Monday, August 18, 2014

SOMERBlink: Party Like It's 2013

I have to hand it to the folks who run SOMERBlink. They are an imaginative crew over there.  Up until last November, SOMERBlink ran a promotion that used the GTC authorized resellers agreement to exchange ISK for real world cash.  That was shut down on 7 November last year.  However, given the way SOMERBlink cashed out before the deadline, I'm only slightly surprised that news of another scheme has emerged on Reddit.

The new promotion is a bit different than the old one which was eventually declared a violation of the EULA and no longer covered by the GTC authorized resellers agreement.  Here are the steps:
  1. Purchase PLEX at Markee Dragon using SOMERblink's referral link.
  2. Enter the receipt from Markee Dragon and receive a "PLEX Credit" for each PLEX purchased.
  3. Redeem the PLEX Credit to sell to SOMERblink PLEX at a very favorable rate.  Yesterday, the price posted on SOMERblink was 830 million ISK/PLEX.  The average price of a PLEX sold in Jita on 16 August was 785 million ISK.
At first glance, the major difference is that a player is not given 200 million ISK worth of "Blink Credits" for purchasing using the referral link.  Instead, the player is given, at yesterday's rates, 45 million ISK per PLEX purchased.  According to what I found on the website, the player is not required to turn this ISK into Blink credits to use to play.

Whether the PLEX is sold to SOMERblink for Blink credits or hard, cold ISK, was unclear.  One person who was in the in-game channel indicated the ISK goes right back into a person's Blink account.  The sentence that leads me to believe that Blink credits are not involved is, "No waiting for your PLEX to sell-- get ISK fast so you can play Eve."  Not play blinks.  Play EVE.

However, let's assume I'm wrong and this is purchased for Blink credit.  As we learned last year, SOMERblink's payout is approximately 80%.  That means that the 830 million payout for a PLEX actually costs SOMERblink 644 million ISK, a profit of about 140 million ISK/PLEX.

The truth is probably someplace in the middle.  A person could just take the cash and run, but a lot, if not most, of the people will turn around and put the ISK back into their Blink accounts.  But either way, people are buying through SOMERblink instead of another site because of the incentive of in-game cash.

I am going to assume that what SOMERblink posted about CCP approving the promotion is accurate.  What I am not going to assume at this point is why CCP approved of the promotion.  Maybe in a couple of days when more facts come out I'll post an update.  Or provide some more background information if things start getting really out of control.  Or do some math.  I'd really love for this whole situation to come to a conclusion before Wednesday.  I'm tired of writing about SOMERblink.  But CCP better come up with a good explanation of what's going on.


  1. "But every minute that goes by that CCP does not come down hard on Somer indicates they are OK with it"

    Or it means they are still considering what to do. I know you ignore reality a lot, but accurate history tells us that CCP usually do not make hasty decisions about such things.

    "If we don't hear from CCP by tomorrow, in some official fashion, then you can bet they are OK with this."

    Does your amoebic prefrontal cortex really lack the ability to recall "Somer of rage 2013"? Hint: CCP took far longer than a day or two to eventually outlaw Somer's RMT practises..

  2. The main reason they banned it the last time was because of the huge outcry and several bloggers started making a mockery of the whole RMT process. It took days for the public anger to really mount. Bad PR was the main reason than CCP pulled the plug last time.

    This time? We shall see. Given that it is the same actors as last time, and given CCP should have a memory of what transpired previously, a smart person at CCP would nip this in the bud, today. Or, if they plan on letting it pass, they simply hunker down and weather the PR storm.

  3. It is very clever wording on Somers part.
    The "Vetted by CCP" part comes after the "For each plex you buy, you get 1 plex credit", so, CCP have approved and vetted affiliate links. This is true.
    Whether CCP have vetted and approved the preferential prices is a whole other story, but, "This has been vetted and approved by CCP" gives the impression that the entire thing has been approved.

  4. Normally, when your Average Joe player gets suspected of RMT they get temporarily banned while CCP are investigating. But yet again Somer gets preferential treatment.