Monday, February 12, 2024

Learning Culture Through EVE Online's And FFXIV's Current Sales Events

Oh, February. When my brain for some reason turns to comparing cash shop offerings in EVE Online and Final Fantasy XIV. Last year I just looked at the value propositions and practices of both companies. This year I want to look at the cultural aspects of the two sales.

As I did last year, I'll start with EVE Online. The sales pitch isn't exactly scintillating.

Celebratory capsuleers,

It’s time to light your firecrackers and exchange gifts to celebrate Lunar New Year. To mark the occasion, the EVE store is offering two packs with brand-new SKINs, apparel, Omega, PLEX and much more until 19 February.

Perhaps the lack of excitement is workload, because CCP didn't create an in-game event the marketing staff could associate with the sale. But Pearl Abyss wants CCP and EVE Online to appeal to more "cultural elements". I will say, though, the sale is pretty harmless in regard to the direction of the game.

The first deal includes dragons, because 2024 is the Year of the Dragon according to the lunar calendar.

The new SKINs

The SKINs displayed in the graphic above are:

  • Stiletto Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Loki Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Dominix navy Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Jaguar Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Hecate Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Huginn Empyrean Dragons SKIN
  • Vexor Navy Issue Empyrean Dragons SKIN

In addition, the package includes the Men's & Women’s Empyrean Dragons Jacket, each of which are currently available in the New Eden Store for 75 PLEX each. The package goes for $37.79.

The second package, for $53.39, is more interesting.


The Wealth and Wisdom Pack brings you a selection of everything you need to start a prosperous new year.

  • 1 Month Omega time
  • 800 PLEX
  • Specialist “Boost” Cerebral Accelerator
  • 2 x Skill Extractors
  • 1,800 HyperCores
The wealth portion of 1 month of game time and 800 PLEX makes sense. The wisdom part of the cerebral accelerator and skill extractors also makes sense. But how do HyperCores fit into the theme of the Lunar New Year?

Gambling turns out to have a place in Chinese culture and Chinese New Year's celebrations. Just because EVE does not offer games like Mahjong does not mean players cannot gamble in the game world. The HyperNet relay is basically a mini-lottery. But according to one website, most any type of gambling fits into the holiday.
Secondly, superstitions state that the act of gambling itself, regardless of wins or losses, brings good luck into the new year. This stems from the belief that handling money will bring good economic luck.

Chinese gamblers also often follow the Chinese proverb that says, “If you don’t bet, you don’t know how lucky you are.” They then believe that winning reflects one’s good luck and blessing by supernatural forces. 

In fact, in many Asian cultures, luck is closely related to fate; according to Dr. Timothy Fong, an associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, “Chinese people think a lucky person should have obtained blessing from the gods and his/her ancestors.” With that, many believe that fate is ever-changing, and can be manipulated by practices such as donning red underwear, or having a good luck charm near their deck of cards.
Talk of Mahjong leads to Final Fantasy XIV. But Square Enix is not celebrating the lunar New Year. Instead, the game is holding its annual Valentione's Day event. Why is a Japanese game not celebrating an Asian holiday? Believe it or not, all east Asian cultures are not the same. Japan departed from the rest of the region's reliance on the lunar calendar during the Meiji Restoration (1868-1889), when the Japanese switched to the Gregorian calendar to fit in with the rest of the world. That is not to say the lunar New Year is not celebrated anywhere in Japan, but mainly in places like the Ryukyu Islands and the many Chinatowns in Japanese cities.

This is not to say Square Enix totally ignored the holiday. But the in-game event, Heavensturn, took place from 31 December to 15 January, in line with the Gergorian calendar. The developers even alluded to the animal of the new year, the dragon.

The Dote emote

But the sale itself basically is the same as last year's.

New items added in 2024

Last year's rewards from the in-game event were added to the cash shop. No FOMO here as the additions, if not permanent, will stick around for years. And I can use my description from last year.
In addition, all of the items from previous Valentione's Day events are all off for 30%. This ranges from $1.40 for the Dote emote (almost mandatory for those participating in FFXIV's club scene) and $2.10 for The Kiss Orchestrion Roll (FFXIV housing has music) up to $7.00 for the Valentione's Furnishing Set and $8.40 for each of the Broken Heart mounts. Except for the new Ceruleum Balloons mount for $24, all the items in the FFXIV sale cost below $8.50.
The sale also lasts until 21 February at 10:59pm PST.

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