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Jester’s Trek: Red Wedding

May 3, 2014

At the end of the day, I am an EVE Online player, not a DUST 514 player. So I’m going to keep this short, and put it in its own post so that comments about it don’t interfere with comments about the rest of Fanfest day two. But I’m also going to say what I think and let the chips fall where they may.

Now all of you know the thing that was revealed to the CSM many months ago.(1) DUST 514 is being developed for the PC platform; the unannounced implication is that the PS3 platform will be left to wither on the vine. But as the date for the announcement of this was pushed back and pushed back and pushed back, I finally said to a number of people in on the secret: “Delaying this announcement is going to blow back, and it’s going to blow back huge.” It quite frankly felt like CCP trying to scrape the last little bit of peanut butter out of the jar before throwing the jar away. In short, this very well might be just the sort of mercenary play for cash that I truly don’t believe CCP uses very much, but which I know a lot of you out there do.

And now the winds are blowing. My, are they! On Twitter, a fan of DUST 514 commented that the DUST faithful feel like they’ve been taken to the Red Wedding. This strikes me as an absolutely apt analogy. Put more simply, the very first post in the announcement thread on the DUST forums states “Thanks for using us and trashing us. Makes us feel good.”

Let me be blunt. In my not so humble opinion, the announcement for this change was done in the most self-serving and cynical way possible. It announces what is essentially the death of the existing DUST 514 in front of a friendly EVE audience primed to react joyously for the press in attendance. It answered no questions whatsoever from the existing player base and in fact avoided those questions. The short presentation was tilted in such a way that any angry mutterings that might have started would not have time to take root; the whole thing was over in 37 minutes.

Hell, when the thing ended, hundreds of people in the auditorium looked around at each other clearly asking “Is that it? Is it over?”

Afterward, I caught a DUST developer with which I have a really good relationship and asked “Is CCP going to rebrand DUST 514 to EVE Legion?” He stammered a bit and wouldn’t answer the question. Then I asked “Will the existing PS3 players get to keep their skill points in the new release?” He wouldn’t take that one, either. And these are #2 and #1 on the list of the most obvious questions that will need answering. #3 is “Is CCP still worried about cannibalizing their base?” I didn’t bother asking that one.

Anyway, that’s it for the DUST 514 keynote. More about the rest of Fanfest day two later today. I think I’ll go watch EVE Movie Morning!

(1) And as an aside, if anything proves that the NDA works and that EVE and DUST players bound to it will keep CCP’s secrets no matter what those are, this is it. Doubtful CCP devs, please take note.

– Ripard Teg