Eve Online and Dust 514 players will be joined on the same server from tomorrow, developer CCP Games has announced.

It means that people playing high-octane internet spaceship MMO EVE Online will be able to fully interact with those testing Dust 514, the free-to-play PlayStation 3 spin-off currently in closed beta.

Dust 514 players will be able to chat with EVE veterans and join corporations, with in-game battles influencing the EVE Online world. EVE players will in turn be able to purchase orbital strike weapons to take part in Dust 514 fights.

The challenge of merging a ten-year old PC MMO with an experimental free-to-play console shooter is not lost on CCP - it has been building up to this moment for many months.

"This is a massive technical and game design endeavour and so the overlap in gameplay is intentionally contained for now. It is of course very important that we do not upset the serious business of internet spaceships," the developer said.

Money transfers between the two games will initially not be available while CCP calculates a suitable rate of tax between the two.

"So, for this first release, any ISK transfer between EVE and DUST characters will be blocked. This will then be replaced by a taxable transfer mechanism with the intention of easing the currency control to 0% and removing it entirely once we are happy the economies have reached an equilibrium."

Dust 514 will next move to an open beta, before a full release later this year.

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Tom Phillips

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