In a surprise GDC Europe announcement, CCP CEO Hilmar Petursson has debuted Dust 514, a strategic first-person console MMO that connects in to the existing EVE Online universe, allowing ground battles for planets to be fought by console teams.
The announcement, with the trailer tagline of "one universe, one war," came at the end of a talk about the history of CCP. It left many GDC Europe keynote attendees -- perhaps expecting an announcement for World Of Darkness, CCP's other rumored project -- significantly surprised.
The trailer, with slick in-game graphics, showcased a space station and then impressive first-person shooter gameplay. Petursson said that Dust 514 is "our take on a console MMO," and was made after the company "looked hard at what people wanted to do on consoles."
It'll join space-based PC MMO EVE Online, which currently has more than 300,000 monthly subscribers, in the Icelandic-headquartered company's portfolio.
The project has been in development at CCP Shanghai for almost three years, and a release date and target consoles were not announced.
The team-based game has the player "fighting in a massive war" on existing planets in the EVE Online universe, and is a standalone MMO title, "but is also connected to EVE," according to the CCP boss.
In fact, when Dust 514 launches, the map of EVE, currently divined only by player structures owned in the PC game, will also take into account infantry successes and failures within the console game. Players in the PC MMO can "fund mercenaries and give them goals" in the console title.
CCP's Petursson hope that "these communities will meld over time," expecting specific Dust 514 corporations to start with, but eventually social structures that bridge across the two. He quipped of the new game and the relationship between the two titles: "While the fleet does the flying, the infantry does the dying."
As for the title of the game, Petursson said that he wouldn't give away why the title was called Dust 514, but that very clever devotees of the existing EVE Online universe might be able to work things out.