CCP's sexy little Oculus Rift dogfighting game Eve: Valkyrie can be played without a virtual reality headset. People play it that way at the company's Icelandic HQ, CEO Hilmar Petersson told me - because there are only a few headsets to go around. "So I mean it is possible," he said.
It's also possible that Valkyrie could launch as a game that works both with and without VR. "It could be a game like that, absolutely," he nodded. And that theoretically opens it up to platforms other than Oculus Rift and PC - platforms like next-gen consoles (some of which are plotting their own VR headsets). "We could do that, yes," he smiled. "That is a technical possibility." Valkyrie's kind of quick-thrill multiplayer would work well there.
Nevertheless, it's all rather early to be saying anything definitively one way or another, as Petersson kept reminding me. The game isn't due out until sometime next year, presumably around the time the consumer version of Oculus Rift gets into shops. And it's that VR experience that's "the core" of what Valkyrie is trying to achieve.
Valkyrie grew out of a tech demo that turned heads internally and then turned heads externally when it was shared at Eve FanFest earlier this year. Back then it was known as EVR - Eve Online VR -but it soon took on a life of its own. "There was an outcry from the world for us to to turn Pinocchio into a real boy," said Petersson.
Now there's a 20-person team at CCP Newcastle working on it, led by the former senior producer of Mirror's Edge - a man who's "somewhat of an expert in tight, motion sickness-inducing gameplay", giggled Petersson.
The game is apparently going to be "very tight, focused, packaged and polished", and it's standalone, which means Valkyrie won't share a server or interact with Eve Online in the way Dust 514 does, although it's based in the same thematic universe.
At the moment it's multiplayer only, and the jury's out on whether there will be any single-player at all. "Exactly where it's going to go, what's the minimum feature set we need, how it's going to evolve from there with its community that's hopefully going to build around it in a similar way we've done with Eve and Dust - it's all part of the process," he explained, "and makes it a little hard to figure out, because we're going to be very adaptable and nimble on it."
Valkyrie becoming a proper game also means CCP will probably need to charge you something for it. Petersson doesn't sound keen on an upfront charge, though, because he believes you have to play Valkyrie to become a believer. "There's like a sun glowing in [people who have played it], they're so happy about the experience," he told me. "The only challenge is it's a little hard to translate that without trying it out."
Sounds like free-to-play 'try before you buy' talk to me (something CCP opted for with Dust 514). "Those were your words not mine!" he laughed, notably not dismissing the notion out of hand.