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Will PS3 exclusive Dust 514 head to Xbox?

CCP remains quiet, bigs up PSN.

Will Xbox 360 owners ever get to play eye-catching MMO FPS Dust 514, announced this week as a downloadable PlayStation 3-exclusive?

"Let's just say that with Sony at least they have policies that allow us to build the game the way we want," CCP CTO Halldor Fannar said during an E3 presentation attended by Eurogamer.

"That is one of the reasons why we've gone with PSN."

The comment followed a smirk and a "no comment" to the question of a potential Xbox 360 version.

Developer CCP showcased the Unreal Engine 3-powered game during Sony's E3 press conference this week. 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.

CCP isn't the first MMO developer to find Xbox Live troublesome.

Last year Final Fantasy XIV Online creator and director Hiromichi Tanaka told Eurogamer that a "closed" Xbox Live blocked the game from appearing on Xbox 360.

"The main reason why we couldn't go with Xbox 360 was the Xbox Live system," he explained. "[Live is] different to the normal internet environment, so when we wanted to introduce this game in the same environment as Windows PC it had to be PS3, so that was our choice.

"Microsoft has a different point of view: they want to have a closed environment for Xbox Live. We're still talking to... We couldn't come to an agreement on Xbox Live."

MMO developer Cryptic chucked in the towel on an Xbox 360 version of Champions Online in early 2010. Producer Craig Zinkievich told Eurogamer he was frustrated with the business side of getting an MMO on Xbox Live; the game itself, he said, ran just fine.

Sony, however, seems more open to the idea of allowing MMO developers to play by their own rules on the Network.

"Sony allows us to use our systems," Fannar explained. "Microsoft has Xbox Live. They're very strict on that. There's 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."

And Xbox 360 owners may not be alone in feeling left out. Some Eve Online players have complained that CCP has overlooked the PC when it should have been the first choice.

"We wanted to find an audience that was diagonally opposite of what we had instead of trying to cannibalise what we already have," Fannar explained. "That's initially what we're trying to do."

"If you look at all the people who actually tried Eve, it's a really large number. There is interest out there for people to experience this world. But the gameplay style, whether it's being on the PC or it's how Eve is played, doesn't suit them.

"So we wanted to create something that was very different. We understand the Eve players right now are thinking, oh man, I want to play this game but now I need the PS3.' They have to understand we're trying to build this game for a slightly different audience. That's the difference.

"We don't do a terribly good job of trying to ease people into Eve. We're not going to get away with that on Dust. Whereas if we were publishing it on PC, we could. Sony wouldn't come over and say, 'Guys, there's no way. This is just sensory overload. There's too much information. So that's another reason why we're doing it. We're trying to learn how we can cater to people and get them into it."

Will Dust ever come to PC? "We're exclusive on the PS3 right now and we're focusing on making a really good game there," Fannar said. "But I can't speak to what's going to happen in the future, so..."

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About the Author
Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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