Monday, May 4, 2015

EVE's Ship Skins And League Of Legends

On Tuesday CCP introduced ship skins into EVE Online's cash shop. Some people were upset over the implementation of the feature, especially after the bug that allowed players to put skins on any of their ships. The cost of the skins is also an issue for many. Since I don't really know much about the pricing of virtual goods like skins, I decided to download League of Legends and take a look at the pricing structure in Riot's cash shop.

EVE Online Aurum Prices

First, CCP changed the price structure on their Aurum packages. The $15 option was removed, the $5 and $10 buffed, and the amount of Aurum for $20 declined. But how does the new price structure compare to the cash shop in LoL?

League of Legends Riot Point Prices
Notice that CCP now has the same price points as Riot. Perhaps more importantly, the amount of cash shop cash offered rises approximately at the same rates also. In League of Legends, the amount of Riot Points increases 4.3 times from the $5 package to the $20 package. CCP is slightly more generous, with an increase of 4.5 times between the two price points.

As an aside, I noticed the $35 package for LoL is an even 5000 RP. A $35 price point is interesting as that is the standard price point for purchasing 2 PLEX for EVE. So basically, 5000 Riot Points is the equivalent of 1.6-1.7 billion ISK in EVE.

But what about the important part? The piece I was really interested in is how much are ship skins in EVE compared with League of Legends. Prices in EVE, as many probably already suspected, are higher in EVE. How much? In EVE, prices range from $3.67 USD for the cheapest frigate skin to $32.64 USD for the most expensive titan and supercarrier skins. Contrast that with LoL, in which prices range from $2.78 - $23.21 USD. Perhaps the most worrisome comparison is the median price. EVE's median price for a ship skin, at $11.85, is almost a full $5 higher than the median price of $6.96 for a LoL character skin.

Of course, just comparing EVE's ship skins to LoL's character skins is a bit unfair. For League players who wish to fully customize the look of their characters, ward skins are also available. Ward skins change the appearance of stealth and vision wards in the game. Each ward skin is 640 RP, or $4.57. However, ward skins are not bound to single champions, so I'm not sure exactly how to calculate the full cost of customizing a champion's appearance.

A secondary question I had when I looked at the price list was why so many skins that fit on the same ship had different price values. For example, the Rifter's Nefantar skin, at 1540 Aurum, is more than twice as expensive as the Rifter's Krusual skin (740 AUR). But apparently that's just a product of demand.

Different prices for skins on the same champion is a frequent practice for Riot. Miss Fortune apparently is one of the more popular champions with 5 character skins. The prices range from $3.71 to $9.64, with fans of the champion needing to pay $32.64 for the entire set of skins.

I should add one important fact. We don't know all of CCP's plans for the cash shop and skins. For example, how often does CCP plan to release new skins? How often will CCP have sales, and how long will the sales last? And how annoying will the ads letting us know about the sales get? League of Legends and other free-to-play games that rely on cash shops just don't put products in the cash shop and forget about them. I don't expect CCP to do so either. But, I will say one thing. I do think the skins are a bit overpriced.


  1. Viince_SnettertonMay 4, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    A question: I don't play LOL, and know very little about it. Are the skins purchased by a LOL player permanent, or are they destroyed when the player is killed? For that matter, are the Eve skins permanent as well (the skin license is saved when a ship is destroyed)? I think the whole concept of skins is silly, and know virtually nothing about the mechanics, but am curious about the economics.

  2. In LoL, the skins are permanent. In EVE, they were destructible up until last Tuesday, when they became permanent. Well, the skins in the cash shop are permanent. From what I've read, skins good for 30 days will drop someplace.

  3. 30 day skins drop in game. They come from exploration sites and are currently restricted to a few pirate factions. They have been quite common drops so far.

  4. Well, CCP's issues with the "micro" part in "microtransaction" are long standing. It also is very CCP-ish that a bug exposes how every skin can be applied to every ship as in "they're not model-specific maps but a kind of procedural mapping" and so it turns that CCP already did 99% ofl the job required for painting the ships and they're just wtihholding them for marketing reasons.

    Of course, CCP claims that skins must be QA'ed for each specific model, which is right, but other than that, they aren't selling 100 different handcrafted skin maps for 100 different models. They're selling a little few procedural mappings(?) for whatever ship models they want.

    At least they have the decency to make them permanent...