Dust 514 is currently exclusive to PlayStation 3 but there's nothing - no signed piece of paper - apparently stopping developer CCP putting the game on another platform, even a rival one.

"There isn't anything preventing us from doing anything like that," said CEO Hilmar Pétursson, speaking to me at EGX 2013, "other than focus and prioritisation. It's so easy to lose your focus by working on things that are not the most important thing."

(He should know: he shouldered a monsoon of abuse when Eve nearly steered off course a couple of years ago.)

"Right now we have a player base and that player base is on the PlayStation 3. They love playing the game, they're giving us fantastic feedback and it's more about sticking with them on this journey, delivering on our mission, rather than to go and try and spread it out over other platforms now.

vege
"Now we're eating our vegetables rather than having dessert," he said, but what if...

"It's a lot of work [doing another version], it's a lot of effort from the dev team which then does not go into delivering features and polishing up the current experience - really our focus is on that.

"It's easy to go and look at all the new shiny things that are coming but we don't want to be doing that. We want to stick to our guns ... there are 80 million PlayStation 3s and we have a free-to-play game; I think there is a massive opportunity in continuing to work on that throughout next year."

Even the game's transition to PS4, which seemed like a done deal when CCP spoke earlier this year, now isn't so certain.

"We just haven't decided," Pétursson told me. "It's just as simple as that. It can, technically, be - there's nothing preventing it, it's just not what we're focusing on.

"Now we're eating our vegetables rather than having dessert," whatever that means.

Of course when CCP spoke before, Dust 514 hadn't come out - back then it was all promise and excitement. Had the game smashed down like a world-changing meteor then I'm sure new versions would be high up the to-do list. But it didn't. Dust was, to quote our review, "a distinctly average and rather buggy shooter". Would you convert that for other machines?

The kind of numbers it's attracted since launch aren't known either, nor is Pétursson prepared to talk about them. Probably, they're small, but "it has revenue and people are playing", and the game is improving each month depending on their needs. There are even stories worth talking about.

"There were only 30,000 people playing Eve in the beginning..."

Hilmar Pétursson

There's a husband and wife team who pursued different gaming avenues before Dust. He would play Eve and she would play console games. Dust bridged the divide. "She started to play Dust, loved it, built her own alliance in Dust," said Pétursson. "Now she has boots on the ground and he has an army in the sky. She's calling the shots and he's delivering them.

"It's those kind of things that we care more about rather than the exact number of people who are playing it, because we know that if we have that passion and we do the updates then the journey is going to take us to whatever numbers will come, just like it did with Eve.

"There were only 30,000 people playing Eve in the beginning, now there's over half-a-million people playing it a decade later. We know how that works. If we stick to our guns, deliver on rapid-fire updates, the game accelerates and progresses so nicely that...

"It's just good to see that we're in that mode. It's a much better mode than before when were just internally developing the game and it wasn't connected to Eve."

Whether Dust can mirror the success of Eve over the years in a market place stuffed with shooters will be interesting to see. But CCP has good pedigree and, it sounds like, the desire to listen and sort Dust 514 out. Just moments ago, a post about Dust 514 patch 1.5 appeared on the PlayStation Europe blog.

It's not over yet.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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