EVE Online Micro-Transactions Causing Macro Headache For Players


Posted June 28, 2011 - By Sophie Prell

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EVE Online Micro-Transactions Causing Macro Headache For Players

EVE Online micro-transactions, a feature launched with the latest expansion Incarna, has players jumping ship en masse. Ironically, the items which have been criticized for being ridiculously overpriced (a virtual monocle will run you the equivalent of $70 in real-world money) have caused a reported drop of over 5.5k subscriptions, which are now expected to cost developers CCP Games over $1 million in lost revenue.

If you've never played EVE, read on to see why it's a big deal.

EVE Online is basically playing the stock market with space ships and lasers thrown in for good fun. It's an intensely player economy-driven game, which operates on real world cash, converted to a Pilot License Extension (PLEX) that governs player subscription, and can be bought for in-game Interstellar Kredits (ISK).

If you're not confused yet, Incarna added yet another link in the chain: A new currency called Aurum. And one PLEX nets players 3,500 Aurum.

So, if an ocular implant monocle costs 12,000 Aurum - and it does - that's basically four PLEX. If two PLEX packages from the EVE shop cost $35 - and they do - that totals $70, real-world money. Now, you might think that's all fine and good, since the items have no real use and however people choose to spend their money is their business. After all, they don't have any effect on the game, right?

But remember that in-game currency ISK can also be used to purchase PLEX, and that the game's economy is player-driven. Before the update hit, one PLEX could be traded for roughly 370 million ISK. Now the price has inflated by just shy of 8 percent, up to 400 million ISK. So, thanks to supply and demand, it turns out these vanity items actually are having an in-game effect, even on players who have no desire for them.

The debacle has been dubbed by some in the EVE community as monoclegate, and CCP is so far so quiet on issuing a response or public statement. And you thought Oblivion's horse armor was a bad deal.

Source: Massively

EVE Online Micro-Transactions Causing Macro Headache For Players


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