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F2P Shooter  Dust 514  Will Require Initial 'Cover Charge'
F2P Shooter Dust 514 Will Require Initial 'Cover Charge'
July 11, 2011 | By Mike Rose

EVE Online developer CCP has revealed that its upcoming online first-person shooter Dust 514 will require an initial mandatory payment that can be used as in-game currency.

Describing it as a "cover charge" and suggesting a payment in the region of $10-$20, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson explained to [registration required], "You're really getting the game for free but you have to pre-buy credits in the beginning."

"We might go fully free-to-play down the line, but in the beginning we have a cover charge just to manage the initial launch of it," he continued.

"We have always been a big believer in growing up a social network behind the game in a slow and predictable way. Because we have seen that if you don't do that you can end up with a very unstructured experience, where there's no cohesion to the community."

"By growing it at the beginning we help to make a healthy environment initially."

Announced at GDC Europe in 2009, Dust 514 is set to be a PlayStation 3 exclusive. "Going exclusive with either platform allows us to do more innovation," said Petursson. "The lowest common denominators would have been so small we couldn't do things that are really interesting."

"Sony was quite motivated in allowing us to do things we requested of them to the point they said 'no one has really asked about that before and we've never thought about, but why not?' They were very enthusiastic and open to really do something world changing and that's what swayed the decision to go with them," he concluded.

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Brian Tsukerman
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Okay, what the hell is with this jargon? "It's free-to-play, but you have to pre-buy credits like a cover charge at the beginning." That's called PAY TO PLAY.

What percentage of people are fooled by this sort of vocabulomancy? Because repackaging a standard pay-to-play experience as "free-to-play with a cover charge" has the stink of public relations all over it.

Sean Danielson
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Actually, I look at it like how Guild Wars is done. Guild Wars has a "cover charge", but is free-to-play.

It makes sense, but after the PR shitstorm that happened over on EVE Online, I don't treat Hilmar with any level of professional respect.

Alex Leighton
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Yeah, Guild Wars gave you all the content of the game with the cover charge though (at least initially, I know there's been expansions and micro transactions added) What these guys are doing (as I understand it) is forcing you to buy credits to be used in microtransactions.

Jane Castle
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Is there also a dress code? I thought night clubs only used the term "cover charge"......

Ken Nakai
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It's just a new way to package the original MMO model where you'd buy the box and get the first month's sub included in the package. In this case, the money goes towards in-game credits. Granted, you still don't pay a sub so it's not exactly the same model but it's similar.

Yeah, a really dumb attempt at marketing the game differently. Sorry. And, it's stupid to say it might go F2P later...guess what people are going to do? Wait until later.

What they should've done is just said, the game will cost $10-20 at launch but with that $10-20, you'll also get XXX in game currency to spend from day 1! OMG! Bonus!

Now, I'll be telling everyone I know, it's gonna go F2P eventually so don't bother just yet. It's not like I or anyone I know is desperate to play this game. Maybe if they were BioWare and Dust514 was TOR.

Darcy Nelson
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So you buy the game, and then you don't have to spend anymore money on it afterwards? Isn't that the concept behind regular old fashioned game sales?