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Dust 514's "cover charge" revealed

Payment converted into in-game money.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

You'll have to pay a one-off fee to play PlayStation 3-exclusive MMO shooter Dust 514, developer CCP has confirmed.

A payment of between $10 and $20 will be converted into in-game currency.

"In the beginning you have to pre-buy credits, so you pay something like $10-$20 to enter the game and you get the equivalent number of credits in the game once you do that," CCP boss Hilmar Veigar Pétursson told Eurogamer sister site

"We call this the cover charge."

Despite the payment, CCP insists gamers are getting Dust 514, which ties into PC-exclusive MMO Eve Online, for free.

"We might go fully free-to-play down the line, but in the beginning we have a cover charge just to manage the initial launch of it."

What, exactly, you'll be able to spend your virtual money on is yet to be decided.

"We have some initial assumptions but we'll put it out there and see how the player base during the trials reacts to it," CCP said.

CCP showcased the Unreal Engine 3-powered game during Sony's E3 press conference last month. A closed beta will happen at the end of the year ahead of a full PlayStation Network download-only release in spring 2012.

The console shooter directly connects to the PC MMO Eve Online, which launched in 2003. Dust 514 and Eve Online will share one "vibrant universe" - one single-shard super computer server.

"Sony allows us to use our systems," CCP CTO Halldor Fannar explained to Eurogamer.

"Microsoft has Xbox Live. They're very strict on that. There are a lot of issues we run into. It may be a basic thing people don't realise, but with Dust and Eve on Sony's network, we can allow them to chat together. Voice chat, text chat, that's all one world.

"One of the reasons for the partnership with Sony is because they're opening up new ways to do these things.

"We're going to be managing most of it. We're using PlayStation just for credentials, stuff like that. Then it's all our stuff.

"With our agreement with Sony they seem to be fine with our three month expansion cycle. They've been looking at the MMO space for a while, trying to understand why something like that hasn't still happened on the console. They're coming to terms with it. There are certain things they have to relax just to allow these things to function."

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