EVE online and DUST 514 were officially connected on January 10, 2013, following an extended downtime for server maintenance. Even before release, Dust 514 has been recognized as ground-breaking and innovative for its connection to another game. IGN said that the game was highly ambitious and called it the future of gaming, while PC Gamer praised the orbital bombardment mechanic and the unprecedented amount of customization available.
On CCP's website the following information can be found on the game:
The primary gameplay features brutal ground combat that takes place on the surface of planets, delivering the visceral, adrenaline-fueled experience of futuristic firefights. Developed for the current generation of consoles, DUST 514 will be equal parts battlefield reflexes and strategic planning, allowing commanders and ground infantry to work together, utilizing the real time configurable modular weapons and vehicles at their disposal to adapt to and control dynamic battlefield conditions.
More than a mere persistent world, DUST 514's connection with EVE Online makes New Eden a true virtual reality. The planets that DUST 514 players fight on will be the same planets that EVE pilots see and interact with in space. Both worlds will be linked in such a way that cooperation between players is optional, but beneficial to both if accepted.
Long term, we aim to become the premier service provider of the complete science fiction experience, one in which the experience itself extends from the ground all the way up into space, and on every vehicle in between.
In 2010, CCP updated Eve Online with the Tyrannis expansion. Tyrannis introduced planetary interaction, allowing players to harvest resources from planets using ground installations. A developer blog by CCP mentioned that, while the expansion alone would not include planetary combat, the upcoming Dust 514 game would deal with the combat aspect by allowing players to "project military force for attack and defense of planetary installations." Planets in Eve Online previously held no value; the Tyrannis expansion was intended to tie into Dust 514 by giving players "a reason to want to fight over [the planets]."
Dust 514 uses Unreal Engine 3 after CCP Games reached an agreement with Epic Games China to license the engine in 2010.
During E3 2011, it was confirmed that Dust 514 is to be released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. A beta would be held before the end of 2011 followed by a release in the summer of 2012. However since then CCP has opted to put more work into the game to improve it further and have a release date in 2013, which again has yet to be announced, rather than a 2012 release date. Dust 514 was initially slated to be the first cross platform game, pitting Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players with each other but CCP has since dropped the Xbox 360 as a potential platform; the choice of PlayStation 3 exclusive was determined by Sony's more open platform allowing Dust 514 to connect to the Eve Online server Tranquility, whereas Microsoft's Xbox Live did not. It was also confirmed after E3 2011 that Dust 514 utilizes Havok middleware technology.
Dust 514 will be connected to Eve Online's single-shard server. The complexity of running two games on one server proved to be a unique challenge for the developers. To mitigate any performance issues that this might have on either of the two games, CCP has designed a server architecture such that the majority of Dust 514 gameplay will be run on various "battle clusters" across the world. These server clusters will handle all the latency sensitive first-person shooter aspects of Dust 514. The main Eve cluster, located in London, will only communicate with Dust 514 for information such as character names.
Dust 514 was connected to Tranquility, the live production server of Eve Online, on January 10, 2013.
The CCP FANFEST 2013 will take place in Iceland, April 25 - 27. More information on the game expected then.