EVE Online begins advertising Skill Point pack sales as CCP Games addresses monetization

    
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If you’re an EVE Online player that’s nervous about in-game store items like the Expert System consumable, then you really might be shaken by the latest post from The Ancient Gaming Noob, which outlines an emailed offer about a Skill Point Resurgence pack that sells 1,620,000 Skill Points for $43.99.

Fellow MMO blogger Wilhelm Arcturus points out that while the email is written like a personalized offer, similar emailed offers were made to his other accounts as well as others on Reddit, ultimately leading to what he feels has been a foregone conclusion for EVE’s monetization:

“We went from skill injectors to skill point give aways for compensation to alpha clone skill injectors to skill points in starter packs to skill points in packs in general and now to skill points sold directly under the guise of a special, personal offer… that is available to anybody who logs in… in just five years.

“We are almost there now, just millimeters from skill point packs being a regular item in the web store. If I were making predictions, I would guess that we’ll see these skill point packs before the end of Q2 2021. That the ‘personal’ offer expires on May 17th might be a tell as to when the pretense will be removed and it will be generally available.”

The topic of monetization was among the questions asked by EVE streamer Oz in his interview with CCP Rattati, the game’s Director of Product. In the interview, Rattati talks about the differences in what’s acceptable monetization in western markets versus eastern markets as well as the overall ethos for what’s sold in EVE’s store:

“Usually the best way to design monetization is to start from being helpful, try to find where we can actually assist the player in the best way possible and not exploit them. I think that’s where we’re trying to gauge; what is a good starter pack, what is a good kick-off point, and if you’re interested in that, that’s your prerogative to use or not.”

Rattati also offers assurance that Pearl Abyss has “literally zero” input on the game’s monetization strategies, and discusses the aforementioned Expert Systems; on that topic, Rattati defended the consumable as a way for new players to navigate the confusion regarding using Skill Points, at one point saying, “We definitely don’t want to sell Skill Points.” The full interview, which also talks about resource scarcity and redistribution among other things, is embedded below, while the talk about monetization starts at about 41 minutes in.

sources: The Ancient Gaming Noob (cheers Wilhelm!), YouTube
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Rob Hagaman

This isn’t Pearl Abyss. Monocle Gate was before Pearl Abyss. PLEX was before Pearl Abyss. CCP has been on this path since they realized they designed a game with a self-imposed ceiling, due to the skill-over-time system they designed. They created a game where a new player can only hope to get to a higher level in the game by either waiting for their skills to level up over weeks or in some cases a month for one level 5 skill, join one of the giant alliances where they will skill inject you for the job THEY need, where you become an F2 monkey in a Muninn, or pull out your card and convert PLEX to ISK. It doesn’t matter if you start playing and show great skill. This isn’t Guild Wars. You’ll have to wait or slog through a tedious PvE grind whose story makes Oregon Trail seem alive!

The eventual sale of Skill Point packs is a bad solution to two problems. Yes, earning money is one; but they have plenty of cash from PLEX sales alone. The big one is a game where most players are those vets who have a ton of ISK and skills, multiboxing 5-10(or in some cases 50) different accounts to force new players to play on THEIR terms, not the new player’s. CCP created this problem in 2003, and has been trying to deal with it ever since.

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Rob Hagaman

*time over skill

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John Mclain

Eve Online was always Pay2Win to be fair. They have just slowly been becoming more transparent about it over the past decade and half. This is where some Eve Bittervet pops out and claims that having better stuff doesn’t mean you will win. Which is true in 1v1 combat, where skill matters a bit more than gear. But on large scale warfare, having better ships/gear and more importantly MORE OF THEM, does determine if you win or not. This is coming from someone who played Eve for 12 years since I started playing the beta for it on a 56k modem.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

“We definitely don’t want to sell Skill Points.”

At this point I don’t really care if they sell skill points because whatever, they have to make money and we’re still paying the same subscription price we were back in 2003, so something has to give. It is the fact that they keep saying things like that then doing it anyway that erodes credibility.

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ThePeon25

Renting skillpoint
Selling skilpoints
Also lest not forget skins skins skins skins skins skins and more skins
And lets nor forget it all started by CCP starting to sell isk. Well they call them plex but most people use them to get isk becuse why work hard to make billions ?

I mean why let random gold sellers take all the money when you can become one your self.

Soon they will sell you skill books and implants for real money
Then after that they will sell you ships just like how star citizen is doing.

Honestly eve online died for me the day they went F2P I could accept plex but now they just gone to far in a desperation to make more money or close the game.

I say, just let EVE die. I rather see the game die than become this pay for convinces that Black dessert is.

Bloody hell EVE online monetization starts to make Arch Age and EA games look like jokes.

cambruin
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cambruin

Ugh, just die.

All these games with their cash shops deserve a messy death as far as I’m concerned and every player playing them is responsible for the sad state the genre is in.

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Kickstarter Donor
squid

As an occasional capsuleer, this seems fine. The biggest barrier to entry in Eve, rightfully or not, is the perception that long-time players will always be superior by virtue of the train-over-time skill system. My brief stints in Eve typically come to an end when I have an “I want to do [X] (or fly [Y]), let me check the skills” moment and see that in order to do those things, I need to wait, and pay (and not change my mind), for more than a month or two. It doesn’t matter how much I play—not counting buying injectors, which aren’t practical for me to farm isk for—I just need to give CCP $14.95 per month and wait.

It’s a questionable progression system that becomes worse and worse for the game the longer Eve exists, by creating and persisting a near-insurmountable gap between new and old players.

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Arktouros

Personally I’ve never gotten the complaints over skill injectors or otherwise. The fact of the matter is that for over a decade now the most efficient route of playing the game has been make a character to farm ISK, then use said ISK to buy a character who can farm ISK better, and then use that character to farm enough ISK to buy a really good character who can do it all. This isn’t a new concept for EVE.

What is new is CCP is finally getting in on cashing out from that audience. I would absolutely prefer to juice my own character I picked rather than one I bought and skill injectors would let me do it. It makes sense all around.

As for Pearl Abyss not having any impact on this, that’s pretty bogus as we all saw the fact they got CCP for 225m instead of 400m+ because of how badly CCP performed. Trying to expand monetization methods may not have been a directive from Pearl Abyss but implying they had nothing to do with it is a bit disingenuous. I don’t really feel bad for Pearl Abyss or CCP in this, that’s the reputation Pearl Abyss has earned with western audience given it’s monetization schemes in Black Desert. They made their bed, now they can lie in it.

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Danny Smith

Eve is such an odd example because it has a dedicated audience but its certainly not growing and hasn’t been for years. So is this a “welp all our other projects of the last ten years failed so we need to push as much milking as we can while we can”? or just a case of trying to keep turning a profit as a zero growth product?

It must be an odd experience for anyone still playing. Like a landlord going “i’m not planning on selling up” while measuring your houses dimensions with a tape measure.