Dust 514, the highly anticipated shooter spinoff of MMORPG Eve Online, will stay in closed beta until 2013. No definitive timeline was given for beginning a wider beta or for an actual release.
In a conversation with Eurogamer.net, CCP Games executive David Reid spoke about the game’s progress as well as the company’s expectations.
“Things are going well,” Reid said. “We’ll be in closed beta through the end of 2012, but it won’t take much longer. With a bet this big you want to get things right.”
The bet Reid is referring to is the price players will pay for the game. Dust 514 is scheduled to be one of the first free-to-play console games, with monetization coming solely from micro-transactions. The model has worked well with some PC games, but it has never been really explored on the console side.
“We expect the vast majority of our players not to spend a penny” Reid said. “But those people who pay nothing are still making the game better. Every one is another node, another player for others to interact with.”
Obviously, the more people willing to pay something the happier the folks at CCP will be. But there is another possible benefit for them. Those who enjoy Dust 514 and appreciate the universe in which it’s set, might be encouraged to check out Eve Online, the company’s real money maker.
It’s good to see CCP taking its time to polish the game. With luck by the time Dust 514 launches we’ll get the best free PS3 shooter ever.