People like free stuff.
Initially, CCP's DUST 514 – which will technically take place inside the existing EVE Online universe – would have a $10 to $20 cover charge for PSN users. But now, as revealed by Eurogamer , that idea has been ditched in favor of a simpler free-to-play model.
Executive producer Brandon Laurino said the original structure "was a relatively confusing proposition" and in the end, they wanted to make this an "unambiguously free-to-play game." They also don't want to make it a "pay to win" game; i.e., there will be items to buy on a micro-transaction level, but they're purely for vanity purposes and won't have any impact – positive or negative – on your game performance. Added Laurino:
"It's very important as we take steps into this topic to unambiguously state that it is not a pay to win game. There is no micro-transaction that you can do that gives you an unfair advantage over someone who hasn't paid anything. It's the classic micro-transaction dynamic of, 'I can pay and get this item,' or, 'I can invest my time and get this item.' But neither of those options will give me an unfair advantage over the other."
Aurum Credits can be bought in currency bundles ranging between $10 and $100, and you can also earn ISK credits for EVE Online , although these can't be used in the DUST 514 store. Laurino finished by saying they "already have hundreds upon hundreds" of items available for sale, and they're still trying to sort out if all of them will be available on day one, or if they'll parcel them out over a period of time.
Furthermore, it was reported that there will be a PlayStation Vita iteration of the game, but it won't be quite the same: Laurino described it as a "companion app," with functionality such as shopping around, character customization, and the construction of gameplay strategies. This app will be updated as time goes on as CCP explores the possibilities of the PS3/Vita connectivity. And that sounds intriguing.