Back in 2013, CCP launched Dust 514, a PlayStation 3 exclusive first-person shooter. The title had hooks into CCP's flagship MMO, EVE: Online, but many fervent EVE fans were unhappy that there was no PC version of the game planned. CCP threw those fans an olive branch a year later when it announced Project Legion, an all-new FPS spin-off that would be built from the ground up for PC by CCP Shanghai, the same folks behind Dust 514.
With Legion on the way and the PlayStation 3 quickly fading in the rear view mirror, CCP has decided to shutter Dust 514 on May 30.
"CCP's development team in Shanghai has been working on a prototype for a first-person shooter for PC with the goal of building a great FPS set in our sci-fi universe of New Eden (the universe in which EVE Online, Dust 514, EVE: Valkyrie, and Gunjack are set). Their experience is being utilized to build a new game from scratch using Unreal Engine 4 while harnessing all our learnings from Dust 514," wrote the CCP Community Team in a post on the official forums.
"We are very proud of what we've learned and accomplished with Dust 514 on PlayStation 3 over the past three years and it is an honor to be a part of such a dedicated community. We consider Dust 514 one of the best free-to-play offerings on the platform, but the years have caught up with us. Thank you for being a part of Dust 514 on the PlayStation 3. We look forward to the next chapter, and hope you'll be a part of it and continue the journey with us."
One surprising bit of information from the post is that Project Legion itself has gone through a reboot to reach its current stage. The same focus on building a PC FPS that connects to EVE Online is intact, but somewhere along the way, CCP had to start over again.
"This is in many ways an evolution of Project Legion, the concept we announced at EVE Fanfest 2014, but without the limitations of technical debt and development paths we quickly discovered in that effort that could never serve as a future-proof technology base for a full production game," the community team continues. "This new project is still in an early phase of production, and we feel like we're on the right track and plan to give an update at EVE Fanfest on April 21st as a part of the free livestream of the event."
The company is also promising to offer Dust 514 players certain rewards in the new title for their time spent in Dust.
As I said when Project Legion was announced, CCP's problem seemed to be growing too fast and trying to do too much outside of its core strengths. EVE Online was the studio's first success story and that was an online title built for PCs. The company expanded away from science fiction with the planned World of Darkness MMO and away from PC with Dust 514.
Both projects proved less than successful for CCP, whereas a small PC-centric VR game called EVE: Valkyrie seems to have paid off for the company. Valkyrie not only leverages the vast world CCP already built with EVE, it also draws on PC expertise the studio already has in-house. In fact, the game originally began as something some CCP employees were making in their off time.
Released in 2015, Gunjack is a mobile title for Samsung Gear VR, but again the studio is drawing on the VR and Unreal Engine 4 experience it gained with EVE: Valkyrie. That kind of growth allows the studio to expand, while still playing to its core strengths. The new FPS is also powered by Unreal Engine 4 and Dust 514's three years of operation has at least taught CCP what not to do making an FPS spinoff.
It's a sad end of console fans of the EVE universe, but ultimately it's a better direction for the company.