhead console-specific research and development, looking ahead to the next generation of video game consoles and strengthening North East England's reputation for pioneering game technology'.

The studio has a deal with Geomerics to integrate the firm's Enlighten lighting solution into its game, which is being built with Unreal Engine 3. Because of this, Dust 514 will be the first console title using the Unreal 3 engine to feature fully dynamic lighting.

And of course the studio's opening has been hailed by local authorities.

"Gateshead Digital Summer has showcased our commitment to attracting digital and creative businesses to Gateshead. The news that CCP will be opening a studio in Gateshead supports our vision of an enterprising borough," said Councillor Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council.

"The arrival of CCP will lead to the creation of up to thirty digital jobs in an industry that already employs over a hundred local people. For Gateshead to continue to develop, we must support creative industries that provide employment and help boost the local economy."

Simon Goon, Head of Business Investment at One North East added: "The digital games industry is a sector in which the North East is especially strong and which has been identified as a key area for creating jobs and economic growth in the years ahead. An innovative, market-leading firm like CCP will provide a major boost to the critical mass that is already here and we are delighted to have helped the company establish this new base in the North East."