EVE and video games in general aren’t price-sensitive commodities. You don’t pick up 10% more players if you lower the price by 10%.
As a hobby/leisure activity, EVE is fairly cheap. It runs you about the price of a single movie night, 2-4 drinks at a pub, a couple packs of cigarettes, or a lunch out at a half decent restaurant. In exchange you get on-demand entertainment for as many hours as a you care to indulge, over a 30-day span.
Alphas also are not there to compete directly with subs. ‘Doing away with them’ will only hurt the game. F2P games are based on the idea that only a small percent of your target audience are ever going to give you money anyway, so you might as well push as many people as possible through your game to increase the number of ‘paying hits’.
F2P is also based on the concept that ‘players are content’. That is, the more people active in the game (whether paying or not), the more attractive the game becomes to the small percent who will actually hand over money, and the more likely they are to become exposed to it (through friends and contacts).
Other F2P games also use the concept of ‘maybe they won’t stay, but if we get $5 out of them before they leave then that makes a difference’. EVE doesn’t take advantage of this potential because their cash shop is laughable and out of date, and because CCP decision makers have never actually understood the gaming market.
They think they are selling in the “$1,000 designer Japanese jeans” market when actually they are in the “Wal-Mart hobbies aisle” market.
What EVE should be doing is introducing more items to the cash shop, $2-$5-$10 ‘starter’ items (although they have made one attempt at this at least), tiered memberships beyond Alpha/Omega, and finding ways to differentiate those tiered memberships to the gaming needs/spending patterns of various portions of the MMO gamer market.