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Game developer looks to bridge genre and platform gaps

Two of the most popular genres in the gaming industry are massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) and first-person-shooters (FPS). Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, the world’s most popular MMORPG, features some 10 million subscribers, while Activision’s Call of Duty FPS franchise consistently breaks its own sales records. Modern Warfare 3, the company’s latest Call of Duty title, sold 12.3 million units in its first week to become the biggest launch of all time, grossing more than $740 million. Some developers and publishers have explored the option of bridging these genres, although most MMORPG-FPS blends tend to remain a niche and fail to achieve the success of WoW or Call of Duty. But one popular developer is planning to expand its already successful space MMORPG with an FPS game that looks to truly bridge the two genres once and for all.

Icelandic developer CCP Games is the brains behind the popular title EVE Online. The online space MMORPG was released in May 2003 and since then has steadily grown each year to more than 400,000 subscribers who uniquely play on one massive server, unlike WoW, which is spread out across dozens of servers.

EVE Online allows users to create characters that can then pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of over 7,500 star systems, which contain moons, planets, stations, wormholes and asteroid belts. While EVE gives players a relatively large amount of freedom, characters are confined to their ships and are unable to land on the thousands of planets within the galaxy.

CCP’s upcoming title DUST 514, however, will bring a console FPS to the thousands of planets within the EVE universe. The online-only game will be free-to-play and be will available exclusively for the PlayStation 3, Co.Create reports.

DUST 514 will initially allow for matches of 48 players (24 vs. 24), although CCP has tested as many as 128 players (64 vs. 64) battling all at once. Players will be able to customize weapons, vehicles and dropsuits, and the game will also feature some sort of player housing. Gameplay will involve capturing the opposing team’s territory, which will alter aspects of the company’s MMORPG. Players in EVE Online will also be able to assist ground forces in DUST 514 with “Orbital Bombardment,” which is similar to Call of Duty air strikes. Mercenaries on the ground are then able to shoot cannons at starships in orbit above the planet in EVE.

CCP is planning to release Dust 514 this summer, marking the first time users of two different platforms can play cooperatively. If CCP can successfully pull it off, we may see more developers and publishers attempting to connect various genres and platforms.