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'Console games need to ditch box retail - then I'll start playing them again.'

Insight: EVE Online lead prays for a digital revolution...

Kristoffer Touborg is the lead designer on hugely ambitious and massively successful Icelandic MMO EVE Online.


His company is also set to push the boundaries this year with the release of a free-to-play FPS MMO - and it's launching it on a console.

Kristoffer hopes Dust 514 will do its part in dragging the console world up to speed with digital distribution, and away from what he calls the "deflating" boxed retail experience.

Writing for CVG, the EVE designer argues for a console digital future...


The fact that consoles are retail based is super restrictive. It's terrible.

I really hope that our game, Dust 514, is successful so that other console developers will be attracted to digital distribution as well - because that's what keeps me playing PC.

I was talking to a producer at our studio recently who plays a lot of games - he consumes them. He's played the most obscure of Japanese RPGs and takes his gaming very seriously.

We were out for dinner and I told him I hadn't played Dark Souls. He didn't want to talk to me after that - he was angry, outside smoking and honestly said, "we can't be friends anymore".

"I had this rare moment where I was going to buy a console game... they were sold out"

I conceded and had this rare moment where I was actually going to buy a console game. I got in my car, went down to the store and to my surprise it was totally sold out of Dark Souls. I went to another store, which was also sold out. Then I went home and played League of Legends on PC.

It was such a deflating experience to deal with and something I haven't done in about a decade. And it's not difficult to work out why.

If I have the choice of walking down to the store and buying a full price disc like I did in the 90s, or just opening my Steam account... I'm going to open my Steam account.

The second that changes is when I'll start playing console games again, and hopefully Dust 514 will help bring that change.

And I really do hope we do a lot to change the situation. Having access to free, easy to download multiplayer games is going to change the PS3 platform - I think it's going to be really, really great.

I think if we weren't an Icelandic company it would've been very different, because buying a game in Iceland is incredibly expensive. So naturally everyone buys their games on Steam, and we make our games digital downloads.

I think Nintendo's recent announcement that all Wii U games will be released digitally alongside retail is definitely going to help change things too.

This is what's happened on PC before and I don't understand why it's taken so long on consoles to catch up.

Dust 514 is set to be released as a free-to-play download on PlayStation 3. For more information visit the game's official website.