Last year at E3 2011, Sony and developer CCP announced DUST 514, a PS3 exclusive shooter that would affect the world of PC MMO EVE Online. CCP has recently shared that their upcoming MMOFPS will be free to play.
However, speaking to Eurogamer, CCP's Brandon Laurino stated that there may still be some sort of starter pack in the future, but it would not be necessary to play the game. As well, anything players do purchase will not give them an unfair advantage over other users.
"And we probably will still have some kind of pack like that, this will be Starter Pack-like offer, but won't be necessary to play Dust 514.
It's very important as we take steps into this topic to unambiguously state that it is not a pay to win game. There is no micro-transaction that you can do that gives you an unfair advantage over someone who hasn't paid anything. It's the classic micro-transaction dynamic of, 'I can pay and get this item,' or, 'I can invest my time and get this item.' But neither of those options will give me an unfair advantage over the other."
CCP also revealed some details regarding the Vita version of DUST 514. Unlike its PS3 counterpart, the Vita title will serve as a companion app, and not as a real game. The app will allow players to purchase and equip items with their Vita, and discuss strategies with other players. However, much like the PS3 version, DUST 514 Vita will still be updated regularly, though the team is still trying to figure out whether or not it will launch alongside the full game.
Making DUST 514 a free to play title sounds like a smart move on CCP's part. Pricing can be a huge barrier to some players, so releasing the title as free to play should help expand the user base, as well as allow players to purchase items - supported through micro-transaction - at their own pace.
CCP claims that this will be the first true free to play console FPS. Players won't be locked out of certain portions of the game if they don't pay, and it sounds like the micro transactions are only used for in-game items - nothing that would really make barebones players feel like second class citizens. The title looks promising - and we can't wait to see how the free to play model is implemented.
DUST 514 is in development for the PS3 and Vita.
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