Xbox One. PS4. What effect will the poster children of E3 2013 have on the future of PC Gaming? Will new hardware architecture mean more high-profile PC ports or—dare we say it—PC-led titles that are ported for consoles afterwards? Are Microsoft's touted 15 exclusive launch titles going to be anything we'd even want in the first place? Will the pull of the indie scene be enough to turn gamers away from hardware manufacturers that shun them? We chew on this, and feed you our analysis like a mother bird to her chicks.
CCP are approaching the culmination of their ambitious cross-platform/cross-game EVE/Dust 514 experiment. Following some scheduled downtime, Dust 514's Playstation 3 userbase will be taking a battleship to Tranquility, EVE's central server.
Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Jonathan Lander, EVE Online's exec producer, said that CCP has a five year plan for their FPS spin-off Dust 514 and enough ideas to furnish the game with another 20 years of development. It is most certainly not going to be shelved when the current console cycle runs out of life, he said - the implication being that other platforms will get a taste of CCP's shooter when the exclusivity deal with PlayStation comes to an end.
"Shipping the game on PlayStation 3, that's where 100 per cent of our focus is," said Lander. "But our intention is this game will continue to run and operate for many, many years."
CCP's E3 interview room quietly overlooked the show floor like a command center, which felt like an appropriate setting for a conversation with guys who call themselves "custodians of a virtual world." At the table with me were EVE Online Senior Producer Jon Lander and Creative Director Torfi Frans Olafsson, there to discuss EVE Online, its latest expansion, and its integration with F2P shooter Dust 514.
In this portion of our conversation, however, the topic turned to player-made stories, including a tale of bribery and betrayal at Fanfest's Dust 514 competition, the Burn Jita attacks, and Hulkageddon. We'll have more from our conversations with CCP later this week.
EVE Online creative director on microtransactions: "I personally think we shouldn't be doing it in the near future"
Torfi Frans Olafsson, Creative Director of EVE Online doesn't hate microtransactons, but he's not sure they're the best fit for his massively multiplayer space opera, EVE Online. Last year, CCP introduced cosmetic items that can be purchased for real money, including a $70 monocle that made a lot of people extremely annoyed. And more are incoming, despite the creative director describing his game as a "vulnerable little flower in a vulnerable little ecosystem."
"Yes - we're looking at microtransactions for our future business models" said the CCP dev. "However, we are very reluctant to do that in EVE because it's so established. It's like changing the DNA of a living organism after it's born. That didn't work in Blade Runner."
No, our latest episode's title is not a slam on EnMasse Entertainment’s upcoming TERA, which you'll hear Gavin talk about glowingly this week. Sadly, in addition to otherwise joyous impressions on Legend of Grimrock (which you can WIN right here!), as well as Josh's updates on EVE Online and Dust 514 fresh from Fanfest, we say a heartfelt goodbye to a member of the PC Gamer US team.
PC Gamer US Podcast 311: TERA-ble News
CCP's Fanfest is an event like no other in the PC gaming calendar. Over a thousand EVE Online players congregate in Reykjavík, Iceland, to talk, play and dance EVE. But this year's event wasn't just concerned with the future of their sci-fi MMO. DUST 514 - the PS3 shooter that'll give PC EVE players the chance to nuke console players from space - was playable at the conference.
We wrote up our first impressions of DUST 514 last week, but we also asked the most hardcore EVE players we could find for their take. Which player do you most agree with?
DUST 514 is a free-to-play first-person shooter from CCP, creators of EVE Online. PC players will get to set up contracts for PS3 players to complete. You'll even get to lay down orbital strikes on the console kids. Watch footage of the awe-inspiring first hit here.
But CCP haven't confirmed that Dust 514 is coming to PC... yet. This confuses me. Our rigs are meaty enough to pull off their target footage in real-time, and we already know how free-to-play mechanics work. Is it coincidence that PS3 Dust 514 has mouse and keyboard support, possibly making any future ports easier to manage? Or that it's uses the PC-compatible Unreal Engine? Also: what do the two mystery pillars that popped up during CCP's keynote represent?
CCP has been very upfront about the mistakes they made with EVE Online's Incarna expansion last year. Namely, they believe they added large features too quickly, which moved the focus of the game away from space combat.
This morning at EVE Online's Fanfest player convention in Iceland, I asked CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson if he was concerned that they were making the same mistake by having their upcoming console shooter, DUST 514, interact with EVE Online at its launch.
He doesn't think so. "We’re not trying to cram [DUST 514] into EVE Online. So it’s different [from Incarna] in that sense: it’s not going to affect your everyday EVE experience unless you want it to."
Fanfest brings together EVE Online fans and developers in what just might be the largest gathering of gaming boozery known on earth. But they also talk about games! It's three days packed full of events, interviews, developer talks, parties and more. PC Gamer is sending our own Josh Augustine and Owen Hill to rub elbows with EVE Online's finest. This year CCP is also livestreaming it all to bring you up-to-the-minute coverage.
Be sure to catch the Dust 514 Keynote on Thursday and check back in for the World of Darkness MMO talk on Saturday. You can find the full schedule on their website or inside the post.
CCP's ambitious shooter, Dust 514, will take place in Eve Online's persistent universe. It will let space-borne generals on PC launch grand land-grabbing actions on Eve's planets, essentially ordering console players will fight and die for the glory of Eve's massive corporations. It'll be exclusive to Playstation 3 (for a while at least). If you're an Eve subscriber, and you happen to own a PS3, you can apply for a spot on the Dust 514 beta now.
Last week, CCP announced major layoffs and a significant shift in priorities away from Vampire: The Masquerade-themed MMO World of Darkness and back toward EVE Online.
We had a long chat with CEO Hilmar Petursson about the changes, and where they leave CCP. He explains why CCP is narrowing its focus, and says that it was "hubris" that led CCP astray.
After months of contentious expansion, EVE online developer CCP has conceded that, "We are attempting too many things for a company our size. Developing EVE expansions, Dust 514, and World of Darkness has stretched our resources too thin."
The developer's statement continues, "Rather than allowing this persist, we have made the decision to sharpen our focus. Sadly, this means reducing our staff."
It's been a very busy year for PC news at E3. All last week we were bombarded with new trailers, announcements, screenshots and interviews from LA. We got to see some of the most exciting games of the next few years demoed right before our eyes. You can find all of our E3 2011 posts right here. If you don't fancy clicking through five days of madness, we've compiled the biggest stories of this year's conference into one post with links to all the best trailers, screens and stories of the show.
EVE Online devleopers CCP announced that their persistent shooter Dust 514 would be a PS3 exclusive yesterday. That seemed very odd to us, given that Dust is designed to closely interact with EVE, a PC-only game, and given that it's touted as a "thinking man's shooter," with more in common with Planetside and Tribes than typical console fare. So when I went along to meet with CCP, I asked: "yo, dudes, what's the deal?"
UPDATE: Dust 514 looks like it's going to be a microtransaction supported game.
At the Sony press conference at E3, Sony have just announced that Dust 514, the shooter that connects to Eve Online to influence the outcome of a planetary takeover, is a PS3 exclusive. Or, to look at it the other way: PC gamers will not be able to order Xbox players to their death.
The game will also support Sony's handheld, the NGP, and Sony's waggle-wand, the Move. In the short on-stage demo, the movie implied that players would be able to hire mercenaries and buy new armour and weapons using ISK, Eve's in-game currency.
The game will digitally distributed via the Playstation Network, and CCP say that the game will be supported by "by revenues from the in-game sale of virtual goods, allowing players to purchase advanced weaponry, battle gear and vehicles using both earned virtual currency and real money from their Playstation wallet." And that brings with it some unusual design problems.