EVE Online developer CCP has been quietly working on a first-person shooter called Dust 514 since 2009, which was to exist in the same expansive, persistent universe as their massively multiplayer role-playing game. CCP finally went public with the game at E3, providing some preliminary details and a teaser trailer. Dust 514 will be a PlayStation exclusive launching in the summer of 2012, and all the content updates following will be free.
Characters in Dust 514 operate in mercenary corporations defending planetary assets for EVE Online players. The overall idea is that winning and losing Dust 514 matches will have lasting repercussions, rewards, and costs in both EVE Online and Dust 514, and as such there’s plenty of interplay between the two settings – characters can join player-run corporations across either game, the crafting system and races will be making a direct translation, and the core currency, ISK, is used in both games to purchase equipment and vehicles. The kicker is that Dust 514 will also be implementing a microtransaction system using another currency called AUR. The press release says the game will be “a departure from the traditional subscription or one-time purchase model,” which to me translates to full-on free-to-play. Dust 514 will take advantage of just about everything PlayStation has to offer: it’ll be Move-enabled, be compatible with the Sharp Shooter gun accessory, be a digital download, and even have a component for the recently-announced Vita portable console.
Having played my fair share of EVE Online, I think having a fast-paced shooter to complement the slower-paced space MMO is a perfect fit. However, I’m a big PC gamer, so I don’t even have a PS3. Dust 514 sure looks promising, but I don’t know that it’ll be the title that convinces me to drop a couple of hundred bucks on a console I’d rarely play, and I’m sure that sentiment would be similar for PS3 loyalists. The only real solution there as far as I’m concerned is to launch EVE Online for PS3 and Dust 514 for PC, neither of which sound like totally crazy ideas in the long run.
Anyway, here’s the trailer video. It feels a lot like Terminator: Salvation, dunnit? Hit up the Dust 514 home page for a closer look.