CCP, the Icelandic developers behind the only MMO i’ve actually enjoyed, EVE Online, today announced their first venture into console gaming with Dust 514. Talking in yet another keynote ad GDC Europe (how many keynotes can one conference have?) CCP Ceo Himlar Perursson seems to have set the bar very high for the game. The title appears to be an MMOFPS, and was launched with the tag-line “one universe, one war“. The implications of that tag line are actually pretty significant, as CCP has confirmed that the game will be linked to EVE, and they don’t just mean in setting.
CCP claims that the two games will be heavily linked with infantry combat in Dust 514 affecting the space based gameplay of EVE Online. Flowing in the other direction players in EVE will be able to “fund mercenaries and give them goals” affecting the ground war. If they pull this off in a solid way they have the potential to begin a significant look at what MMOs can ‘really‘ do.
For those of you unfamilliar with EVE Online, and with a player base of 300,000 PC gamers I’m going to guess that’s most of our readership, it’s a space based MMO where players take charge of a spaceship and do… well anything. While you can take the traditional route of combat and grinding, the game is well known for its strong, in-game economy. Players can make money through hauling cargo, mining or… ok so you can make money fighting, but there are other options available to a discerning player who dislikes getting the paint job of his spaceship tarnished. Rather than the traditional guilds that seem to be in the majority of the current crop of MMOs, EVE stays with the economic theme and allows players to form corporations. Get enough cash together and you can even build space-stations.
While target consoles or a release date have yet to be announced for the CCP Shanghai developed title, there does seems to be a lot to be excited about with this title. Not least amongst this is the linking of two games on completely different platforms and Petursson’s hope that the communities of the two games “will meld over time“. While he expects that initially a raft of Dust 514 only corporations will rise, he expects corporations to eventually bridge the gap between the two titles, establishing a base in both.
Finally on the more than slightly cryptic title Petursson was tight lipped, but said that clever EVE Online players might find a way to figure it out. My guess? It’s a reference to a battle at a specific location in the same vein as The Battle of Wolf 359 (yes I’m a huge geek).