Sony, Game Developer Scheme To Plague Gamers With More PS3 Microtransactions

Angling to get in on the microtransaction gaming action that’s all the rage online and on mobile devices, Sony and a game developer are reportedly hammering out policies to allow games to nickel and dime players to a greater extent.

Develop reports CCP, which is developing the PlayStation 3 game Dust 514 — a massively multiplayer online game a la World of Warcraft — is working with Sony to allow the game to be the first on the system that uses its own form of currency.

We agree with Kotaku’s speculation that this kind of thing opens the way for free-to-play games like FarmVille to invade the PS3. This isn’t necessary a negative development. More types of games should become available to players who don’t mind being shaken down for little bits of virtual pocket change at regular intervals.

The oldest republic [Develop via Kotaku]


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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    a massively multiplayer online game a la World of Warcraft

    When people make this comparison, you’d think it was the only massively multiplayer game that ever existed.

    Yes, I know its probably the most popular and thus, most widely-recognized, but harrumph and shit. Also, get off my lawn.

    • yurei avalon says:

      Aww c’mon now, Star Wars The Old Republic just came out a month ago, give it time and I’m sure before you know it people will start referring to TOR as well as WoW.

      /goes back to playing TOR

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        Needs moar end-game. :(

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          Its been out four weeks now? Its story based… if you run out the story on your main character, go start another and play that story. From what I hear, the Imperial Agent story is a lot of fun, as is the Soldier.

          • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

            I’m *so close* to level 49 on my Imperial Agent, and yes. The story is very compelling, and I really hope the story resolution is satisfying. The only problem is that several of my class quests were a bit glitchy, or enormous pains in the ass. (For example, one particular boss is protected by 4 turrets that respawn as soon as you kill them, making it almost impossible to kill the boss)

            It is likely that ones the game gets really rolling, more end-game content will be added. I believe they have already added new content that was not in launch.

            • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

              We’ve already topped out and have rolled alts. I’m hoping for more new content and soon, since the PvP on our server suffers from the pop imbalance.

            • Mimbla says:

              I think patch 1.1 is dropping today, with some new endgame content. The game is a lot of fun–I hit 50 a few weeks ago on my Inquisitor-Sorcerer, and the storyline was fantastic. Can’t wait to get farther on my IA. :) Starting operations tonight, with my guild. We’ve got some catching up to do, but I’m excited to see what endgame will look like.

              And you are right, the game is new–they still need some time to fix the glitches and bugs, and to create more content for endgame. WoW is what it is now in part because it had years and years to grow into that. Most of the things it has now, like endgame raids and all that, weren’t present at launch and only developed over time.

          • yurei avalon says:

            I don’t really even like Star Wars and i’m enjoying TOR. Sith Inquisitor -> Assasin class storyline is fun but annoying… everyone’s always out to kill you :/

      • Megalomania says:

        well, it’s always a good thing when more people start using TOR, but if you’re just going to play MMOs on it it’s kind of a waste.

    • Queep misses WarOtter :( says:

      Ultima Online FTW

    • Kestris says:

      Whatever happened to EverQuest? No one ever mentions that MMO anymore.

  2. agent 47 says:

    I make dust snowmen on top of my PS3. :D

    • LabGnome says:

      Hehe. To each their own. I have a dusty heap with the 360 and Wii in a corner.

      I guess this means I get to make two dust men?! SWEEEEEET!

  3. Rainicorn with baby bats says:

    Games like Warcraft already stick you for $15/mo for a virtual experience they can take away from you at the drop of a dime.. (i.e. Bans for little or no reason) so I would never pay them more just to dress up my barbie doll a little better. If you don’t have enough time to play, then you shouldn’t bother at all. Lack of time kind of guarantees that you won’t see good use out of the doll you spent lots of money dressing.

    • Nyxalinth says:

      They ban people at the drop of a hat, unless they’re hassling and griefing other players, then they just sort of shrug and say “thanks for letting us know, we’ll talk to him, sorry, can’t tell you the outcome” and then a few days later, there’s that level 85 hassling noobs again. They don’t care about anything other than buying gold and sharing accounts.

      My partner and I quit playing because we got tired of the players who were a-holes ruining it for us, and because of the overall attitude of ‘EVERYTHING IN THIS GAME IS SERIOUS BUSINESS!!!!!111″ attitude. No one could just have fun. It was all about winning..

    • Jawaka says:

      Bans for little to no reason? Not in my experiences.

      There are people on my server who constantly spew racist, sexist and other offensive comments on a regular basis and yet despite my and many people that I know reporting the person Blizzard does nothing. If you know someone who actually had their account banned then they must have been selling gold or something.

      • Rainicorn with baby bats says:

        It was for my husband using Linux back in Vanilla and they told him so. It was the day after he hit level 60. No number of phone calls would reverse his account.

    • Zmidponk says:

      If what I’ve heard about Dust 514 is correct, you don’t pay $15 a month. There is an initial charge to buy the game, but there’s no monthly fee, and then you can buy many things in-game using in-game currency (Aurum) that is converted from real-life money, and the initial charge to get the game also gives you some Aurum to start you off. The details get kind of complicated, but, because it also ties into CCP’s other MMOG, Eve Online, if you play both, it might also be possible to use playing Eve Online to earn Aurum that can be spent in Dust 514.

      • Plasmafox says:

        Eve online is one of the worst examples you could give. Eve is set up so that, unless you’re jumping into an existing guild or spending money, it takes obscene amounts of time to progress in the game. This is generally the cancer of all MMOs- fluff designed to make the game take as long as possible with the theory that you will keep paying the monthly fee or pay for smurfberries to reduce the work involved because most likely, you’re neither Korean nor unemployed and can’t waste 1000 hours on one game. WoW, Runescape, FF11, BFO, TF2, and now it looks like Diablo 3 will do it too.

  4. dragonfire81 says:


    Why are the typos so bad on this blog compared to others I visit?

  5. Cat says:

    I broke up with Sony about 2 years ago.

    No, Sony, I don’t miss you at all.

  6. GMFish says:

    What’s a PS3? It sounds so familiar. Mmmm…

    Oh yeah, that’s the dust collector next to the TV which never gets used because my kids are too busy playing the 360.

    • Cat says:

      That’s funny, because when it came out, the PS3 had the upper hand vs. the 360, especially once HD-DVD was declared dead.

      Blu ray, backwards compatible, “Other OS”, free PS network vs paid Xbox live, no RROD…

      Sony, you have nobody else to blame, you did this to yourself.

      • agent 47 says:

        My xbox has always had the upperhand in BC than my PS3.

      • GMFish says:

        Years ago I wrote a post for Dvorak’s blog arguing that the PS3 was the console to buy. I’ll openly admit I was wrong.

        Ignoring everything else between the 360 and the PS3 (graphics, blu-ray, etc.) the 360 has Live!. That’s what all the kids are doing when they get home from school. Even if they’re all playing different games, they’re all talking and interacting with each other. It’s simply more social than the PS3’s offering.

        • Cat says:

          But the PS3 was the console to buy. You weren’t wrong. Sony dropped the ball, big time.

          I’m imagining a meeting @ Sony going something like this:
          “This PS3 thingy is AWESOME! How can we fuck it up?”

        • atthec44 says:

          I can’t wait to see what the world is like when these kind of kids grow up. They’re playing Xbox when they get home from school instead of doing homework because parents have fooled themselves into thinking that it’s “social”.

      • LiveToEat says:

        I thought the xbox was backwards compatible and the PS3 was not. Has this changed? Our PS3 is collecting dust as well. Our Wii is basically used as a scale with a built in weight tracker.

      • JennQPublic says:

        I hope Sony puts serious effort into picking up the ball they so obviously dropped. MS worked hard to make the Xbox experience overall better than the PS3 experience, in part to compensate for lower specs. If Sony doesn’t step up their game soon, MS may become complacent and stop striving to make the Xbox/Kinect so unbelievably awesome.

        People who argue over which console is ‘better’ are stupid. What’s ‘better’ for gamers is having multiple companies trying to outdo each other with what they offer us. Right now, gamers are winning, but if Sony and MS get lazy, we lose.

  7. bassbeast says:

    Headline with the word “plague” in it implies that this is a negative development for gamers.

    “This isn’t necessar[il]y a negative development.”


    A little bit of editing would go a long way here.

  8. hush404 says:

    Wow, this article is far too aggressive for what it actually is. I really don’t know how this is worthy news… micro-transactions are hardly a new thing. Tons of people pay for costume changes, added vehicles, maps, weapons and other meaningless addon crap by the millions every day… I don’t see how this is that much worse.

  9. StarKillerX says:

    While CCP has a lot of experience at running a virtual economy from Eve Online, their history with microtransactions isn’t exact one to emulate as they had a actual virtual riots on their hands when they did, which crippled the biggest market hubs in the game.

  10. VashTS says:

    Slightly off topic but, Gamers are sick, the fact that they pay for virtual clothing, handbags, gloves, socks, eye-wear, and a host of other sh!t non game necessary. Ten years ago those were called un-lockables or hidden items, or…..just wow… why would someone pay for virtual clothes?

    • Don't Bother says:

      This may be an unfair comparison, but I see this fitting into the same reason why someone may buy a monstrously expensive car when something a fraction of the cost can get him from point A to B just as well.

      People want to show off, want to be proud of something, no matter what world those “goods” are in. I think it’s crazy, but if they get people to marvel at their golden pants or latest sword, it’s worth it to them.

      To each his own, I guess.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Do you pay to go to the movie theater and watch films? You don’t get to keep the movie afterwards. You enjoy it once, and then all you have are memories of the experience.

      Buying virtual crap is entertainment in the same way, except that they last longer. I have virtual items that I have owned and enjoyed since 2003. Some I paid real money to obtain, others I bought with in-game currency and effort. I’m sure I watched movies in 2003, but I couldn’t name them. If I went back and looked up 2003 theatrical releases, I’d probably recognize a few titles, in a “oh, yeah, I remember liking that movie” sort of way.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      When you assign a value to something, either through literal enonomic exchange (i.e. paying money) or through invested effort (i.e. working to unlock said item) the psychology of the acquisition is such that your brain treats it as a real, ‘tangible’ peice of property.

      This isn’t exclusive to Gamers, though they are the most obvious example.

    • ChuckLez says:

      Because Reverse Annie and Gentleman Cho’Gath in League of Legends are worth the money :P.

    • Kuri says:

      I dunno. Why the hell do women seem to need more than two pairs of shoes?

  11. aleck says:

    Cow Clicker FTW!!!!

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      But there are no more cows! The Apocowlypse has come, and the cows, they are no more.

      I think, in part, because the creator hates these sorts of games; it was made to demonstrate that a game with no purpose, plot, or real content can be successful beyond all reason, and I believe he proved his point. The masses are too stupid to appreciate his game-making art, and instead clamor for the meaningless bovine tapping.

  12. Xmar says:

    CCP is trying something really ambitious here.
    They are going to directly connect a console shooter with an already existing MMO.

    Microsoft told them if they wanted to use LIVE!, they needed to connect to Microsoft servers or to pound sand, CCP wouldn’t agree & dropped Xbox 360 development.

    Sony said they would be more flexible but they would need to negotiate the fees.

  13. Kuri says:

    I suppose I’ll be voting with my wallet and not playing.

    Also, to the author. Freerealms, DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, Everquest 2….

    ALL of those games of this already, so don’t for a fucking second pretend this is brand new

  14. jazz2017 says:

    CCP which also makes the MMO Eve Online, already does this. Eve’s ingame currency is called ISK and can actually be used to purchase game time. In effect if you are a savvy enough player you could potentially use your in game currency to buy your playing time and essentially play for free. The company is just following its own protocols.

  15. bobomb says:

    I say it time and again: Nobody despises their customers as much as Sony.

  16. r-nice says:

    Why is this a story?