Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Money grab

Another quick one, also related to CCP actions.

A few months back, after Fanfest, I heard from an application developer who was there about some discussions he'd held with the CCP dev support community about their policy for monetizing EVE supporting apps.  The issue was that people and companies developing supporting apps for EVE (think Capsuleer for the iPhone, for instance) weren't being allowed by CCP to charge money for their work.  CCP's objection, which was fair, was that they weren't being compensated themselves for the additional API accesses and the other additional load that such applications inevitably place on CCP's servers and resources.

I was told that at Fanfest, an agreement had been reached that there would be a $99 one-use fee payable to CCP for application developers wishing to monetize their EVE support apps.  Problem solved, or so it seemed to me at the time.  "I'll keep watching this topic and digging into it, but for now, this strikes me as an excellent compromise.  $99 is enough to keep non-serious players out of the game, but is low enough that serious apps won't even feel it," I said at the time, and commended CCP on the compromise.

Yeah.  The official written policy was released today, and has no more than a passing resemblance to that March note.

First, the dollar amount has gone up, way up.  Instead of a one-time $99 fee, it's now $99 per year for a commercial license.  That would be (somewhat) manageable, for serious commercial applications supporting EVE players.  But now, the following products and services ALSO require a $99/year commercial license:
  • websites supported by advertising;
  • websites supported by donations; and,
  • services paid for by in-game currency (ISK).
This expands the use of these "commercial licenses" to ridiculous, ludicrous levels.  In short, it means that every EVE service currently in use, from the dotlan maps (which operates with the help of donations), to Chribba's in-game escrow service for transfer of supercaps (which is paid for with in-game ISK), is now a commercial product requiring a $99/year commercial license.  somer.blink?  Commercial license.  Your favorite EVE poker site?  Commercial license.  The guy that you give 50 million ISK to to create a forum signature for you?  Commercial license.

The Q&A at the end of the policy makes it clear that I'm not exaggerating when I say these things.   I simply can't see how anyone in CCP thought this was a good idea.

I recommend in the strongest possible terms that every EVE player rage about this in the discussion forum provided.

EDIT (15/Jun/2011): CCP Atlas responded to the hate so far.  He seems to have written about 360 words saying pretty much nothing, though.  Chribba wasn't quite so polite, amusingly.  ;-)


  1. This is crazy, but I think it's not CCP being blinded by money, merely that they didn't consult a competent legal professional. I was under the impression that they just wanted app developers to pay a fee (Aurora, Eve Universe, the now defunct Capsuleer) so that these people could pay for their upkeep costs and maybe make a little RL ISK. Plus, it would dissuade people from creating Eve Online apps that weren't serious, a la brand denigration.

  2. Yeah, I was being slightly sarcastic with the blog post title. ;-) That said, I can only think of one reason to make the fee $99 per *year* rather than a $99 flat fee.

  3. What has been written so far is, "well gee, maybe charging people real world money for a business based entirely on ISK isn't such a smart move."

    I agree that $99/yr is a bit steep for such a small marketplace. Apple charges $99/yr and takes 30% of proceeds, but their market place is 100 times the size of EVE Online.

    In fact, the situation of comparing the EVE licence to the Apple Store drove me to suggest that the fee should be $0/yr with a percentage of proceeds, with the proceeds being funnelled through the Noble Store. That would work in the third party developers' favour, as CCP would be motivated to drive business to the third parties.

    What a PR stuff up, releasing that document in that state!

  4. Yep, that's good thinking, except that Torfi let slip during some of the AT9 interviews on this subject that CCP is also looking to protect their brand.

    That's the real reason why there has to be real money behind these commercial licenses.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.