The gap between what vampire MMO World of Darkness was, and what developer CCP wanted it to be, was "frankly too much" for the company to bridge, boss Hilmar Veigar Pétursson told me at Eve FanFest late last week.
He'd clearly been expecting questions, having only announced the game's cancellation a fortnight before the annual Eve Online bonanza kicked off.
"When we looked at what we had and what we aimed to do, there was a discrepancy that would have taken still even more time to get it to a place where we and the team wanted it to be," he said when we sat down to talk. "And the gap was just, frankly, too much. And this was the point in time to stop it.
"If internet spaceships was ever serious business at CCP, that is now the case"
Hilmar Veigar Pétursson
"This was a big decision for us and we're just getting through that. Now we're focusing on the Eve universe and we're not ready to comment about what's going to happen to the [White Wolf] licence. That will be for a later date."
He wouldn't be drawn on specifically what about World of Darkness wasn't meeting expectations, nor when the cancellation order was given - though the March 2014 date on the leaked closed beta manual suggests it was recent.
On stage during the first keynote of FanFest - Eve Valkyrie - Pétursson tackled the topic head on.
"We had been doing a very large, relatively complicated strategy, where we'd been building, frankly, two universes at the same time," he said, "and sharing a common design and technology between them. Right now, the strategy of the company has been simplified a lot.
"We now are the Eve Universe company; everything that CCP does, every CCP employee, is working on the Eve universe, and we very much want to make that the focus going forward, and really prove that we can make this idea of having multiple product experiences come together in a common social network, where each one of them can stand on its own merit but together they have a massive harmony effect similar to a symphony.
"If internet spaceships was ever serious business at CCP, that is now the case," he said, "and will continue to be so."