Dust 514 will be free to play, coming to Vita

By Brenna Hillier
5 March 2012 00:11 GMT

PlayStation 3 exclusive EVE Online tie-in shooter DUST 514 will be free to play.

CCP has scrapped plans for a cover charge, although players will still be able to purchase in-game credits via micro-transaction.

“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,” executive producer Brandon Laurino told Eurogamer.

“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.”

Although players can earn ISK for use in EVE Online, they won’t be able to spend it in DUST 514. DUST 514’s currency, Aurum, must be earned in-game or will be available in packs of $10 to $100.

Players can purchase vanity items, boosters, weapon variants, and respecs among other items; CCP hasn’t detailed them all but has “hundreds and hundreds” planned, and isn’t sure yet how and when they will become available. No maps will released for purchase.

“We are covering literally a universe of planets, so there’s thousands of different maps and they’re all available to everyone who’s playing. There won’t be some section of the universe that’s blocked off. It’s really about what you build on those planets – some of those will be earned, some of those will be paid,” Laurino said.

The publisher also revealed a Vita version of the game is planned, but said it will begin as more of a “companion app” to the PS3 game before evolving with its own gameplay systems.

“At the most basic level, you can do transactions on the market; equip and customise your character, your vehicles; set up strategies with your friends and Corporation members – all of these sort of companion functions on the go,” Laurino explained.

“We’re also exploring all of the super fun exciting stuff – interesting gameplay opportunities and things like that. As we continue to explore what the possibilities are, between Vita and PS3, of which there are many, we’ll keep updating the app with stuff like that over time.”

DUST 514 is expected to launch in northern summer, but while the Vita app is expected this year, CCP hasn’t put a firm date on it.

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