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Reader Comments (34)

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:08AM Dumac said

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No. You mean stuff like databases and mods and mobile apps and that? No, not one bit. Some advertisement is okay, i get that there are costs involved, but nothing beyond that.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:18AM Equal Opportunity Dork said

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It entirely depends on what you are talking about. I honestly don't know what I would do if something like Auctioneer for WoW started requiring a fee to use (I realize Blizzard doesn't allow this). That is a mod that requires a tremendous amount of work for it's devs and genuinely costs them a fair amount of money in hosting fees, I am sure. In that mod's case, advertising doesn't help much, since people only need to go to the site when they need an update for it.

In a game like EVE where I imagine there are a lot of very intricate tools involved and the potential for real money to be made in-game, I could see this as a good thing for all involved. EVE has this almost Second Life mystique to it, in terms of people making real money off virtual items.

At the end of the day, not allowing people to make money off these things puts a ceiling on how much innovation you are going to see. Hobbyists will take it only so far before it becomes a financial burden. On the other hand, this opens the door to swindlers charging money for garbage to make a quick buck.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:19AM DataShade said

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WowHead is a database built on player submissions (granted, you're running a client that collects and typically uploads the data automatically, so you're not keying in data by hand), so that going paid would probably result in a lot fewer people running the client, kicking the quality of the database into a death-spiral.


That being said: I have nothing against the principle of a team charging for an app or service, but let me provide you a list of mods/extender apps I've seen since I started playing EQ in 1999 which I felt were worth enough to pay for once, let alone subscribe to:



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Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:20AM Equal Opportunity Dork said

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@Dril Read it again. You pay the license fee to have the option to charge for your services.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:22AM Ryn said

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I'm not really crazy about this. People have done this for free for a long time and have been compensated by Donations or advertising. Players have come to expect there will be a free source of info on just about any game they play. And that may sound strange, but it's true.

It's all about choices. The better apps and websites have already prevailed without direct spending from the gamer. I have seen the argument that paying for services would improve on what is offered. I just don't buy this. Competition has already happened in the market and the winners are still out there.

I also feel this would be a cost barrier to new players entering the genre. I for one am excited to see the player base growing. Monitizing apps, websites, ect will only deter this growth. It's economics 101. Just that simple. Easy access and low cost means more players. More cost means less players.

I knew this would come some day. It already had in some forms, such like Carbon UI for WOW a few years back. But even they went free. I just don't think this does anything for the genre except turn people away. With the way the economy is, some are barely affording their favorite game, and it's their only release from life. IMO this change is not well thought out.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:48AM jfTaffu said

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@Ryn I don't think in any way it's going to deter growth. Look at World of Warcraft and other F2P MMO's that have micro-transaction models and elements. It, in no way, is slowing down the growth of the market. One could even argue that it's helping to grow the market.

Some sites already have a system in place for monetary gain (ie. ZAM) where you pay for premium site services, and not just to access the content the site(s) provide. I see nothing wrong with it. While you can argue that players utilize parsing applications to auto-submit the information...it still takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to sort, categorize, and ultimately publish that information in an easily accessible manner. Some of these younger, newer sites are developed by very small (if not single person) teams of independent users. Why shouldn't they be rewarded, if only to cover the expenses they incur from hosting such sites out of their own pocket?

The same goes with AddOns and other like entities. Regardless of IP ownership to the development company, these people take the time to develop & maintain these often-used items to enhance their game play. In a sense, companies (like Blizzard), actually benefit because of the additional "hold" this can create on a player base. AddOns are synonymous with World of Warcraft...and because of this, when players migrate to other games, they're inclined to return because other games just do not have that support for AddOn development like World of Warcraft does. It's like free PR for Blizzard.

It all depends on how far it goes, and how badly a system like this is abused. Would it be fair for Deadly Boss Mods to all of a sudden require an absorbent subscription fee to use their AddOn? Probably not. So long as the system isn't abused "too" much (because it will to some degree), I don't see anything wrong with offering Third Party Utilities the option to earn monetary gains on their own creative masterpieces.
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Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:30AM Mynsc said

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@Dril
I'm not sure you understand what EVE did. The modders can continue to do it for free without any problems. But if theyw ant to start charging for their programs, they have to enroll in an EVE program (get a license basically) that has a fixed cost and is an one time thing. After that, with the dev's seal of approval, they are free to activa any type of monetization they want.

I dont see why are you getting so upset about it. In other fields this is the norm... for example all the AppMarkets out there for certain mobile SOs. Or Ebay. Why are you not mad that EBay takes comission from the sellers ?

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:44AM Alph said

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*sigh*
Just when you think the money bleeding can't get any worst...

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:44AM Vegetta said

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I havent liked this since back when UO Assist came out. Paying money for an unfair advantage is kind of lame.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:50AM Dril said

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@Equal

No, you pay to have any form of commerce on it whatsoever. So, if you want to setup a site for the mod, and hosting that site costs money, you can't have ads to support the hosting cost without paying CCP. That's ridiculous. You either choose to make no money at all, or pay to at least break even.

@Mynsc

See above. They can still do it for free, but if they want to do anything other than make the mod they'll operate at a loss.

Ebay and Apple are a null point. They provide a platform, a service, through which you sell your goods. Mods provide a service TO the community and CCP (since they don't have to spend time making things that, you know, help the playerbase.) It doesn't lose CCP money (hell, it probably brings in a few more people due to word-of-mouth and passive exposure) but they still decide they need to charge mod makers.

It's pathetic, and it's part of a wave of cash grabbing (a ship, paintjobs and clothing HAVE to come from real money) from what is already the most expensive MMO in subscription terms. Considering CCP have a history of not charging anything but the sub fee, it's galling and worrying to see them suddenly take a U-turn.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:52AM DarkWalker said

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As long as the paid service does not have an exclusivity deal with the game developer/publisher, it's fine with me. I most likely won't use a non-free service, though; I like MMOs, but not enough to spend cash on third parties.

If the third party has an exclusivity deal, though, I will look at such deal as a sign of publisher greed and avoid the game from then on.

BTW, I would love if the web services that depend on advertisement would include instructions on how to add them as exceptions in AddBlock. I would be quite willing to allow their advertisement through, but I WON'T drop the addon, and for quite a few of them I was not able to add them as exceptions.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 8:56AM Daverator said

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The thing is, any database type system which uses readily available information (IE in the game) will be available for public use for any popular game.

The only way to not have free versions compete with pro versions would be for the game company to act with hostility to the free (fan) pages. Such as with legal issues, or changing schemes and only giving new patterns to the pro site.

However, if instead outside programmers were given tools and utilities that required a level of confidentiality. Such as perhaps they were licensed the tools to access the Auction House, or Manage inventory, or guild rosters. Then you could reasonably say they should be able to be compensated for the work they have done

Personally it just seems a little wrong to have extra fees on top of the most expensive video games known to man (MMO). For example there are probably several who have played WoW since launch, which would mean they have paid $1000+ in subscriptions, and $200+ in retail/xpac costs. And that is for one account, and if no computer upgrades have been purchased for the primary reason of the game.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:01AM Valdur said

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It's interesting though and I would like to see how those who (pretend)rely too much on these apps/parsers/addons with like 10 things running while playing will deal with this situation.Game sub + third party apps sub.

Nothing is really free in this world.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:08AM Pewpdaddy said

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It seems to me that these services were monetized some time ago. Look at Curse? All the advertising revenue they receive from their sites would hopefully cover any additional fee's. And at least from where I stand should they look to further charge me, I'll simply find another resource.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:14AM Mynsc said

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@Dril

The Apple and CCP examples are absolutely identical. You say Apple provides a platform... well that's exactly what CCP does too. The platform is their game, without it any mod, app, etc would have no sense. They also provide a service aka API. Same as Apple.

Charging a fee and requiring a license to be able to monetize your app is a step towards a normal and safe Addon environment.

The only reason why any dev company like CCP is doubtfull of allowing free for all monetization is so their customers dont get ripped off. This leads to angry players that might even unsubscribe from the game.

Introducing a license requirement gives CCP the opportunity to check every addon submitted for consideration. This way any non-free product is 99% safe for the players and so everyone is happy.

And about the 99 bucks fee, here's what CCP has to say about it (and it makes 100% sense):

Why charge for the license at all?

The licensing fee is there to partially cover expenses from this initiative and more importantly, we need to charge a fee so that we get proper non-spoofable information about the applicant. We have kept the fee as low as possible and hope that the $99 fee is low enough to not dissuade serious developers from participating in the program.

So ease up a bit, this is not some money-grubbing thing. It would be a retarded one anyway, considering they'll probably make like 30 - 40k bucks / year, max (not considering any expenses, like the man power that will go into accepting apps and building the needed infrastructure). That's pocket change for a company like CCP.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:29AM (Unverified) said

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They should not charge. Plain and simple.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:44AM halfcaptain said

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@(Unverified)

Nothing is free. Why should they make handing out commercial licenses cost them even more money? P.S. "CCP also allows non-commercial apps and services, subject to simple clickwrap agreement substantially similar to the one that is provided to registered fansites. "
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Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:40AM halfcaptain said

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@Dril

Equal is right. You don't really understand what is going on, and before you can full form an opinion, you need to get your facts straight.

"...it's part of a wave of cash grabbing (a ship, paintjobs and clothing HAVE to come from real money) from what is already the most expensive MMO in subscription terms."

Incorrect. While you CAN purchase virtual items from CCP with real money (and many undoubtedly will) there is nothing to stop you from using isk made in game to buy the exact same things. To that end, the subscription fee itself can be paid in space money. While I'm at it, EVE is nowhere near "the most" expensive mmo in subscription terms. Aside from being able to pay for everything with in-game currency - which is significant and arguably cost-saving in its own right - you're wrong period. EVE is one of MANY MMOs that charge ~$14.95 a month with bulk time discounts, including but not limited to: AoC, Aion, Champions Online, DDO, Everquest, Everquest II, Lineage II, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Rift, WoW...etc. Even LotRO is $14.99 for VIP access. So no, you're making shit up. EVE's subscription rate is average if not better than average (for its ISK concessions) than other MMOs.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_massively_multiplayer_online_role-playing_games)

On to your opinion:

"So, if you want to setup a site for the mod, and hosting that site costs money, you can't have ads to support the hosting cost without paying CCP. That's ridiculous. You either choose to make no money at all, or pay to at least break even."

What if, and stay with me here, you come up with a popular 3rd party mod. You make a website, plaster it with all things EVE, and manage to cover most or all of hosting costs with ad-revenue. Pretty soon, your ad-revenues eclipse what the site costs to host, and you've added a paypal link so you can accept donations. Why not? You've worked hard, you've earned it, right? That's all just dandy, but the principle alone is easy to follow. CCP owns the IP, you're using the IP and getting paid for it. They could quite possibly sue the pants off you (if for some reason your app rubbed them the wrong way) and there would be nothing on paper protecting either of you from litigation. The way you should see it is as an olive branch for developers. We all agree to get along, you get enhanced API functionality, they get your name and $99. Not to mention, you get the studios blessing to get as rich as you possibly can.

If you think that someone that is already running a site with ad-revenue and donations isn't going to cough up $99 to do just what they've always done, but with some developer collaboration, you're kidding yourself.

Slow down, RTFA, and then you can come back and agree with me:

http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=901
http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=913

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 9:51AM halfcaptain said

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@Mynsc

You're right. And unlike Apple, CCP isn't even taking a comission. The license is royalty free.

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 10:30AM Kamokazi said

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@Dril

Mynsc already beat me to what I was going to say about the licensing. I would definitely contend you assessment that it is nothing but a cash grab....I wouldn't rule out the possibility, but I don't think money is the primary concern there.

I don't know what the current fansite agreement is, but they do seem to have changed the bit where you have to pay the license fee for advertising, which I am not a fan of, but in all the revised legal bullshit I could see as being something of a necessary evil.

However, I think the net impact of this will be small. What you do have to consider is, for a low-traffic site, hosting is extremely cheap, so they could get away without advertising and minimal costs involved. For bigger sites like Battleclinic or Dotlan, they see tons of trraffic, so recouping $99 in advertising would be pretty simple (Yes, I know dotlan is donation/plex supported currently).

What I really don't like though is them requiring the fee for services based on ISK. I'm guessing there is some sort of bullshit legal reasoning there too, but I really think they could have found a way around it.

Also, I want to paint my ship and would gladly pay real cash to do so. So serving the playerbase, or a cash grab, your pick. I would say *both*. And I am 100% okay with it being half a cash grab...they're a business and every single healthy business in the world is supposed to find new ways to make money, and finding ways to do that without altering the gameplay is a complete win-win in my book.


And finally...'most expensive' MMO? Well, I guess that's true, it's the most expensive, along with every other major MMO that also charges $14.95/month. You should try out for politics, you have a gift for contorting facts into meaning something completely different. That was a totally bunk statement and you are stupid for including it in your argument.

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