How does EVE make money?

#1 Posted by onan (1283 posts) -

Bear with me, I haven't played EVE and don't really ever intend to, but I am a bit curious about the inner workings.

From what I understand, the in-game currency, ISK, can be purchased with real money, and ISK in turn can be used to pay for monthly membership fees. The really committed players, presumably, have quite a bankroll of ISK at their disposal, are the highest ranking members of corporations, etc. They're also the most likely to maintain accounts year over year, and the players most MMO developers would rely on for revenue. EVE, however, lets them pay for their time with in-game money.

Without income from the super-committed, CCP would then need to instead rely on the casual players and the curious players that tend to only stick around MMOs for a few months at a time, making for an incredibly unreliable revenue stream.

It sounds like a recipe for failure or bankruptcy, but then, that's just my perspective as an outsider. What am I missing?

#2 Posted by MikkaQ (10270 posts) -

The fact that it takes 99% of the player-base significantly longer than a month to earn the quarter-to-a-half billion ISK required to buy a month of game time. And even then, another player would have had to have bought that game time from CCP in the first place. CCP doesn't just give game-time away for useless in-game currency. Someone has to buy and sell it in-game first. Or have it stolen from them.

#3 Posted by Gaff (1666 posts) -
@MikkaQ

The fact that it takes 99% of the player-base significantly longer than a month to earn the quarter-to-a-half billion ISK required to buy a month of game time. And even then, another player would have had to have bought that game time from CCP in the first place. CCP doesn't just give game-time away for useless in-game currency. Someone has to buy and sell it in-game first. Or have it stolen from them.

On the other hand, the easiest way to make that money is to... buy a time card from CCP and sell itin-game.
#4 Edited by InsidiousTuna (377 posts) -

Yeah. It takes a shitload of ISK to purchase enough PLEX to account for 1 month's worth of game time. It's a collaborative effort by everyone in a corporation to bankroll ISK, and I don't imagine many players just roll ISK into PLEX into gametime month to month. They'd have to be insanely wealthy ingame, and able to spend money without having to be accountable to other players.

Edit: And the even more salient point that made is true: PLEX comes from CCP. Users pay for it in real money, and can then trade it as an in-game commodity.

#5 Posted by onan (1283 posts) -

Thanks for clearing that up, all.

#6 Posted by Shivoa (613 posts) -

If everyone in EVE earned enough money to buy a PLEX (game time card) then there would be no PLEX to buy (PLEX only exist because a player paid money to buy one and then put it up for sale in the game) and the price would go up.

Every player in EVE has a subscription paid for so every player who is active is $X for CCP. The way PLEX works is that not every person pays for their own subscription, some players pay real money for a PLEX (game time) and sell it in-game for ISK so that person is subsidising someone with in-game wealth by buying their game time for them (in exchange for some of that ISK). I know plenty of people who can fund their time in EVE just on profits, but they've played for a long time and are industrialists. EVE's economy is kinda real (in that is it managed to be more or less stable and cash sinks are aimed to balance out new sources of income, it helps that the major economy of items all player driven so basically CCP just have to balance new cash coming in (ratting, mining, etc) with the money going out (ships exploding, some stuff in their cargo hold exploding when this happens)).

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.