DUST 514's new Executive Producer talks Uprising 1.5, future of DUST and EVE
It’s been quite a day for CCP Games, the Icelandic masterminds behind the spaceship MMO EVE Online, the free-to-play PS3 shooter DUST 514, and the Oculus Rift game Valkyrie. Not only has CCP launched the latest update for DUST in Uprising 1.5, but it also announced industry veteran Jean-Charles Gaudechon as the ambitious space shooter's new Executive Producer.
Gaudechon started learning the ropes as a producer 10 years ago while working at EA on FIFA. Later, he moved to Singapore, where his exposure to the free-to-play model started with FIFA Online and Need For Speed World, which were ventures into the digital F2P space using existing blockbuster IPs.
PSU recently caught up with Jean-Charles Gaudechon and asked him what allure led him to CCP and its products. “There’s two things: one, because I’ve always had tremendous respect for the company and EVE Online and all the technical prodigy that this product has, first as an avid gamer of EVE Online and as a very impressed producer on the other side of the wall," he said. "The second is DUST 514, which is the best way for me to capitalise on all the stuff I’ve learned over the last four to five years and apply it to a major product that is on the F2P market. And when I say major product, I mean that the company is fully dedicated to making the game a success.” He also talked about the excitement of pushing the Shanghai branch of CCP further, which will be a challenge as the studio is already in “a very good place."
Given his experience with the free-to-play model, Gaudechon is right at home with CCP’s elected method of distribution, but stressed that what’s most important is making a quality product: “The one thing I’ve learned in making products for that particular business model or platform is that it’s actually not about the business model, it's about the game--it's about how much of a good game you make and then you find the best way to sell it."
"Today, there’s a big surge with soccer going F2P. Is that going to be the model in five to 10 years from now? I don’t know, to be honest," he explained. "I would even say, 'No,' because it’s always evolving. It’s just going to go with however people consume these games. One thing will remain a constant into that equation: to make the best game possible. And what I’m really happy to see, especially with a product like DUST 514, is that you’re starting to see deep and high-quality products coming on that business model.”
Meanwhile, the title update for DUST 514 that launches today takes steps toward improving the new player experience with the incorporation of tutorials on game staples like creating a dropsuit fitting and starting a match. Naturally, the buck doesn’t stop there when it comes to working on this vital component. When asked what his main focus would be, Gaudechon talked about developing the moments that create first--and lasting--impressions. “It’s really very much to polish that first experience," he said. "Taking the user by the hand and getting him or her through that ‘once upon a time in the world of DUST 514’ and setting the fiction and emotional part and the ‘getting you to jump off your seat’-type features back in the center of that experience." He elaborated: "The game has a ton to offer, it’s extremely deep, and sometimes the depth [is something] people don’t see at all in the first hour or two of play, and I feel there’s more work we can do to reveal that to the player.“
In an introductory dev blog released today, Gaudechon reiterated his vision for DUST 514 now that he is at the helm: "With DUST 514, my mission is to give you the most intense and engaging experience possible for a free-to-play online multiplayer shooter in the EVE Universe. This requires focusing primarily on the core gameplay, but also on a deep and rewarding link to EVE Online and everything that comes with it: the incredibly immersive fiction, sandbox design, best-in-class player-driven economy, and much more. This is where DUST 514 differentiates itself completely ... (continued on next page)
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