This week we got tha chance to sit down and talk with David Reid, CCP’s new Head of Marketing. Also, joining us on the call was the big man himself, CEO Hilmar Petrusson. David and Hilmar gave us a great look at what CCP has planned for 2012. The main title being DUST 514 as a AAA shooter which will integrate into the EVE Online universe, while being a completely separate experience. They also answered questions about EVE and the expansion plans for 2012 and yes… they even talked about World of Darkness.
David began by talking up FanFest in March. The event has become a staple for EVE fans all over the world and everyone flies into Iceland for the “Party at the Top of the World.” More importantly Dave said that DUST is hoping for a big summer launch and will be out there at shows this summer for players to get their hands on the game. DUST is on the PS3 Network and SONY will be working with CCP to get the game seen before launch. Dave also mentioned that EVE has its normal two expansions planned for the year and players have really gotten behind Crucible which took EVE back to the core values of the game (space!).
I aksed Hilmar about bouncing back from the summer woes of 2011, and he said he has been very happy to see the response from fans when EVE made the right choices to go back to their core aspects of the game. Hilmar said that after he wrote the apology letter to fans and Crucible was launched there was a lot of energy behind the game. Hilmar said that communication with the community is critical and 2011 showed that. So EVE will be very focused in 2012 on their core game mechanics and most of all flying in space.
DUST 514 SET TO BRING CCP TO PS3
When talking about DUST 514 both Dave and Hilmar want people to know that CCP is putting together a Triple-A FPS for the console space. The game will have top quality weapons, vehicles, and tactical gameplay which rivals the best loved shooters out there. DUST will integrate with EVE and be part of the same persistant universe which is a unique step for MMOs. Having gameplay in DUST’s planets impact the game universe of EVE is a major step forward in gaming. They want the feel of grunts with their futuristic guns battling it out in the universe which will work hand in hand with the space pilots flying above. Dave was very excited about the look and feel of the game. The dark future art style that has made EVE so spectacular will really shine through in the ground wars of DUST.
Another area that is a major part of DUST is the pricing model. With more games moving into hybrid free to play models, DUST and Sony are exploring this area as well. They want to make the right choices for players and how they play the game and monetize the game accordingly. Dave and Hilmar said that the game was designed as a virtual goods game from the beginning. “The core idea at inception was a microtransaction game,” said Dave. They are looking at the best long-term strategy for the game and cannot ignore games like League of Legends and World of Tanks both of which have proved the viability of the free-to-play pricing model. More news will be coming out on the DUST price model as we get closer to launch. Dave and Hilmar said nothing is set in stone, but they are exploring several different ways of monetization, and that F2P is the way for DUST.
The art team on EVE has joined DUST in an effort to bring the game to the ground. Hilmar said, “We are painting parts of the universe that have never been seen before.” The team is committed to bringing the same quality that EVE has into the ground war of DUST. The CCP team is working globally from Shanghai to Iceland to build the game that all EVE fans will want to play. They want to take the daring steps for the game so that it appeals to hardcore gamers.
WORLD OF DARKNESS STEPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Now, on to World of Darkness, the game that has been on the radar for a while and suprisingly not much has been said despite the IP and a few tech demos. Dave and Hilmar both agreed that a lot of news on WoD in 2011 was taken out of context. Hilmar said that they have a triple-A team working on the game and that effort has not diminished one bit, “We have a kick ass ninja-team focused on the game.” They are building World of Darkness as a modern era game and are treating the IP with great respect. The team has made great progress and Dave said he has gotten some hands-on time with the early builds. Hilmar said that WoD is a huge investment for CCP and more than anything they want to get it right. They also are very focused on appealing across gender lines to both male and female players as Vampire the Masquarade has such a high amount of both genders. Hilmar said at this point the game is becoming a tight and solid experience that they cannot wait to share. The team is focused on making World of Darkness part of the overall CCP plan and more than anything he hopes they “nail it” when it comes to the IP and its general feel.
With show season starting up soon we expect to have a lot of coverage on DUST, EVE and hopefully before the end of the year even a look at World of Darkness. For now, Dave and Hilmar have a very busy year for CCP planned. After rebounding in 2011 and moving strongly into 2012 there are definitely high hopes for the company and some of the top games in the MMO space. Hilmar also wanted to personally thank all the readers at MMORPG.com for voting EVE as the Player’s Choice Game of the Year for 2011. Thanks again to CCP and let’s hope for a bright 2012 even if it is a Dark future (I’m so punny).