What would it cost to get CCP out of the business of selling plex and skill points?

I totally get why CCP needs to extract more money from us. We expect a subscription fee for an MMO to be roughly equal to what, say, WoW charges, but that is unreasonable. Blizzard defrays its expenses over literally 1,000 times more subscribers. We are a pretty small community supporting a pretty expansive game, and that means we each need to pay more for it than WoW players have to pay for WoW.

But, funding it with pay-to-win mechanisms gives CCP a glaring conflict of interest. It has a huge incentive to try to push us to buy plex. Ideally, CCP’s interests would be aligned with the players’ interests: making the game fun. I think EvE is great, I think CCP is great, I think they do as good of a job as could be expected setting aside their self interest to focus on making the game fun. But, as good as could be expected is still pretty bad. They’re a business, after all.

So I am wondering, do we know how much CCP makes on selling plex and skill points? If so, if we just divide that by the number of subscribers, how much more would subscriptions need to cost for CCP to be able to break even by raising subscription prices and eliminating selling plex and skill points? If it’s like $5 more per month, I’d think we would nearly all prefer that, right? But, for all I know, they’re making like $100 per month per subscriber selling plex, and that probably wouldn’t be doable…

…what? CCP RMT?

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Yeah, CCP makes some portion of its income by selling plex and skill points. “RMT” means “real money transactions.” Buying or selling ISK. Plex are just a stand in for ISK.

That’s… not RMT. ???

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How do you mean? Plex are just a stand in for ISK. Selling ISK = RMT.

oh my god, you’re actually serious about this. nope, not touch this garbage pile. new year’s literally just started and i don’t need these stupid vibes in my life anymore.

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Not really following what your issue is. Is it about the phrase? No point quibbling over definitions. We can just rephrase the question as “what would it cost to get CCP out of the business of selling plex and skill points?” if that helps you focus on the substance.

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Players buy plex from CCP to turn into ISK. players buy Plex from other players with isk to turn into gametime from CCP.

RMT would be trading in game items for real money outside of the game.

you really need to go back and read the EULA and the TOS.

I see the phrase RMT distracted a couple of you… Edited the OP to drop reference to RMT.

Do you have thoughts on the substance?

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CCP is selling PLEX so people can get more isk into the game, and in the process, The ones who buy the PLEX from players in game, use that PLEX to trade for gametime instead of paying a subscription with real money. circle of life if you will.

There is a huge difference between a company selling their own assets, and third parties with no legal claim to said assets selling them.

CCP is not engaged in RMT. CCP offers PLEX for players to buy and do whatever they want with inside the game - and allows players to exchange PLEX for assets other players hold. This allows players who cannot afford to buy PLEX to still be able to acquire PLEX for in-game assets/services/etc.

RMT is a third party making money off of CCP’s IP. It’s a violation of the EULA, ToS, and in many places, is illegal due to infringement on the IP rights.


Ok, ok, lol, the phrase RMT threw some of you for a loop. Removed that. Do you have thoughts on the topic though?

AGAIN they are not going to stop selling plex… PLEX was in the game before I joined 10 years ago.

Thanks for accepting feedback on the differences between RMT and micro transactions.

I agree that there are pros and cons to the skill-extraction market. However, it is somewhat necessary when viewed against the time-factor involved in acquiring skill points. If there is no way for new players to accelerate their skill point acquisition in a significant fashion, there is a glass ceiling effect on their ability to engage with veterans. Some player skill is required, of course, but character skill points constitute and absolute limiter on what a player can engage in.

I prefer than CCP keep the skill point market as much player-driven as possible (I am not a fan of all the SP freebies that CCP hands out, nor of the single-time pack purchases that grant SP), but as a core mechanic I do feel it has done more good than harm to the ability for players to engage in the game.

I certainly don’t view it as a Pay to Win transaction - it’s a Pay to Get to X Goal faster, but you can’t really buy yourself into ‘best player in the game - untouchable!’ status.


Yeah I’m not against skill extraction, I’m against CCP selling the skill bundles and plex.

I half agree about the glass ceiling. In some ways, I think that makes the game bigger. If everybody rushes to the last chapter, you miss a lot of fun gameplay along the way IMO. But yeah I agree that skill points-for-ISK is ok. It’s skill points-for-cash that I think is problematic in terms of the incentives it creates for CCP.

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Given CCP has significantly limited those points-for-cash opportunities (single-time packs aimed at new players to jump-start their adventures, and single-time packs aimed at players who have been gone for a while to let them inject into newer content like Trig/EDENCOM ships), I don’t think it is a significant enough volume of skill points to really engender ‘pay to win’ effects. I am concerned for what they may expand to in the future, but if they stop where they are I don’t think it has any detrimental impact on players.

Edit to add: PLEX is kind of critical to let players who do not have cash liquidity/online payment capabilities for game upgrades (Omega and MCT mainly) actually get access to them - I would be against removing PLEX from the game. It’s simply a digitized version of the original Game Time Code cards that were sold at retailers.

Yeah I probably agree with that. My bigger concern is plex. I fear we’re heading towards a place where players’ success will be determined to a significant extent by how much they’re willing to pay CCP for plex. Which, I don’t really mind paying them more, I just don’t want to have that, rather than how well I play, be what determines how well things go.

So, there are some similarities between RMT and P2W, but they are still two different things, with their own problems and solutions. Thus, it is worthwhile to make a distinction between the two, and discuss them separately.

The cost to develop and run Eve is also likely far less than it is for WoW.

I agree that CCP shouldn’t be selling SP directly to players. That’s BS. Plex, on the other hand, has some significant advantages for a lot of players and the game as a whole. Moreover, those that try to use plex to get ahead will learn the hard way that player skill is still the biggest determining factor in outcomes. Thus, plex is probably an overall next positive for the game. Selling SP directly to players, however, doesn’t have any of the advantages that plex has, smacks of P2W, and cheeses off a lot of players because they felt CCP went back on their word (technically, they never said that they would never sell SP directly to players, but that’s what many players thought they meant).

I’m not sure you can get rid of plex at this point. I’d bet we’d lose a lot of players, and not just multiboxers. We’d players from countries with crappy incomes and poor exchange rates, as well as countries where there are financial hurdles to paying for a sub. Don’t know why, but I’ve heard people say that paying with real life money just isn’t an option in certain places. Regardless, this would not only result in lost revenue from the lost plexers, but also less social mass, which could cost the game additional players (and potentially result in a snowballing population loss).


You replied while I was editing that in, so I’ll just quote myself in response regarding PLEX.

the plex is really just for more isk.

i’ve seen plenty of times new players taking out vets because right time right place, and or PLAYER skills, not in game skills.