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Reader Comments (70)

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:37PM smartstep said

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@Scuffles

There is ONE big thing though.

PLEX until used to pay for subscription they never 'disappear'.
Cause some people buy PLEX'es to convert to ISK then after all this years when PLEX'es are in EvE - there is TONS of PLEX'es in game.

Yes they all have been bought with real money ,but well that was in PAST.

So it is possible for players to get PLEX'es for ISK and those PLEX'es are old ones = no new revenue for CCP.

I personally know people that have enough PLEX'es stored to 'pay' for years of gameplay.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 10:25PM Utakata said

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@smartstep

Okays...that is a bit of confusion on my part regarding Plex is that I forgot the ingame currency ISK. However, to my understanding ISK can purchase Plex and Plex can purchase ISK. So again, to my understanding a player can pay off subscription and/or another account without having to purchase any Plex with RMT's by simply generating enough ISK to convert to Plex. Is that correct?
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 10:57PM odericko said

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@smartstep Err, all PLEX was bought with IRL $$$, no matter how old it is. So CCP is always making money for each player that uses a PLEX even if they have a storage of 100 PLEX.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 11:00PM pancho72 said

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@Utakata

You are almost right. ISK and PLEX can't be converted as such. It can be traded among players. For the individual players it makes little difference because the market for PLEX is so stable. But it does make a difference for CCP since every PLEX has been paid for with real cash. And it makes a difference for the economy since all the ISK has been earned through gameplay.

Thats the beauty of the setup, it's a relatively closed system where players simply swap between ISK and play time.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 1:47AM Utakata said

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@pancho72

Okays...now I got a better understanding of that. And thanks for sharing that. So I'll go back to my original question. Would not making EVE F2P/Freemium give another option for players not pay for subs in addition to this indirect ISK to PLEX conversion done threw the markets, thus potentialy effecting revenue generated for the game negatively? F2P/Freemium conversion of the game would make it less of a closed system....since it gives the opportunity for players to make ISK to sell for PLEX without having to pay a dime for the game. Unless CCP sets draconian limits and restrictions on it's free to players, (which I'm sure would be popular.../sarcasm) I can't see CCP benefiting more that it's current business model at best.

Perhaps I need further enlightenment over how this would work otherwise. :(
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 7:27AM smartstep said

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@odericko

Of course. I wrote it myself.

That does not change a fact that their CURRENT and / or FUTURE revenue can be lower cause of amount of existing plex in a game.

In this thing PLEX system share BIT of similarity to lifetime sub
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Posted: Jan 30th 2012 2:14PM pancho72 said

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@Utakata

"Would not making EVE F2P/Freemium give another option for players not pay for subs in addition to this indirect ISK to PLEX conversion done threw the markets, thus potentialy effecting revenue generated for the game negatively? F2P/Freemium conversion of the game would make it less of a closed system....since it gives the opportunity for players to make ISK to sell for PLEX without having to pay a dime for the game"

Possibly. At the moment there is a cycle going on that might be easy to upset. Game Time=ISK, ISK=Game Time. Giving game time away for free could have an impact.
Then again this could be balanced out by the supply/demand mechanics of ISK sale If people start earning a lot of ISK for free, PLEX prices would most likely go up as a result. This could mean that people would need a premium account to earn enough ISK to pay for it. Which is pretty much the setup Eve has now.
In the end I think the only difference would be that the system gets less transparent.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 6:40PM smartstep said

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This never ending push for microtransaction based business models is making me wanna puke.

Like seriously puke.
Especially when considered for sandbox games.

Freemium models are even worse than pure f2p.

Anyway , been there done that ,and I will never go back to any f2p or freemium mmorpg.

Even if that mean I will never ever again play an mmorpg.

No big deal - already have 8 month break - will just stop tracking news about mmorpg's if they all gone f2p / freemium or I get tired of waiting for any decent p2p mmorpg. (nah Swtor is not decent by my means as cookie-cutter themeparks aren't working for me).

Whatever happens first.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:08PM Scuffles said

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@smartstep

I can certainly relate with your dislike of micro transactions, They are much like DLC. They can be a powerful tool that makes games better .... but more often than not are simply abused and used to squeeze every last cent out of a playerbase.

There are so few times where either Microtransactions or DLC have been used in an acceptable manor that both generate an instant and well deserved negative reaction.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 10:45PM DarkWalker said

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@Scuffles
Interesting. I'm the opposite; I see no problem in Micro-transactions (apart from the fact I only spend money on them if the game has no subscription), but I usually refuse to purchase any game that is bound to receive paid DLCs (if I actually want the game, I wait for some "Definitive" or "GotY" version, with all DLCs included, before thinking about purchasing it; I don't care about waiting a couple years before said version is released).
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:00PM godlyhalo said

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One word: Incarna. Look how that turned out, if EVE went to a F2P or freemium model the whole scandal behind Incarna would look insignificant

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:01PM (Unverified) said

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where have you been? u have any idea what the mere mention of microtransactions did to the game?

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:19PM Gaugamela said

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Uh?? Why the hell would EVE ever try to go free-to-play.
I can already what would happen if that happened: mass unsubscriptions and an absurd of veterans preying on the free-to-play masses up to a level that no one would try the game.

And the fact is that pay-to-aply games still can be successful if done right as Trion proved with Rift.
A freemium conversion should only come in a point of the life of a game where it can't possibly atract any more attention and making expansion packs isn't proftable anymore.
That's why it is great for games such as DDO, LotRO and EQ2.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:34PM (Unverified) said

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"The massive money in microtransactions comes from millions of such players each investing small amounts of money here and there"

Really? I thought it was fairly well accepted that the massive money in microtransactions comes from a very small subset of the playerbase (the so-called "whales") spending a very large amount of money each.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:37PM kimowar said

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Eve isn't my cup of tea but I don't see it going f2p. Just because f2p fans feel entitled and would rather p2w as an accomplishment doesn't mean all mmos should be f2p model just so you can play.
I wont play a f2p no matter how good the gameplay is, I gladly pay my subs so that I'm on the same playing field as the next guy.
Rtm used to be frowned on now it has the support of writers of this genre

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:52PM Xilmar said

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My issue is not with f2p itself as a business model. I didn't study business or marketing, nor do i work in exactly that field. It's the dominating model for mmos, but it's far from perfect imo and will eventually be replaced by something further down the evolutionary line.

As a gamer, i have a bit of an issue with the types of gamers that a f2p model attracts. I'm sure they're wonderful special snowflakes irl, but the casual "i play on weekends between 5 and 8" player can stick to casual games as far as i'm concerned. Again, this being massively, i have nothing against anyone like that, some of my best friends are casuals. But when it comes to my eve, i'd rather have them not play.

I know the sub model is bad for business, but it's not all about money. Well, it shouldn't be. Never understood why are people in gaming so ok with the notion that income is any gaming company's first interest. Sure they need to make money, but last year CCP had 2 what was supposed to be AAA-like MMOs in development. That proves to me that the company's doing ok.

I get that it's a business, fine. But i don't go and buy artificially grown fruit and veg because the companies that make them value money over product quality and my well-being, and that's something that i do not agree with. If i treat greed like that in real life, why should my gaming attitude be any different?

tl;dr; should eve go f2p/mixed model? no. why? because it will ruin my game. and i like my game. that's why i play it. and if things go batsh@t and the game's ruined, i'll act like a good consumer and stop paying for the service.but i do not want that, for i like my game.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 7:54PM jakofascalon said

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Hahaha.. you thought the summer exodus was bad? EVE implements micro-transactions on that scale and in six months we will be hearing about CCP either filing for bankruptcy or closing down all together. And that's after another round of layoffs.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 8:52PM Skyydragonn said

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love your column.
hate you for writing this article.

EVE is one of few games where I cannot see F2P workign without putting the hurt on the players.

Several individual aspects of your article sum up exactly what is wrong with 90% of the current trends in F2P games.
Content gating, XP(level/skill) penalties for non subscribers, paying for power, etc etc. there are many reasons why EVE should not go F2P from the gamers PoV.
However I CAN see where microtransactions could be implemented in profitable ways for CCP. for example ship visual customization, ability for corpmates to view your current skills in game (would be tremendous help for newbies)

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 8:58PM smg77 said

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F2P doesn't work with every type of game. In any game where your actions have an effect on the game world or where the reputation attached to your character's name matters F2P will never work.

I'm sure CCP would love to jump on the cashgrab F2P bandwagon but Eve isn't the right game for it.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 10:48PM Daeths said

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God, that F2P alternative hybrid sounds awful IMHO. Free players only get frigates? Wow, least let them play around in cruisers. What would be more reasonable is to lock T2 away and keep all T1 type ships available, but even then its not even close to being balanced, a Free player would be eaten alive by an sub. And in a sandbox were pvp can happen anywhere with out consent that forced disparity would drive away almost any free player because who wants to be sub bait their entire career?

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