CCP: Dust 514 would be "tricky" on Xbox Live
"Sony is a lot more open", claims Eve studio
Dust 514 developer CCP has attempted to defend its decision to make the free to play multiplayer shooter a PSN exclusive.
The publisher announced that the ambitious project would available only on the Sony download service at E3 this week, ending speculation on how the project would manifest on console.
"Most of DUST is running on our own technology, it's running on our own super-computer," producer Thomas Farrer told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "And Sony is a lot more... open, shall we say, to allowing you to do those things."
Farrer also felt that player anonymity would be important to the game, as it is in the often elaborate and duplicitous in-game politics of sister title Eve Online. "It may seem silly, but on Xbox Live your identity is your Xbox Live identity. In the EVE universe, having people not know who you are is quite important."
However, he denied that an Xbox Live version of the shooter had always been out of the question. "I don't think it's about saying we "couldn't" do it. I think some of the challenges we'd meet would be tricky.
"It's nice to work on one platform rather than two, because it means you don't have to make any awkward compromises, technically." he added.
In a conversation with GamesIndustry.biz, ICO Partners CEO Thomas Bidaux commented on Dust's PS3 exclusivity, saying that "My experience is that Microsoft doesn't allow itself a lot of margin for negotiation and that's usually fine for offline games.
" But when you start to consider things like servers, billing, patching or even customer supports, it becomes a lot more complicated. It is my experience that Sony will be a lot more open for a publishers to manage all those aspects.
"It can also as simple as the fact that Microsoft isn't ready for free to play as a business model - and they would want to control the item shops which any existing online publisher would refuse."
Dust 514 will link in to PC MMO Eve Online via what is pitched as a shared server, with player actions in one game theoretically affecting the status quo in the other. CCP's Farrer claimed to Rock, Paper, Shotgun that they were ruling out a much-requested PC version of Dust because "we don't want to cannibalise our own player-base."