EVE Online Dev CCP to Merge with White Wolf (UPDATED)

CCP, developer and publisher of EVE Online, has just announced with pen and paper roleplaying game developer White Wolf Publishing that the two companies plan to merge, with White Wolf becoming a fully owned subsidiary of CCP. The two companies, which will both continue to operate under their existing names, will each produce content in their respective areas of competency using both CCP and White Wolf intellectual property. White Wolf will be taking EVE Online into pen and paper RPGs and game systems, novels, collectible card games, and strategy guides, while CCP will be taking White Wolf's universes into online ventures. Work has already begun on translating White Wolf's World of Darkness property into online gaming.

"White Wolf possesses the RPG industry's leading offline gaming talent and some of the most recognizable roleplaying properties in the world," said CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson. "Virtual worlds are a new form of entertainment, separate from traditional computer games. By combining forces, we will create a company unsurpassed in quality, innovation, and scope which will keep us at the forefront of this emerging trend." In addition to the planned cross-medium development, both sides of the company will continue to maintain their own existing product lines. Reykjavik-based CCP's EVE Online currently boasts a subscriber base of over 300,000.

Petursson will serve as CEO of the newly formed corporation. White Wolf president Mike Tinney will remain in his position as president of the White Wolf subsidiary. Financial terms of today's announced deal were not disclosed.

Update: Speaking to Shacknews, White Wolf marketing director Kelley Barnes-Herrmann touched on some of the factors behind the merger of two seemingly disparate companies.

CCP and White Wolf first came in contact during Gencon 2005 when CCP was looking for a publisher for its EVE collectible card game. "Because of our history in managing the award-winning V:TES CCG, White Wolf was able to make suggestions and provide some initial guidance to CCP in the first stages of the game launch and now we are looking forward to working on the first expansion set in 2007," said Barnes-Herrmann. At that point, the two companies began developing a close friendship and discussing multiple projects.

"We see the diversity in experience and product focus as a natural fit," explained Barnes-Herrmann, responding to questions regarding the compatibility of the two firms. "Each company brought assets into the merger that will fill a development need in the other company."