CCP games, the creators of the MMO game EVE Online, has been working on Dust 514 for over 4 years. We will finally get to see the official release of this free to play AAA MMO Shooter this year. Starting today, the open beta of Dust 514 will be available to anyone who has a PSN account. This version of the game will be changing and updating continuously so expect to see the official release date later this year. If I was a guessing man, they would either release or reveal the release date during the EVE fanfest in late April (when they have their 10 year anniversary of EVE online).
For a free to play game out the gate, CCP games is trying something truly ambitious by creating a full on AAA title. Whose revenue will seem to be generated simply from micro transactions. It would be safe to assume that they are also trying to garner more users to their mainstay of EVE online and having this facet of the world to entice new players seems pretty smart.
For those of you who have had the opportunity to participate in the beta before, you will find familiar locales and settings the biggest addition to the open beta is that they have placed Dust 514 onto the main EVE server Tranquility and this means that both worlds economies and conflicts will now go hand in hand. CCP had a demonstration of how both of these worlds can work together with the focus on the Shooter part of the game. Players in the PC game can put out contracts to hire the FPS players in order to fulfill mission objectives and help their corporation gain planetary domination. On the ground the PSN players will get the chance to hire those nearby ships to call down orbital strikes in order to unleash quite a bombardment against their enemies.
At a recent preview event, we were able to see this in action and for those of you who download it today, you will also get to play with those playing the PC component to Dust. One of the biggest things to be aware of is that communication is crucial. The EVE players will not just be firing randomly at your planet, so make sure that you are giving them the direction that they need to help you out more effectively.
At the Event I was able to speak with one of the Dust 514’s Producers and ask him a few questions regarding their development roll out and other items regarding the game.
Q: How many more milestone have to be achieved before the official launch?
A: They still have to turn on the free flow of currency transfer and inter game voice chat between PS3 and PC/Mac computers.
Q: By releasing this game so late in the system’s life cycle, son would say that you are setting yourself up for failure, would you like to comment on that?
A: With Dust 514, it is an ever changing world. As new systems are released, Dust will be compatible with future iterations of the PlayStation network. This game is planned to have a strong five years out the gate and we can say that future console generations are a strong consideration.
Q:The game was originally announced in 2009. When will it finally be released?
A: January 22 we will be releasing the public beta. During that time we will be making balancing adjustments and other tweeks before we come out with the official 1.0 release.
This will be an interesting feat if they are able to pull it off. What it is going to come down to is gameplay. The game looks great but will it be fun and draw players to it and hopefully also encourage a new demographic to try the subscription based version? In the Meantime check out the new trailer and download the beta!