CCP’s experimental console shooter Dust 514 won’t be quite as free-to-play at launch as we had come to expect.
Upon its unveiling at E3 in June, it was revealed that as well as being digital-only the game would also be F2P, with in-game microtransactions encouraged by the developers.
However, CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson has revealed that players will be required to pay what he describes as a “cover charge” upon downloading the title. This will then be refunded to the buyer via in-game currency.
It’s an unusual business model and one no-doubt designed to provoke players into an early foray into the game’s digital store.
"In the beginning you have to pre-buy credits, so you pay something like $10-$20 to enter the game and you get the equivalent number of credits in the game once you do that,” he told Games Industry. “We call this the 'cover charge'.
"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.
"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."