Good summary of the EVE monocle debate over at TAGN, including links to other info and a post from the CCP CEO.
I had to dig into my archive to find exactly what I have written about the WoW sparklepony, because even I can’t keep all my ranting straight sometimes (I know, shocking to those who have been here for longer than, oh, a post or two). Luckily that event happened during a calm state of mind day, because what I wrote back then is exactly how I feel about things today. That post can be found here (it’s mostly about EVE, the WoW stuff is the last paragraph), but here is the choice quote:
As for the e-peen pony, while it would have been better for Blizzard to add actual content (a complex quest to earn the mount perhaps), the fact that thousands of people are lining up to hand Blizzard $25 to be handed a new shiny and to pretend they are a special snowflake is reason enough to not bother with the content piece. The customer dictates the direct you go in, and when you have thousands (or millions) of people screaming that they would rather pay for items than play to get them, it would be foolish to ignore them.
In other words, don’t blame the devs, blame the players.
Now what’s interesting about EVE here is that only 52 monocles were sold in the first 40 hours. That’s… a slightly smaller amount than the 140k+ that were lined up to buy the WoW pony. Granted the total player pool is different between the games, but the buy-in rate is still a little off between the two games. Plus CCP has stated that the monocle is the highest grossing items in the store, so not only is the monocle not setting the world on fire, the other stuff is sitting on the selves as well. From the “player vote” perspective (the real one, not how many “I quit” forum threads are created), it’s clear that EVE players would rather blow stuff up than buy virtual designer clothing.
The real question EVE fans should be asking is this: will those 52 monocle sales increase actual content delivery, or does the dev time spend on fluff items cut into other development even after you factor in the increased revenue? Because if it’s the former, then EVE fans should be thanking the 52 people who are really, really into online space Barbie, because pre-monocle they really had no way to over-pay for the development of EVE. If it’s the latter, EVE fans have a legitimate issue. Somehow I don’t see creating a monocle as a dev time crushing activity.
Of course, CCP could just be spending all that monocle cash on hookers and blow rather than content, but that would be some serious ‘borrowing’.