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Reader Comments (50)

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 1:37AM DeftCrow said

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@psycros Someone has to buy the PLEX with real money first before seeding it to the market. The price for PLEX is $17.5 a piece, so CCP gets $2.5 more per month for every account that subscribes exclusively with PLEX. The 2.5 dollar difference can be justified as a broker's fee for making time code trading faster and more accessible.

(It's quite a hassle to post WTB/WTS on the timecode bazaar, if you know what I mean)
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Posted: Oct 17th 2011 12:16AM Azaetos said

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One of the differences with PLEX is it does not circumvent the player run economy. So even if someone sells a PLEX for ISK (in-game currency), they can only buy things that have been made by other players. Games like STO are full of ships,items, etc that are purchased directly from the developer via their cash shop where many of them carry improved stats (P2W).

To those not sure how PLEX works with people using it to play for free. The only way PLEX get into the game is if someone pays with RL money for them to be there, hence the person playing via PLEX can only do so because someone else is virtually paying their subscription for them.

And in fact CCP make more money with people playing via PLEX, because it costs more than the subscription cost of $14.99 to buy the PLEX in the first place.

Regarding cash shops. One of the worst decisions CCP has made recently for me is the addition of that bloody NEX store, where they have removed what was supposed to be an in-game widening of the player crafting market with the production of clothing, ship painting, etc, and for them to be destructable. But instead CCP decided to take a dump in the sandbox and have those items magically appear out of thin air.

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 6:11AM smartstep said

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Well PLEX and similar based systems sooner or later mean that company will have to intoroduce microtransactions. Why? Simple.


People buy & sell plex. There is some % of people that buy multiple PLEX / month. Relatively small number , well compared to whole playerbase.

Then as game matures - other players buy PLEX-es in game for in-game gold (isk) and make a stash of them.

So increasing number of players aquire 'free game time' for months or more.

What does that mean? Slowly less and less players subscribe for real money.

Many PLEX (or other items like that) exist in-game.

Most games that have system like PLEX-like-system have also cash shop to make money.

Eve did not, but problem is that there exist more and more PLEX in-game, PLEX-es that were paid for months / years ago. This is not good for developer. Developer have to either take out old PLEX-es from the market and/or find new revenue stream. That's why EVE item shop came to existance. It WILL expand. There is no other possibility.


So if you want PLEX-like system in your game, it is simillar to selling lifetime-subscription.

Sooner or later you'll see microtransactions and / or conversion to freemium or f2p.

Dev won't have choice.

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 7:30AM b3n said

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Puzzle Pirates: Doubloons

February 2005

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 9:06AM Brendan Drain said

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@b3n Bloody good find! It does look like Puzzle Pirates' Doubloon Oceans opened in 2005 with the Doubloon Exchange. Although it's only available on a subset of the game servers, this is an implementation of the same system and predates any other known examples, including PLEX. It's interesting that this business model didn't pick up any steam in the industry until PLEX were released in 2008 and marketed as an anti-RMT measure, after which a lot of similar schemes have now been released in other games.
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Posted: Oct 17th 2011 1:12PM Tanesis said

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What's not often taken into account with PLEX is that many, if not most, players have multiple accounts. This is more readily achieved if you can buy game time for in game currency meaning less RL moneys has to be spent maintaining all your account subscriptions (I have 4 and while paid enough I'd resent paying 60Euros a month. I pay RL cash for 2 and plex for the other 2).

Therefore theres far more accounts in EvE because of plex. All of these accounts can be trained simultanously as EVE toons level up over time rather than by grind. Other games where you need to grind for XP its pointless running multiple accounts as your better off stacking you XP on your main and thus only run 1 account (or char whatever).

This means that while other companies can immatate PLEX they will find it less financially rewarding than CCP does with EVE because each plex consumer will need 1 plex rather than say 5 or 6.

Of course the above is assuming that other subs based games adopt a plex like system in regards to game time.

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 2:28PM runzwithsizzorz said

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What's really great is now the WoW forums are almost an exact copy of what the Eve forums were a couple of years ago. Lots of crying and whining and greed this and greed that. All of the same, lame, arguments.

Posted: Oct 17th 2011 2:49PM Kalex716 said

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Another reason why PLEX works particularly well in EVE is peoples play experiences can easily scale up with more accounts.

Its not atypical for EVE players to have 2 accounts at all, and then many have 3 4 5 6 and who knows how many because operations scale very well with more accounts and its sometimes even required if you don't have a network of people you can trust.

For most MMO games, the point of diminishing returns for "boxing" accounts is easily reached at 2 or 3 or 4 at most.

Posted: Oct 18th 2011 2:22PM Ref Minor said

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@Kalex716

I don't like the fact that everyone can have multiple accounts, it leads to cookie cutter skill sets and less interaction.
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Posted: Oct 17th 2011 5:45PM Jorev said

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There is nothing clever about RMT. It is blasphemy.

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