The latest PlayStation 3 cross-platform exclusive is developing its own model for pricing in-game content and as it stands gamers can buy an entire load out for 24-cents.
In order to add a bit of background to the story it is important to understand what Dust 514 is all about and how it is connect with the PC role-playing game, EVE Online.
The latter is an expansive RPG set in the future where various organisations strive for control of planets, resources and ships. The ships are used to harvest planets for resources, which are then traded in a complex economy within the game.
EVE Online has a robust and dedicated core of gamers, all of whom spend hours upon hours in the virtual world. However, the game’s developers CCP, are set to take things in a new direction with their free-to-play first-person shooter Dust 514 on the PlayStation 3.
The game is set to be linked directly with the PC RPG, EVE Online, in the sense that the battles taking place in the Dust 514 will have real time impacts on the economy in EVE Online. Organisations can hire mercenary groups to take control of a certain planet, while other organisations can do the same to defend those planets and resources.
The group that wins the battle gains control of the planet and the resources as well, combining both games to deliver a never before seen experience.
However, there is another little experiment going on at the same time as players will be able to use both money earned in-game as well as real world money to purchase in-game content as well. This will form a crucial part of the gameplay experience as regular purchases will be necessary due to an interesting aspect of Dust 514’s gameplay.
Morgan Godat, the CCP vice president of Art, got to the specifics when he said, “There’s a thing about Dust, which is every time you die, you lose your items, so we’re talking about relatively small amounts of money.”
However, there is no limit on the weapons and armour stockpile that a player can have as it all depends on his the balance in his bank account. He said, “You can buy 100 copies of this gun, you can buy 100 copies of this suit of armour. We’ve got to make sure we’re pricing things at the right level.”
He also pointed out that the developers were, “still tuning prices – the costs will change according to the feedback we get on the beta.” And that so far the cost for a full load out stood at 24-cents.
“That’s assuming every piece of your equipment, including your dropsuit, was purchased with real-world money, and every time you died, it was a 24-cent cost to assemble your entire fit.”