BB 2021-06: Monetization in EVE Online [1/2]

Again a month is over. So there is a topic of the month again. This month we have chosen a more controversial topic: The monetization in EVE Online.

This is of course about what monetization CCP has built into EVE Online, but also how players can earn money with EVE Online. Both topics are quite elaborate, which is why I’m looking at CCP’s monetization here and the players’ in a second post.First of all: Yes, CCP has to earn money. On the one hand, the costs like employees and servers have to be paid, on the other hand, someone wants to be able to grab some profit – probably Pearl Abyss. This is perfectly legitimate in capitalism.

Still, CCP has gotten very creative over the years when it comes to allowing us to spend money on EVE Online. The topic has increased over the last two years – whether Pearl Abyss has anything to do with it I can only speculate.

It all started with the PLEX. An ingame item, which you can buy for real money. The equivalent: One PLEX was equal to 30 days of game time at that time and cost 20 Euro, so more than a month of game time. The big advantage? A player with little time but some money could buy a PLEX and sell it on the market. In return, he would receive ISK from the buyer. The buyer usually had more time for farming and could keep his accounts active. This was a win-win-win situation. CCP had made some more money, one player got ISK, and the second player had playtime. The two players had to invest something, money or time, and CCP earned along.

This actually went well for many years until CCP introduced the Captains Quarter. New 3D avatars opened up “great” possibilities, of course. Clothes, shoes and accessories were suddenly popular and sometimes not quite cheap – a Moncle sold for about 70 €. For the new real money store – the New Eden Store – an additional currency was introduced, Aurum. To boost sales, this was also given away from time to time. So now there were three currencies in EVE: ISK, Aurum and (unofficially) PLEX. However, CCP stressed in response to player concerns that there will NEVER be any in-game benefits to buy for players. Keep that in mind.

Since the Captains Quarter was still (and forever will be) low on possibilities, the demand for clothing was probably not overwhelming. But CCP is creative, after all. There used to be special ships that had the same stats as their normal variant, but a different look. With the SKINs, CCP expanded the whole thing significantly and got rid of the need for special hulls. Since then we can buy SKINs in the New Eden Store for cash to apply on ships.

Cosmetics is what all the items are called, except of course the PLEX. While we’re at it, Aurum was complicated. So CCP changed the currency, from now on you could pay with PLEX in the New Eden Store. But since one PLEX was equal to €20, which is not very suitable for microtransactions, one PLEX was divided into 500 PLEXes, units at 4 eurocents each. Much better.

Game advantages to buy? Skill injectors and extractors was the next step. Again a slap in the face, but at least no content out of nowhere. You have to create injectors with extractors. These cost real money. The user of the extractor invests real money and 500,000 of his farmed skillpoints and gets injectors in return. These can then be sold. The buyer can then convert them into freely investable skillpoints, depending on the skil points he already has. Not my world, but at the introduction of injectors I was also already over 150 million skillpoints. I can also understand the use of injectors for lower skilled players.

Hypernodes? So far I’ve had little contact with them, but again CCP cashes in for allowing gambling. Is not necessary for the game, I ignore the hypernodes as far as possible.

Situation today: Lately, CCP’s monetization is becoming more and more extensive, in addition, contrary to their promises. Skillpoints are sold in packages, skills are offered for rent (Expert System) and just last week new packages showed up on CCP’s homepage: Cap Booster, Speed Implants and Damage Boosters for real money. This means that playable advantages can be bought for real money after all. The items are also available on the market, but the step to the “Gold Ammo” is unfortunately not big. Will there be exclusive real-money items soon?

Oh, I almost forgot: The subscription for Omega still exists as a classic financing, which you have to book as a serious player in any case.

With every year CCP introduces something new, with every year the monetization develops more and more in a direction that worries me. Will EVE Online, instead of Pay2Play and Cosmetics, soon be a Pay2Win game?

What is your opinion on the monetization of EVE Online by CCP? Write me your opinion in the comments.

I’m giving away  one Megathron Scope Syndication YC122 SKIN to 10 randomly selected commenters. Please include an EVE character name or a proper email address so I can reach you. The SKINs will be distributed only after direct contact.

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