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EVE Online Players Rage, Protest Over Microtransactions 315

Posted by Soulskill
from the vote-with-your-wallet dept.
Several readers have written with news of a controversy that's been slowly building in space-based MMO EVE Online. "It all began with the Incarna update, which added an item shop to the long-running sci-fi sandbox. Players began to voice their concerns over the bizarrely high prices of items in the shop, with one particular item reaching an insane $68 US. Before this hullabaloo had the chance to so much as come to a simmer, an internal newsletter from CCP was leaked to the internet. The document outlined the introduction of microtransactions into EVE and mentioned that at some point, ships, ammunition, and so forth may be available for purchase with real-world currency. This naturally sent players into even more of a frenzy." Reader Ogre332 points out additional coverage, but notes that many publications are missing the punchline: "Players are angry that CCP has blatantly lied about their intentions and have responded to these customers concerns by basically telling us they know what we want better than we do. The purported e-mail from CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson was like gas on a fire, and a response to some concerns in the form of a dev blog was not well received at all. Players are protesting, and many claim to be canceling their accounts left and right."
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EVE Online Players Rage, Protest Over Microtransactions

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  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:44PM (#36570926)
    Companies always want to milk the cow. Has it ever been any different in the history of man?
    • by interval1066 (668936) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:49PM (#36570968) Homepage Journal
      Well, like anything else it takes cash to run an enterprise. Games are no exception. Although $68 virtual items are a joke. Hardly what I would call a micro transaction.
      • by Haedrian (1676506)

        Cash they're already getting through the fact that players pay a monthly subscription already.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          ooch, that sounds like greed. If you pay for something, you don;t expect to be milked for more. What next? in-game adverts?

          If the game was free, then there might be a case for in-game purchases.

          • by GooberToo (74388)

            I guess I don't know enough about the game. It doesn't really sound like they are being milked. It sounds like people who wish to buy extras can do so for cash. It would be different if certain goods are only available for real cash and they require a subscription. Is that the case?

            • Eve already has a subscription. Some items are now available for RL cash in a way that bypasses the (extraordinarily deep and complex) player economy. Currently, those are vanity and decorative items only, though their one ship type for sale so far is now expected to be deployed into the game without requiring player-manufactured components. CCP has something of a history of putting half-finished features into place, then not fixing major issues for years.

              The information that has the serious players raging

              • by GooberToo (74388)

                Okay. That's what I thought. Definitely not milking anyone. Effect on game dynamics is a different issue, but definitely not milking anyone.

                • Well, there's some milking involved, assuming that the internal plans for game-changing items for real money come to fruition.

                  Eve is full PvP in a way that is different from almost every other MMO out there, and if an item or ship is better at its job than another, it will be used nearly to the exclusion of all others, and destroyed in great amounts as well.

                  Either the cash store ships/modules are better than the player-produced ones, and they'll be used instead of them, or they're equal or worse, and they w

              • It's much more complicated than this, and right now a lot of players are too enrage over the poor implementation to see the big picture.
                If you're easily bored by explanations, jump right to the last paragraph, if not, read the rest too.

                A bit of a background is needed here to properly understand what's going on.
                I won't bore you with much detail (as incredible as this sounds, this below is the short version).

                Since many years ago, for the majority of the game's life actually, CCP (the game makers) attempted to curtail attempts of RMT ("Real Money Trading") - and mostly succeeded in reducing the frequency of it happening - by allowing players to sell GTC ("Game Time Cards") for ISK ("InterStellar Kredits", the in-game currency).
                This meant some people were getting the ISK they wanted without having to buy from "goldfarmers" (so to speak), while some players could afford to "play for free" (not pay any real-life cash for their subscriptions). It didn't take long for CCP to introduce a secure trading method, which became the only allowed exchange option, with the game time automatically applied to the purchasing account (to prevent RMTers from buying GTCs and selling those for cash).
                This became popular enough that nearly a quarter of the total active accounts were actually subscribed using this particular method. Or, in other words, they were seeing a more than 30% increase in subscription counts because of it.
                About two and a half years ago, CCP decided to introduce a new way to trade GTCs, by allowing players to split a purchased 60-day GTC into two 30-day PLEX ("Pilot License EXtension") in-game items, which could be traded on the in-game free market.
                What CCP didn't expect however was just how popular PLEX would become.
                TOO popular, in fact.
                It didn't take long for the player base to realize that investing ISK into PLEX could be viewed as a hedge against inflation, as a security blanket for the time they might not afford to pay real-life cash for a while, or even just as yet another good to be traded by the ultra-rich (in ISK) players.
                Because of that, the demand to purchase PLEX was outstripping the need for PLEX to be used on the spot, so the price on the open market was a bit higher than what it would have been if it would only have been used as a subscription extension tool - and as such, the supply side (people purchasing it for cash to sell for ISK) obliged them, and increasing numbers of PLEX have been stockpiling in people's hangars.
                The only data regarding this trend is quite old, from mid-August 2009 - a developer blog with some interesting graphs : http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=684 [eveonline.com]
                Players have speculated about just how many PLEX are now stockpiled, the most reserved estimates put a lower count of around 75,000 PLEX (real-life cash equivalent of around 1.3 million USD), with opinions split about the upper bound, but even 300,000 PLEX would not be difficult to believe (roughly 5.25 million USD), and some people claim it might be even higher.

                Now, it should be pretty obvious as to why a company the size of CCP would be worried about "unclaimed" pre-paid subscriptions worth anything between 1 and 5 million dollars floating around inside their own game.
                As they say, within this here lies the rub.
                So they hatched a plan, this microtransaction deal.

                It was by no means the first contingency plan, they tried various other methods first, anything from allowing people to use PLEX for other services that used to require a cash payment (like character transfers, for instance) up to holding donation drives for real-life aid, drives accepting both ISK and PLEX (to be converted by CCP into cash and donated on behalf of the player base to charity, without any tax breaks from it).
                Obviously, that didn't work well enough, and the threat of financial liabilities growing ever larger in these uncertain economic times (and let's not forget, they're an Iceland-based softw

            • by RoFLKOPTr (1294290) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @08:03PM (#36572398)

              The rage stems from the fact that CCP, which has historically been one of the most open and honest game developers on the planet, has been caught in what looks like a boldfaced lie. It started with the Aurum store opening with Incarna's release, then the last volume of Fearless, their internal newsletter, was leaked, then they did a crappy job at putting out that fire by making an empty apology and then making a long-awaited announcement that essentially told the playerbase nothing, and then Hilmar's email surfaced and we have yet to hear anything. CCP has stated that the Aurum store will be kept to vanity items only, but these leaked documents seem to directly contradict that. CCP has told us that Fearless was looking at the argument from an exaggerated point of view and didn't detail any actual specific plans, but they have yet since its leak actually definitively stated that the Aurum store will be kept to vanity items only.

              There are three general models for reasonably-profitable MMO's out there: pay-to-play, pay-to-win, and pay-to-accessorize. Pay-to-play (P2P) means the players must explicitly give money to the game developer every month in order to maintain active account status, and is employed by most successful MMO's including World of Warcraft and EVE. Pay-to-win (P2W) means the players have the option to give the game developer extra money in exchange for in-game items that offer an advantage over other players, or at the very least they cause it to be a fast track to the same items that everybody can gain by playing the game themselves, and is employed by most free-to-play games such as Battlefield Heroes and APB. Pay-to-accessorize (P2A) means the players have the option to give the game developer extra money in exchange for in-game accessories and vanity items that don't actually offer an advantage in gameplay.

              Free-to-play (F2P) usually comes about when a game does not have the appeal or simply isn't good enough to sustain enough monthly subscriptions to be profitable. APB was a good example of that. Their developer went out of business and the game was sold to a company that owns and maintains several F2P online games, and it is now sustained by a P2W model. Team Fortress 2, on the other hand, has been wildly successful in the P2P market. So successful, in fact, that it had probably tapped out the market and sales were dwindling because everybody owned it already, and it was a one-time purchase with no monthly fees. It has been converted to F2P and follows the P2A model with a microtransaction store that sells hats and other crap like that, and now Valve is making ridiculous amounts of money off it again.

              The F2P model works for many games as there's not much difference between playing the game to earn items or paying real money to gain them more quickly. Don't write me off as some stupid fanboy when I say this, but EVE is different. Half of what makes EVE such an intriguing game is the market which is almost entirely player-driven. Every item you buy on the market -- be it a ship, a gun, ammunition, drones, whatever -- was built by a player from blueprints that were obtained by a player and minerals that were refined by a player from ore that was mined by a player. And that's not including the countless possibilities for traders to make money at every point along the way as they play the market and buy and sell these things before they actually become a final product, and even after. It's also not including the fact that most mining and production is done by groups of people with their own specializations that all help work towards the final product: miners mine in groups and drop their ore to a pilot in an industrial ship who transports it to a station and transfers it to a person with maxed refinery skills who then refines it and transfers them to people with good production skill who own copies of a blueprint owned by somebody with good blueprint research skills who then transfer the finally-finished product back to the industrial pilots to transfer them to a market where

              • Excellent writeup. Worth the read. Let's hope CCP is reading.
              • by rainmouse (1784278) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @02:57AM (#36574400)

                (F2P) usually comes about when a game does not have the appeal or simply isn't good enough to sustain enough monthly subscriptions to be profitable.

                Great post but I feel the need to correct you on this issue about free to play game models. Huge numbers free to play games from the start, for example RuneScape, love it or hate it, has always been a free game where you can subscribe on a month by month basis to unlock extra content and is funded by ads, has almost double the player base of Eve and earns considerably more cash, yes it's not an ideal measurement of success but the game works for the target audience who are typically cash strapped kids and young teenagers. The success of this and similar titles is whats driving business execs to push most MMO's in this direction (though RS has no micro transactions).

                The problem with Eve switching to this model is the player demographics are completely different and contain typically the oldest playerbase of any other MMO, perhaps due to the games mature content, slow play style and extreme difficulty but its certainly not a cash strapped community.

              • by rtb61 (674572)

                There is a fourth model, buy the game and ISP's run free server's for their customers. The cost of the server is abated by keeping all traffic on network and thus reducing network traffic costs. Also those servers provide an effective marketing to draw additional customers.

                When it comes to competitive MMOG what gamers dislike is the winner is not who plays the best but who spends the most and of course admin's with bottomless accounts who hope to scam players into spending by wiping them out (have to pay

              • by Artemis3 (85734)

                No, not everything is made by other players. Don't forget:
                1) The pre-seeded stuff (with fixed prices).
                2) Item dropped by NPCs (including the most expensive ones).

                f2p could work with Eve. Certain things could be unlocked with single payments, including skills, and regions, not just items. Of course monthly payers have access to all already. Purchasing things should also be doable with game money, but the farming required would take lots of real time.

                A new f2p player could, for example be only allowed to roam

                • No, not everything is made by other players. Don't forget: 1) The pre-seeded stuff (with fixed prices). 2) Item dropped by NPCs (including the most expensive ones).

                  Pre-seeded stuff is skillbooks and low-level BPOs, which act as an ISK sink to counter the many ISK faucets that exist in the game. I forgot about item drops, but even still they contribute to the economy because they must be bought from other players who, in order to obtain such things, had to purchase ships, modules, and ammunition created by other players.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        $68 is not a lot for a certain really, really insane subset of EVE players.

        I used to play EVE and would still play if it weren't for the fact that the group I ran with fell apart.

        Firstly, an important example. EVE has a legitimate backdoor to Real Money Trading. You can buy "PLEXes" (Pilot's License EXtension) with real money. You get 2 PLEXes for $30 or so, and each PLEX extends game time by 30 days. It's not all that different from the regular subscription, with the exception that the PLEXes are in-game i

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        And of course if no one pays that price then the price will drop. The upset players are essentially long term players upset that someone might get an advantage without playing for 5 years first. EVE has locked out new players essentially because it takes too long to get your skills up.

    • by wulfbyte (722147) <wulfbyteNO@SPAMwulfbyte.net> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:51PM (#36570982)
      There is a difference between milking the cow with sensible management and long term milk production and butchering the cow for a quick feast and assuming there will always be another cow.
    • by Elbart (1233584)
      In EvE, they players are part of the economy, making stuff and selling it. CCP wants to compete with the own subscribers over the "revenue" and, by selling gameplay-related items, rendering most ingame-efforts of the dedicated players worthless.
    • It's one thing to milk the cow.

      It's another to slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs.

      • Potential revenue from cash in has exceeded projected forecast revenue from the game as it is.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      and fools chasing away their loyal customers will lose money instead
    • by tragedy (27079)

      Pretty much par for the course. What I've never understood is why, once they introduce real world monetary value to the items in online games they don't fall afoul of gambling laws? If ingame items are purchased for real money and can be won from you in game by other players or by "the house" (item is destroyed, thereby "returning" to the game company much like casino chips when you lose). There's practically no online game that's a game of pure skill, they all have some random element that you're gambling

    • Companies always want to milk the cow. Has it ever been any different in the history of man?

      APB has guns that cost $40 each.

      There is the world's first MMO called Football Superstars, they recently converted from subscription to microtransactions. Player complained about this being pay-2-win, but the item cost only pennies.

      Whenever there are games that start charging people, there will be people complaining.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The monacle being 68$ doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is talk about selling ships, items, and/or faction standings for real life money. Those are game changing items, and should be earned as part of the game.

    • by Gutboy (587531) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:59PM (#36571036)
      Come on, once they started selling PLEX, you've been able to trade real life money for ships, items, etc. This will just make the relationship more obvious.
      • ...you've been able to trade real life money for ships, items, ...

        But you've been able to trade it for things other players made. Other players made those ships and items (or ran the missions or complexes to get the items). In effect, you were buying game time for someone else in exchange for their in-game efforts.

        Even when you did buy these things from other players, they didn't make it an "I win by credit card" situation. I say this as someone who has bought Plex and sold them for ISK.

      • by Lazareth (1756336) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:48PM (#36571408)

        There is an enormous difference, for many reasons.

        The EVE economy is based on items being built by the players, for the players, using materials gathered by the players. PLEX is a sort of trade commodity, it is like diamonds - people want them because they are desirable, not because they are useful (in game at least). It has no effect on gameplay and is basically just a trade good on the market. Trading a PLEX has no other immediate ingame effect other than redistributing ISK among players, which is completely balanced in cost by the players themselves.

        "Gold Spaceships" and AUR is completely different from this mechanic. Ships are seeded and directly tied to real money. Sure, you can buy a PLEX with ISK, but that is superficial - you are, in effect, just having somebody else pay real money for your spaceship. Sure you can fund a CNR (a special battleship) using ISK gained from a PLEX, but it is completely optional for that PLEX to be involved - with Gold Spaceships it would become MANDATORY to involve a PLEX. Also, since the ship is seeded, no tangible effort has been made to build or acquire the ship by anybody - not through missioning, grinding, building, whatever - the ship entirely come into being depending on real money.

        Basically the entire EVE economy, which is the pride and I daresay center of the soul of EVE, can become entirely unhinged by AUR and Gold Stuff, since it is impossible for an industrial body in EVE to compete with people simply swiping their credit card for special premium superstuff.

        More issues can be touched upon. Think for example the Alliance Tournament (a yearly competition with spaceships), what happens to the game if a team wins because they brought Gold Spaceships? Should all invest real money to be able to compete then?

        P2W and microtransactions are reasonable depending on the gaming model. EVE is simply not built for it.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      Yeah, because ships and faction/officer items are not being sold for real money right now.
  • by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:48PM (#36570962)

    Players are angry that CCP has blatantly lied about their intentions and have responded to these customers concerns by basically telling us they know what we want better than we do.

    Players aren't a hivemind. Odds are the company that makes the game has a pretty good idea what the community as a whole wants, while a vocal minority is convinced that everyone else feels as they do.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's not that simple in the EVE universe. There are a couple of camps in the EVE player base. Mainly, they fall into 1) Just want to play the damn game and don't give a fuck about the larger issues. These people only yell when something they use daily changes. 2) Want to play the game, meta game, uber-meta game and think it all really really matters. 3) Want to play the game as 2, but don't have the time, so they want to pay cash to replace months of grinding.

      2 and 3 do not get along well at all. They

      • Group 2 drives the whole story around the EvE universe, though. They "shape" the universe. Unlike other MMOs that are pretty much entirely driven by what the company making it wants, EvE and it's "politics" are largely at the hands of the players. And while the alliances that crash shards with the sheer amount of ships they bring into the battle probably do not represent the majority of players, they are the ones that make the game interesting. More, they are what many new players aspire to, and want to cli

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      More to the point, if the forum goers are right, and most players of the game are exactly like them, then the solution is obvious: don't buy any of the items. If you don't buy them, CCP gains nothing, and they'll eventually stop offering them. Free market.

      • More to the point, if the forum goers are right, and most players of the game are exactly like them, then the solution is obvious: don't buy any of the items. If you don't buy them, CCP gains nothing, and they'll eventually stop offering them. Free market.

        More to the point, if the environmentalists are right, and most people are exactly like them, then the solution is obvious: don't buy any of the right-to-dump-sludge-in-the-river credits. If you don't buy them, the government gains nothing, and they'll eve

    • The avalanche has started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote.
    • by KermodeBear (738243) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:34PM (#36571806) Homepage

      The best overview [beyondreality.se] of the players' concerns that I have seen.

      Briefly:

              The high cost of goods in the Noble Market.
              Captain’s Quarters.
              Performance issues with Incarna.
              “Greed is good”
              Communication issues

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Yeah, that happens. But that companies have completely failed to understand their customers and gone face first in the dirt has definitively happened too. Particularly when the way they think the customers want it would also make them plenty profits.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @04:59PM (#36571038) Homepage Journal
    It wouldn't be hard. Just take the spreadsheet from Openoffice and you're already halfway there! Build some cheesy flash graphics on top of it and chances are it'll come out looking better than Eve does!
    • Seriously. EvE Online is just Trade Wars [wikipedia.org] with pretty graphics, and I quote,

      The players seek to gain control of resources: usually fuel, ore, food, and technology, and travel through sectors of the galaxy trading them for money or undervalued resources. Players use their wealth to upgrade their spaceship with better weapons and defenses, and fight for control of planets and starbases.

  • It is called PLEX.

    I can go spend real $$ on PLEX on CCPs website. I then get a item in game that is called PLEX.

    I can take said PLEX and sell it on the eve online market for ISK.

    I can then take ISK and buy SHIPS, AMMO, etc.

    ** Nothing significant has changed **

    • by MAXOMENOS (9802)

      I could understand the screaming if it wasn't one old monopoly alliance screaming about possible new T2 BPOs.

      As it is, it's just EVE selling overpriced skirts. Big deal.

    • by sheetsda (230887) <doug DOT sheets AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @07:55PM (#36572348)

      The article is wrong. The protests are *NOT* in reaction to buying in game items. They are in reaction to buying skill points and faction standings (which is currently NOT possible) and the absurd prices of all the vanity items (lowest end items are around $20). Currently the rate at which you gain skill points is currently determined by your characters ability scores and the absolute best gear you can buy only increases this rate by around 20%. It takes several months worth of skill points to fly the best ships. This is the ONLY factor currently keeping day-1 players out of the game's best ships (money is not a factor because of PLEX as you noted). The WoW/other MMO equivalent would be buying completely leveled and elite geared character directly from Blizzard.

      Amusing tidbit: several alliances have declared players wearing the $68 item to be Kill On Sight. Spending that $68 is currently tantamount to putting a bounty on yourself, and the only place in EVE you cannot be attacked is while docked in a station.

  • Meritocracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:24PM (#36571234) Homepage

    The only thing online games offer over real life is the opportunity to be someone you are not. WoW is successful because people can be rich and famous without actually being rich or famous. Once you allow people with more money to have cooler items in-game, you are destroying the reason people play it.

    That doesn't mean it won't be profitable, but I think it will certainly turn many people off.

  • Playing two sides of the field = nono.

    You either make players pay every month - which means they expect balance.
    Or you give players the ability to '1-up' their opponent by paying their way through it.

    Doing both is silly, it just means that players will pay to win, and the others won't want to pay their monthly fee and enjoy the game less than the guy who bought his way in.

    Doing it with just micropayments works, because if the players get tired of the heavy-users that's fine, they're not paying anything.

  • Micro-transactions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Emetophobe (878584) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @05:35PM (#36571314)

    I think companies are taking advantage of the fact that some people have a tendency to hoard and collect trinkets/items. Micro-transactions are just a way for these companies to cash in on human behaviour. I think it's unethical.

    I have one friend for example that only plays Team Fortress 2 on idle servers. He barely even plays the game, he just idles 24/7 to collect more and more items. I ask him why he even bothers to idle since he doesnt actually play the game, and he can't come up with an answer. He constantly tells me how much he hates the game and all the changes Valve has made by constantly adding more and more items, yet he continues to idle and collect more items. Is that even sane? That sounds like an addiction.

    These companies know exactly what they're doing, and they're making insane profits, so they'll continue to do it.

  • Not surprised (Score:2, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846)

    EVE is the most cut-throatedly capitalist MMO I've come across. The philosophy of most games is focused around fair play, balance, and looking out for the little guy, but EVE has always been about "may the richest man win" and "money equals power".

    At first, this philosophy was just confined to the game world, but I've found that game designers build their personal values into their games. Nobody should be surprised that EVE's developers turn out to be just as mercenary in real life as they expect their pl

  • The real issue is that this reeks of depseration for money on CCP's(the developer) part, as well as stupidity on how to get that money.

    The expansion is bug ridden. They literally showed the players the door if you don't want the new features.
    • Yes, it looks like the VCs are running the place. The new CFO, Joseph Gallo, is a 14-year veteran and former managing director from Citicorp who left about the time of the global financial collapse. His LinkedIn profile claims that he's responsible for the strategic direction of the company.

  • EVE has been plagued by rampant RMT for many years, it's full of botters and rich fools investing thousands of dollars in ingame items. It's not a big surprise that CCP wanted to make it more official, but apparently this was too much for the players who wanted their illusion of fair play on equal terms (hah!).

    Needless to say, the threat to cancel one's account as a sign of disapproval for CCP's ideas has been a running gag for years as well ...

  • so uhm.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by BulletMagnet (600525) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:01PM (#36571506)

    CCP is moving to become Zynga? Are they going to rename the game to EVEville or EVEwars too?

  • by MAXOMENOS (9802) <maxomaiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:37PM (#36571838) Homepage
    Of course they're spamming chat, but they're doing more than that. They're currently bombarding a major trade station at Amarr VIII (Emperor Family Academy). It's at 0% armor and 0% structure, but still standing - the structure is invulnerable. In Jita, they're bombarding a statue near the major trade station at Jita IV - Caldari Navy Assembly Plant. It's kinda silly but the screenshots are impressive; so IMO is the thought that these guys are throwing billions of ISK in ships away in protest (as CONCORD takes them out one by one).
    • by Exitar (809068)

      And CCP should be scared by a bunch of nerdraging players or just laugh at them if they don't talk with their wallet?
      Especially since, as you wrote, they "are throwing billions of ISK in ships away in protest" and if they don't quit they may be forced to buy more PLEX to recover from their losses?

      • And CCP should be scared by a bunch of nerdraging players or just laugh at them if they don't talk with their wallet?
        Especially since, as you wrote, they "are throwing billions of ISK in ships away in protest" and if they don't quit they may be forced to buy more PLEX to recover from their losses?

        I think that the reasoning of this is along the lines of:

        Player: "I'll quit if you don't acknowledge the flaw in the direction you're heading"
        CCP: "You can't quit, you've spent years building your virtual empire"
        Player: "Fine, I've paid you till next month, I'll destroy my empire before I leave so I never have an incentive to come back"

        Given the types of ships involved in this protest, it works out that the amount of virtual currency being lost is on the order of a billion ISK a minute being destroyed. This

  • by Jupix (916634) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @06:53PM (#36571958)

    The rage has continued for a few days now and it's no longer just about the unbelievable initial MT lineup that they put in. The focus has shifted almost completely to how CCP seems unable to handle the PR disaster, and how there appears to be a force as of yet unknown at the higher levels of the company that puts emphasis on maximizing revenue and screwing the playerbase over in the process. The senior producer is widely acknowledged as a nice guy and having a similar mindset to veteran players, but the devblog he posted reeks of committee writing and of the CEO in particular, according to some CSM members. This kind of strange behavior and obvious businesstype meddling, in addition to widely known inhouse problems like a serious lack of professionalism and poor quality of workmanship, has the players worried that CCP as a company is turning into a catastrophic trainwreck and the future and wellbeing of their beloved hobby is in danger.

  • http://www.vendetta-online.com/ [vendetta-online.com]

    I like the game world. There are surprising twists that are not obvious during the demo, including mission trees opened to you based on your in-game behavior. The game is developed by a four-person team who have made this their full-time gig. Cost is $10/month, after the free demo.
  • by cvtan (752695) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @09:11PM (#36572872)
    Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $50 for an imaginary monocle.
  • Even if they lose half their players, if they remaining half are spending 4x the money on the game it's a net win for the company. Just ask SOE. They can keep a game running with 100 subscribers left if those subscribers are willing to pay enough.
  • by CyberDong (137370) on Saturday June 25, 2011 @10:29PM (#36573306)

    I'm quitting Eve. The first one who gives me 1 Tritanium can have all my stuff. I've set up a contract in-game -- search for "Tritanium".

  • by eudaemon (320983) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @11:20AM (#36576390)
    Eve's economy is an interesting beast. They are one of the few companies who employ a full time PhD economist. In fact he publishes a quarterly report [eveonline.com] much like any publicly traded company does. CCP benefits from the sale of Pilot's License Extension (PLEX) using real-world cash, which are traded for in-game items. These items are sold for in-game currency and eventually exchanged with CCP for a 1 month game play extension. In other words CCP has been in the Real Money Trade (RMT) business for years. And a large part of the EVE universe make enough in-game currency each month (ISK) in order to play for "free", barring the cost of their time. Since the inception of Eve there's been a set hierarchy - the folks who have been playing the longest have the greatest advantage because item use is directly related to Skill Points (SP) invested and player skill. Obviously nobody can purchase skill, but neither could anyone purchase SP to gain an advantage, or more importantly to close the advantage gap with older players. RMT for better ships or SP would change all that. Because the sale of characters is allowed there is a secondary market and many players depend on "baking" a kind of character for many months and selling it for in-game currency as well. RMT for SP would also impact this market. Just as the "old guard" have no interest in CCP allowing the re-release of unique and limited supply items, neither do they wish for the introduction of any other mechanisms that could close economic or skill gaps. This is one of the reasons Goonswarm was so very reviled with their entry into the EVE universe - they tried to play nice and were ignored or mocked by older players, so the Goons invented tactics to counter the older player's play style, resulting in a huge upset in the balance of power and required game play. This is more of the same and although the source is CCP, the reaction is the same. Nobody wants change as long as they have an advantage over everyone else.

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