Interview: EVE Online's Kristoffer Touborg

PCG: What's the current status on Dust? Are there plans for an open beta any time soon? Where is it in terms of nearing public release?

KT: So it's pretty far ahead. We just had an internal competition in all the offices where we played Dust for a week, and everyone had 15-man teams. Of course, my team won [laughs]. It's pretty far along. The basic run-around shooty functionality is in. Our beta is gonna be this winter. EVE players will have first dibs on it. And then, sometime next year, we're gonna ship it when it's done.

So we're starting with the beta this winter, and then we'll hopefully keep it going until it's actually release ready. And then we'll just go. And we have a long list of features we want to put in after it's out as well. We're gonna keep marrying [EVE and Dust] post-launch.

PCG: Anything new happening with World of Darkness at the moment?

KT: No. That's kind of on the backburner in favor of the other two games. I mean, development's still going on. But EVE's EVE, and we'll just keep doing that. And Dust is getting so close to open beta that it's kind of our big focus right now. But we're still doing World of Darkness.

PCG: So, Star Wars: The Old Republic's about to use Force Subscription Fee on PC gamers the world over, and – after all the money EA pumped into it – I imagine it actually is EA's only hope. Meanwhile, WoW and Rift are built on a similar combat and quest formula. As someone who runs such an atypical MMO, is it disheartening to see the biggest kids on the block continue to rehash the same old ideas? Is the MMO genre in dire need of some creativity?

KT: Yeah, the MMO genre is horrifically boring. I used to play a lot of different MMOs. Like, if anything came out, I'd play it. Today, I can't really be bothered. Like, when I look at the first MMOs I played, those are the three most different ones I've ever played. I started out playing Ultima Online, then EverQuest and Asheron's Call. They're all so radically different. Back then, you tried to do something else. And now it's kind of just become the same stale type of MMO.

I like the different ones. I'm a big fan of Planetside. I can't wait for the new one. For all the crap SOE takes sometimes, if you look at how different they are – you know, you had the old EverQuest games, you have Planetside, you have Pirates of the Burning Sea. They have a lot of different kinds of projects that are really interesting. I'm really looking forward to Planetside 2. I'm a massive fan of Darkfall. That's the game I'd play if I had time.

So I can't really pick up the level 1-50 games. I just can't do it. I've been through it too many times, and I really hope that there's gonna be some change or some revolution. That's one of the things that I liked about World of Darkness. We had a nice internal test and I sat down and said, “The only thing I don't want is to play WoW.” I played for three hours and I came away having played something completely different. That was wonderful. So let's hope there's a few titles before World of Darkness, because I'm getting a bit bored of the same-old, same-old. I hope something happens. Definitely.