According to Develop, Dust 514 developer CCP has worked with Sony to remove many of the PSN restrictions that would have made it difficult to manage the PS3 MMO exclusive. CCP is known for its space MMO, EVE Online.
CCP has stated these two games will directly effect one another even though they’re on different platforms. Dust 514 executive producer Brandon Laurino gave this statement:
“Relaxed is not even the word – they have ‘removed’. 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. We have complete ability to service and update the game as much as needed.”
There’s a slow patch process when dealing with consoles. For many, it can be painful if there’s a bug that makes their game completely unplayable, such as with Skyrim on the PS3. Earlier this year, Tim Schafer revealed that it costs his company, Double Fine, a staggering $40,000 to deliver a patch because of the closed systems that consoles are built upon. When asked about this process, Brandon Laurino said the following:
“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.”
Brandon Laurino went into further details, explaining that this removal would not only effect Dust 514 but future titles for other companies as well:
“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.”
Analysis: This is by far the most positive step in bringing MMOs to the console that I have ever seen. Anyone who has played any MMO on their PC knows all too well there are at least one or two patches a week, not including emergency patches. I’ve always hated the patch cycles on consoles, and Tim Schafer’s comment helps shed light into why this process takes so long. This is obviously only one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a major one.
This is a free-to-play MMO on a console, and the company’s revenue is going to be linked directly to purchases made on the PSN for in-game items. As such, if there’s still a cost to releasing these patches, how often are they allowed or financially able to release an update? This the only question I have right now, and unfortunately, there’s no way to know the answer until we see what happens when Dust 514 is released.