Monday, October 10, 2022

Changes To The PLEX Price Of A Subscription In EVE Online

I have to admit sometimes I'm a little slow on the uptake. Take for example the latest "price" change in EVE Online. When I first read the article, I thought CCP had decided to bow to the crowd and lower the price of subscriptions to the game. Instead, the South Korean-owned game company reduced the amount of work players needed to perform in New Eden to gain the same benefits as subscribers.

Economical Capsuleers,

The New Eden Store now offers a wider range of Omega than ever before, allowing you to get Omega for less PLEX.

As well as the existing 1-month and 12-month Omega packs already available, pilots that swing by the New Eden Store will now find 3, 6 and 24-month options. To account for the new Omega amounts, the PLEX pricing of Omega has been adjusted.

The introduction of the new Omega options and the new pricing means a wider range of per-month savings are available. In short, the more you spend in PLEX, the more you save off the full monthly cost of Omega. The discounts are as follows:

  • 1-month: Full price
  • 3-month: 20% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 6-month: 30% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 12-month: 40% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 24-month: 45% off the full monthly cost of Omega

Upgrading to Omega lets you unlock your full potential through new skills, faster training, and access to 350+ ships. So, make sure that next time you play EVE Online, you check out what the New Eden Store has to offer!

I found the announcement rather strange. Why not put the amounts of PLEX in the announcement? Was the CCP marketing team trying to lead people who didn't carefully read the article into believing the price change also involved paying with real world currency? For those used to working for their Omega time by playing the game, the post was probably obvious. I've never PLEX'd1 my account, though, so the wording threw me off. I didn't realize the amount of PLEX required to buy Omega time was changing and not the real world price.

The new prices in the New Eden Store

For those who don't want to do math before purchasing Omega time with PLEX, the breakdown is:

  • 1-month: 500 PLEX
  • 3-months: 1200 PLEX
  • 6-months: 2100 PLEX
  • 12-months: 3600 PLEX
  • 24-months: 6600 PLEX

The price of Omega time, in USD

Since the marketing team gave the percentage discounts for purchasing Omega time in USD.

  • 1-month: Full price
  • 3-month: 20% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 6-month: 25% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 12-month: 37.5% off the full monthly cost of Omega
  • 24-month: 43.5% off the full monthly cost of Omega

The decline of the Interstellar Kredit against the US Dollar

Now, if I were the cynical type, I would suspect the change in the exchange rate between PLEX and Omega time is an attempt to shore up the value of ISK. Despite CCP raising the U.S. dollar price of PLEX by 25% on 17 May, the price of ISK versus the USD has declined by 23.4% since the beginning of 2022. Thus, someone buying 5 billion ISK through the approved PLEX process paid an average of $65.75 on 1 January but only $50.35 on Saturday.

Given the poor financial news from the second quarter of 2022, CCP probably would like to see the price to purchase ISK rise the rest of the year, not fall. I see the reduction in the PLEX price of Omega time as an effort to reduce the ISK price of PLEX. The lower the ISK price of PLEX, the more real life currency EVE's wallet warriors will need to pay CCP to buy ISK to replace their losses. The company has tried rising prices directly to temporarily keep prices higher. Perhaps an indirect approach benefiting the work-to-play segment of the player base will have more success.


1. "PLEX'ing your account" is what players call working in the game for subscription benefits instead of paying real life currency.

Friday, October 7, 2022

EVE Muddles Through The Launch Of WotLK Classic

Last week I wondered how the launch of Wrath of the Lich King Classic would affect player activity on EVE Online's Tranquility shard. Would a highly disgruntled player base do what it did in 2019 when they flocked to play on the World of Warcraft Classic servers? Or was the disgruntlement overblown and would they stick around and fly internet spaceships?

To be fair, this year the developers offered players more than the *cough* awesomeness *cough* that was Blackout. On 29 September, CCP launched the Empire Frontiers patch which offered new story events in both the Caldari-Gallente and Amarr-Minmatar war zones. The event also offered early access to the 8 new faction navy ships that will appear in the Uprising expansion in November.

In addition, the Alliance Tournament season began on Saturday with the Trials Tournament. The Trials is a play-in tournament for the Alliance Tournament for those alliances that failed to automatically qualify for the main tournament. The last weekend of the Trials is the weekend of 8-9 October.

The big question though, is, did EVE Online experience a massive exodus with the launch of WotLK Classic? To answer the question, I looked at the week-over-week change in the number of peak concurrent users (PCU). For the first few days after the launch of WotLK Classic, the PCU did drop, although not precipitously. The largest drop occurred on the first full day the servers were open. Notably, the daily PCU never dropped below 20,000.

Then, a funny thing happened. Even before the first full week was out, PCU counts began rising. To me, a sign that the player dissatisfaction wasn't nearly as great as during Blackout. I guess you can't believe everything you read on the EVE Online sub-Reddit. Imagine that!

I don't want anyone to believe that I think EVE is in an entirely healthy state. As seen by the ACU chart above output by Ripard Teg, the concurrency numbers declined in September. While not unprecedented, a September decline is, to use the technical term, a bad thing. And while EVE survived the launch of WotLK Classic, CCP really needs to see the concurrent user marks increase in October. The developers are trying, but can they succeed? I think that's the question everyone wants to find out.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Star Citizen Stumbles To $5 Million In Sales In September

In September, Cloud Imperium Games recorded four thousand dollars short of $5 million in sales for Star Citizen and Squadron 42. For the year, the CIG recorded $74.6 million in sales on its publicly facing funding page. Oh, and during September, CIG reached over $500 million in sales for the 10 year history of the project.

The Star Citizen money machine stumbled at the end of September, however. From the start of the year to 20 September, CIG had only failed to record $100,000 in sales for a day once, $97,462 on 27 July. But in the ten days following CIG reaching $500 million in sales, the highest amount recorded in a single day was $90,616 on 24 September. The last time CIG failed to raise at least $100,000 a day for 10 days was from 28 July to 6 August 2021.

I didn't anticipate the slowdown in funding after the milestone amount was reached. Perhaps with Citizen Con and the accompanying ship and vehicle sales led to a pause as players wait for deals. Or perhaps players are unhappy about the lack of new content. Patches for Star Citizen usually come out every three months or so, and CIG released patch 3.17 on 29 April 2022. The last I heard, patch 3.18 has not reached Evocati testing and is due out in mid-November.