CCP Games announced this morning that its upcoming MMO Dust 514 will enter open beta testing on January 22. “The launch of the DUST 514 Open Beta is another step towards our long-term vision for CCP and EVE,” writes CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson in today’s announcement. “But this is just the beginning. As we have done with EVE Online, in the coming weeks, and for years to come, we will continually improve upon and add to the DUST 514 experience, as well as add deeper integration between the two games and their communities.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with Dust 514, it’s probably for the best that we explain why specifically CCP Games would mention its other MMO, EVE Online, in today’s press release. Dust 514, while being a standalone first-person shooter, is also directly linked to EVE Online. The two games take place in the same fictional universe, and barring any insurmountable technical hurdles, the two games are slated to interact with one another once both have officially been released to the public. More specifically, once completed, both EVE Online and Dust 514 will occupy the same online space, allowing players to jump directly from EVE’s interstellar spaceship combat to Dust’s shooter mechanics at will. Now you understand why Dust 514 is such an ambitious project.
The above news isn’t all that CCP has to share today. In addition to revealing Dust 514′s upcoming public beta test, the company also revealed that those who join the test will effectively be beginning their Dust 514 career at that time. CCP has no further plans to reset characters found on Dust 514′s beta test servers, so any battles you win, foes you slay or experience you earn during the beta test will carry over to the game’s eventual, official release.
So far there’s no word on any additional caveats CCP might have in store for prospective beta testers, but we expect more word to emerge shortly. Actually, we expect CCP to make this process as simple as possible. We’d be very surprised if signing up to join the beta was any more complex than filling in a single screen of pertinent information, and the idea that CCP would find some way to charge people to join the beta is just totally uncharacteristic of the firm. If anything, joining the beta should earn players some tangible reward once the game is officially complete. Don’t quote us on that, as we have no inside info on this topic, but CCP’s past history seems pretty reliable, so we’re going to assume that the company will remain true to form and present the Dust 514 open beta as both a useful test and a handy instrument with which to drive hype among prospective players. We’ll bring you more information on the beta as it emerges.