Developer CCP has said that Sony has "removed" all the barriers needed to keep its upcoming free-to-play shooter, Dust 514, off of PlayStation Network (PSN). Both PSN and Xbox Live have had restrictions of how developers and publishers can patch released titles and charge users for content.
"Together we've worked to identify all the barriers that need to be removed to properly operate a service such as this on a console," Dust 514 executive producer Brandon Laurino told Eurogamer. "We have complete ability to service and update the game as much as needed."
Last month, Double Fine's Tim Schafer told HookShotInc that it costs his studio $40,000 to put up a patch for one of his titles. Laurino has explained that CCP won't incur the same costs when it updates its title.
"We've worked out a framework where it's certainly not at that level, and essentially it's not even a thought, it's a completely trivial part of the equation," said Laurino.
Dust 514 is connected to CCP's space-faring MMO, EVE Online, allowing both games to share data and affect each other in real-time. Laurino believes that Sony is open to the idea of changing its terms because CCP is trying something completely different.
"I can't speak for Sony," Laurino said, "but part of the reason they've engaged with us on this is to be able to bring this business model full force to their platforms moving forward. Certainly the intention here is to evolve the whole console business model, and we're doing it in a way where it's not just specific to us necessarily. This was very much an evolution and learning exercise for them as much as us."
Dust 514 will be a smaller install on your PlayStation 3, with the game streaming in content as needed.
"That said, we haven't zeroed in on precisely how big it will be, but it's not going to be anything crazy outside of the norm," said Laurino. "We're also looking into other means of getting it on your PS3 for people who are bandwidth constrained in that way, but can't comment on any of those specifics yet."
Dust 514 is scheduled for the 2012 release exclusively on PlayStation Network.