The Iceland-based CCP Games, makers of EVE Online and owners of White Wolf publishing, have raised $20M in new funding. Most of the cash, in the form of bonds, come from other Icelandic investors and comes in on top of a previous $20M investment round.
It’s unlikely that White Wolf, the World of Darkness, or any of the RPG publisher’s other games will see the money.
The new cash is pretty much earmarked for the bold new DUST 514 project. DUST 514, still due out this year, will be a PlayStation 3 game that will be free. That’s right, DUST 514 will be a free download and aims to be a first-person shooter coming out in the same buying window as the likes of Halo 4.
CCP’s brave move is two-fold.
Firstly, although DUST 514 is free to download, players will be able to buy in-game items. This is CCP drawing on their knowledge of world balancing game mechanics. One of the reasons why EVE does so well is that spaceships get blown up, players need to pay for repairs and so in-game money is consumed. This avoids the sort of inflation that can haunt many fantasy games. CCP clearly hope to earn millions through these in-game purchases.
Secondly, DUST 514 is set in the very same universe setting as EVE Online. It’s unlikely to happen straight away but the two games may be able to join up, players going from landbased combat, racing into their ships and taking to space. The level of world immersion could be incredible for gamers.