The Catch-22 of PLEX Prices and its Potential Impact on Subscriptions

Hey all, there’s a bit of speculation here but I want to make clear that this isn’t an “Eve is Dying” rant, and I’d rather avoid getting into that kind of discussion.

So yesterday the server’s were having a bit of trouble. During that event, I checked Eve-Offline to see how many people were being impacted. However when I opened it up for admittedly the first time in awhile, the first thing that caught my eye was the average players in the last 36 hours: about 21,000. I thought to myself that I could’ve sworn the game was stable at about 30-35k at last check, so I started to zoom out a bit;

One Week: 21,000
Two Weeks: 22,000
One Month: 23,000
Three Months: 25,000

It’s only when you get to Six Months that the number begins to rise again to about 30,000+. This baffled me, the game has effectively lost a third of its active players in the past 6 months. And I couldn’t understand why until I remembered something else that had drastically changed in the past 6 months: PLEX Prices.

It’s not too long ago that the price of PLEX was stable at somewhere around 3,000,000 ISK, making the cost of subscribing to the game ~1.5 billion ISK/Account/Month. At the start of the year it had already begun to rise but still sat at about 3,200,000. However over the past 6 months the price of PLEX has rapidly increased, topping out at nearly 4,500,000 ISK (2.25 Billion ISK/Account/Month), before plateauing Around Mid-Late April. It now sits at around 4,200,000 ISK.

As with all economies, Eve has its natural ups and downs, inflation and deflation. The Catch-22 though, is that the value of ISK has actually been in a state of Stagnation or Deflation since the beginning of the year, due in part to the significant changes made to anomaly spawn rate. By that logic, the value of PLEX should be Stable or Decreasing, not Increasing.

So what we have here is a twofold negative impact on the capability of players to sustain their PLEXing habits; A rapid increase in PLEX prices for a reason I don’t understand at this time, and an increase in the value of ISK caused by a reduction in ISK Faucets in the past 6 months. This combination has greatly reduced the ability of the ‘average player’ to PLEX their accounts, thereby reducing the number of accounts subscribed.


So if this isn’t an “EVE is dying” post, what it is?

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Did you compare to last year at the same time?

I haven’t, so just asking, because EVE has a traditional seasonal pattern to activity.

Just wondering if this is a 1/3rd less than the same time last year?


Same period last year:


23K v 21K this year.

Most of the drop you have seen appears to be the normal seasonal flux with lower activity in summer.


basically since it’s harder for poors to plex less of them are logging in

There was a reduction in active numbers last summer (and I believe this is a recurring reduction yearly); the average between May and July was around 25,000 characters. However, the dropoff in activity last year didn’t start until Late June/Early July, and the dropoff wasn’t nearly to 20,000.

Here’s the two graphs side-by-side which best displays the difference (Top is 2019, Bottom 2018). The daily lows are pretty consistent, but the daily highs are significantly different, with us peaking at around 35-37k average daily in 2018, but only around 30-31k average daily this year

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Yeah, so as per the above, in response to the OP, 24K v 23K average - most of the difference from the start of the year is normal seasonal variation.

The sky isn’t falling (any more than the general trend of it falling anyway).

There are lower numbers, but it isn’t as big as the original post tries to draw attention to. Seasonal fluctuation happens every year.

Would it be better if the numbers logging in were larger? Sure. But it is what it is and if PLEX prices are leading to lower numbers, then demand will eventually drop and players will PLEX their account again.

PLEX price isn‘t an issue yet, it was never easier to farm ISK (which drive the price up). The issue is of course summer, but IMO mainly that there is no reason to play atm, except for farming ISK.

Nullsec is in zombie state where people desperately look for artificial reasons to fight. Lowsec life got killed by citadels and moon mining. No interesting content was added for a year. Seasonal events got axed, which always helped getting people back in.


I would love to know the breakdown of how many characters are subscription, plexed, and alpha. I doubt we will ever really know…

Might be a good time for a subscription sale… :yum:


It actually is.

Yeah, that’s just an artifact of how that average is calculated. The shorter the time window, the more datapoints in the calculation are from quieter times of day. As you expand the window, these quiet times get removed - you can see that in how spikey the traces look.

Player counts are down, and the decrease over the last few years probably does correlate with increasing PLEX prices, but it isn’t as catastrophic as eve-offline would lead you to believe.

Guys like you see everything and everybody that is not singing the “all around eve is in order and nothing has to change” mantra as ranters and haters.

But that’s your problem not ours.

The OP wasn’t ranting,you do now by accusing him of it with no reason beside your certainities around eve beeing shattered.

Well it’s never easy to see certainities go down in flames,but the solution you choose is ignoring it and accusing the messenger which maybe is conviniend,but is not adequate also.

I wonder how many quality players have been lost and replaced with mining alts?

Numbers of people logging in does no really prove what the type of account that is; PvP activity in low and null has been dropping drastically - though more so in nullsec; certainly for the more solo and smal gang orientated hell last i heard even pl and nc arent fighting (well not goons anyway) and who really can blame them Goon numbers have escalated wildly, they’ve done a good job of taking full advantage of supercap and titan production AND rorq mining BEFORE changes were made and now we have a mega alliance that can field over 1400 titans in one fleet.
Grats to goons but seriously CCP what did you do that for lol now every farmer and wannabe ‘winner’ wants to join goons to not get dropped by goons.
And small gang is practically dead.
I mean sure, congratulations on getting more subs for alt accounts that do nothing but make isk and get safe - i guess thats what happens when you start advertising as a mining game.

This is also ranting in the eyes of some people here…actually stating facts they don’t like :stuck_out_tongue:

Then why is the MER showing destruction still up. PVP clearly.isnt as quiet as you claim

If you don’t actively play the game it is easy to overlook what is happening in reality. Goonswarm is currently on deployment to Tribute and surroundings to attack the botting/rental empire of NC. That meeans hundreds of rorqual alts are not logged on in Delve, and hundreds of bots not being used in the north.

As mentioned, seasonal activity matters, and current events matter, and even CCPs schedule of events/interesting new things matter (there hasn’t been much lately).

PLEX probably has an impact, but not that much. After all, if you are capable of earning 1.5 billion to Plex your account, how hard can it be to earn 2 billion?

The Plex market is also being manipulated by mass buying that is not being matched by mass selling. This PLEX is either being set aside for some major account PLEXing by a large entity, or is being hoarded for profiteering or other purposes. This has been pointed out by myself and others during several “Plex price” threads over the past couple months.

The final point is, EVE player numbers are declining, and have been declining significantly for 6-ish years now. The introduction of Alpha clones was most likely a desperation move to 1) help bolster numbers to sell the company and 2) mask the lack of activity and player interest caused by declining player count.

Unfortunately, as usual, CCP took one step, then ground to a halt. They’ve failed to do anything to keep the stream of Alphas interested, they’ve failed to improve the NPE so that more of the people who try EVE stay longer than a couple hours, and they’ve failed to improve monetization models in order to make much cash off Alphas or convert them to subs.

I suspect the change in numbers is simply the player count decline resuming the downward slide that was temporarily masked by the introduction of F2P.

Yes, he was. And so are you.

Explain how this is an example of a Catch-22.

Price is an issue for those with a minimum wage job +? I think 4-5 accounts may be straining my internet connection?
Not hard to credit card?
These alphas are only extended trial periods and if they die off, it’s for the good.