Oh how topical

Breaking news: CPP > others.

I know, I’m shocked. Literally the first time this has happened, ever. Silly mega-niche hardcore PvP devs and their crazy ideas. Any bets how Bobby ‘borrows’ and screws this up? My bet is “pay to click” hotbars coming to WoW, with skills put on the paid bars instantly clearing an instance.

Also I swear I did not know about this when I wrote the post below.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, MMO design, RMT. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Oh how topical

  1. Well, it is interesting to compare this to how Blizzard dealt with third party addon developers. They don’t require a license, but you may not ask for money or put ads in your addon in any way shape or form. Something of a perversion of “Live Free or Die” if you look at it from the right angle.

    • SynCaine says:

      Only problem with Blizzard’s approach is for high-end raiding (at least back when I played) people still used pay-to-use stuff, it was just very hush hush. Stuff that made Deadly Boss Mods look like a child’s toy.

      I’m guessing Blizzard was at least aware of those mods though, because a few bosses in NAX were tuned around the functionality of a certain set (and, more or less, made those encounter extra brutal without the mod)

  2. Irenor says:

    Very suprised to hear this, and although I’m not a fan of EVE, this could be interesting. Really curious to see if this will influence other developers to do the same in the future as I can see CCP’s method being quite successful.

  3. Old Tom says:

    Well at least Hilmar is trying his best Bobby impersonation … retweeting a post mocking those upset at this move as “whiners” …

    “I love @EveOnline they try to make a balanced, reasonable (seems so) approach to monetizing 3PP, and whiners explode”

    Heh, the gall of people not wanting to pay more!

  4. Dril says:

    How is this good? Why should CCP get a chunk of money from the creators of EVEmon and the like, when, by and large, the tools benefit CCP already by implementing something (a loadout planner) that should already be in the game?

    I suppose you think CCP selling ships for money is better than the sparkle pony as well?

    Noty. I’m fairly annoyed that the month I choose to actually start to like EVE is the month CCP start to cash-gouge.

    • Jensen says:

      “I’m fairly annoyed that the month I choose to actually start to like EVE is the month CCP start to cash-gouge.”

      Unfortunate. The better solution might be to take a page from SynCaine’s book by slobbering all over CCP and EVE, but not actually play the game, all while spending money on a WoW clone.

      • Rammstein says:

        I don’t think you know what “better” means, or “solution”. If you disagree, please describe the problem that you believe Syncaine’s actions solve, and also please describe how Dril’s post encapsulates a solution to said problem, albeit a worse solution than Syncaine’s. Also, describe how these are the only 2 possible solutions, as you have claimed here.

    • SynCaine says:

      From an app creators standpoint, which would you rather:

      A) To get nothing for your app, have that app made obsolete by the game, and get zero credit or mention when it’s absorbed, no matter how popular your app (scrolling combat text for instance)

      B) Be enabled to profit off your work if you choose, or to continue to distribute it for free, all while the company behind the game you are creating this for acknowledges you and says (we shall see what happens) that they plan to increase support in that area?

      Not a hard choice, is it?

      And if the above means that more talented people are motivated to develop apps for game B, then ultimately game B and it’s players benefit.

      If the app is not worth a cost, it won’t be supported. If it is so beneficial to be seen as a “must have” (EVEMon), then I’d think paying a little for that work is fair.

      The ones ‘screwed’ here are those who expect the world, and want it free. Somehow I’m having a hard time shedding a tear for that population.

      • Dril says:

        Several factors:

        -I’d rather stay as it is now, and not have to pay CCP to make their game easier/better more intuitive. Not hard to understand. It’s blatant money-grabbing.

        -If I was on, say, a reasonably tight budget, £70 (or thereabouts) is not something I’d be willing to drop on a coding project. In fact, I’d personally feel bitter about having to pay to access information that others have been able to tinker with since 2003, free-of-charge.

        -That also drives AWAY new people. It’s not a huge cost, but is enough of a hurdle (5-7 months of game time, three whole other games) in terms of initial capital, especially if you’re not sure the app will sell well initially and/or you don’t think the income source could make it back in a reasonable amount of time. Especially if, for some bizarre reason, you actually want to let people use it, and not charge them. OH WAIT. CCP have forced you to charge people to regain the licence fee. Woops.

        -They’ve been more than willing to give it away for free since, oooh, gee, release. There are a great many people who give away things for free all the time. They could, shock horror, run a website, have ads on it, and make a tidy profit. Hell, they could have a DONATE BUTTON (iknorite?) and people could give them money (for free!) for such a good mod. I’ve done that on occasions with WoW addons, I don’t see why EVE should be an exception.

        I’m having a hard time stomaching your huge desire to see EVE join the fun “let’s add extra shit for our playerbase to buy JUST CAUSE LOL” especially considering you don’t even play the game.

        I’ve also got a really, really wacky idea: why don’t CCP just give away the licence for free, to all those people who make the game better??

        Oh, no, I forgot, CCP are such a small company and deserve all the hugs and cash they can get. I mean, when you’re selling a ship, paintjobs and clothing (now 100% exclusive to CCP’s RL-money mart) in addition to an actually really quite expensive subscription (they have a 1:1 $ to euro ratio, and I believe they convert to GBP from the Euro, which leads to a really, really naff price for Brits) they deserve an extra penny from people who work purely for the game’s benefit, for free.

        But, hey, what do I know? I’m just a lazy freeloader.

        • SynCaine says:

          All of the above would be really great if not for the fact that there is a free license available to those who won’t charge for what they make. That um… kinda kills all of what you wrote.


          PS: You can buy the clothing with in-game money too.

        • Rammstein says:

          “I’d rather stay as it is now, and not have to pay CCP to make their game easier/better more intuitive.”

          Most people would argue that you are indeed currently paying CCP for just that, as part of your subscription. You don’t HAVE to pay the subscription, as subscribing to EVE is optional in both your country and mine, so that’s a plus.

          “Not hard to understand.”

          No, it really is hard to understand.

          “It’s blatant money-grabbing.”

          You prefer hidden fees and charges to paying fees and charges that are stated upfront??? I guess one could argue it’s more exciting that way? Count me out.

        • Saucelah says:

          I think your overestimating the cost to the app developers as compared to the potential for profit. If EVEMon starts charging $1 per user, it would only take 99 users for them to break even, and after that, every new purchase is profit, something they legally couldn’t do before, and Eve had the right to just integrate the application into the game, rendering all their work moot.

          This may be a mixed bag for the players, but its definitely a boon for app developers and may lead to more innovation from outside CCP.

          I know if I was still playing Eve, I’d have no trouble spending up to $5 for EVEMon, as long as it was a one time only charge.

          Jeesh people.

        • Dril says:


          So, where’s all the bullshit about supporting mod authors then? The free licence is crap because they can’t even have ads, so that’s a null point.

          So, I ask you again: rather than just pointing out (mostly wrong) flaws in my argument, why exactly do CCP deserve any money from people who make their game better? Why can they not just have an application process for the full, commercial licence and give it away for free, allowing the mod authors to make (more, certain) profit? Do tell. Perhaps you think every game should charge people to mod it as well, because those damned modders and those damned freeloaders are just ruining games by not having to pay for every little convenience?

          PS: It comes exclusively from the store. So, if no one bought it with Aurum, no one could buy it with ISK. If no one was selling it, no one could buy it with ISK. Considering EVE prides itself on being a harsh, evil universe, it’s fairly ridiculous that you can have some lovely benevolent deity give you clothes and shit for the low low price of X Aurum.


          No, see, subscribing is also to PLAY THE GAME. And who is this “most” people who use your bizarre logic? And how does the sub (which, in the past, has been all you need to access everything in EVE) now have to be broken down into a much larger charge to do CCP a service?

          I’m sure it isn’t, but you don’t seem to be able to grasp to concept of differences between subscription and a one-time fee, so I’m sure real words must be terribly confusing for you.


          I appreciate the mod author aspect of this. But what irritates me is CCP don’t need to charge for it. They could just give away commercial licences for free to developers. The charge is unnecessary. The charge screams “let’s make a quick buck,” not “we really care about the quality and community of our mod authors, so we thought we’d charge you a sum just ’cause LOL.”

        • SynCaine says:

          $99 a year is pennies a day. It is, more or less, nothing. If that $99 has a noticeable effect on your yearly profits, you should not be selling your mod. It’s like blogs with adsense ads; do everyone a favor and remove them, save everyone the eyesore, and eat the $10 a month you make. Donation buttons are even worse, as they outright DON’T work no matter how big your site/mod gets. Again, just eat that $5 you make off it and move on.

          Now, for something like EVEMon, imagine if before this announcement, EVEMon started charging $1 a month for the mod. They’d make some decent money (nothing major, but still a few thousand a year at least). If a company knew someone was making thousands off their work, think they would just let it slide? What if you get into the 10k+ range, where you might actually be able to do something serious with it? Pretty shitty situation to possibly just have all that work absorbed and never mentioned, ala WoW.

          This lets those modders breath easy, lets them actually make a product, and lets them profit, all without that shady gray area of “who really owns this?”.

          Again, the only ones hurt here are those too cheap to pay a buck for something like EVEMon, and I’d point those people towards Farmville or some other F2P trash heap.

        • Rammstein says:

          “No, see, subscribing is also to PLAY THE GAME. ”

          Sure, ok, it’s also to play the game. So, you agree with me, in all caps?

          ” And how does the sub (which, in the past, has been all you need to access everything in EVE) now have to be broken down into a much larger charge to do CCP a service?”

          No one is arguing that is “has to” happen the way it is, the argument is how good a decision it is by CCP. You are throwing out a bunch of straw men here, without even tying them to a post, so they are just falling down like corpses strewn across a field of corn.

          “I’m sure it isn’t, but you don’t seem to be able to grasp to concept of differences between subscription and a one-time fee, so I’m sure real words must be terribly confusing for you.”

          “Real words?” As opposed to what, exactly? Joycean pseudo-nonsense? You are being very cryptic here, I hope you are ok.

        • Dril says:


          Look, I like the concept of this whole thing. A mod marketplace with trustworthy devs sounds fantastic.

          It’s just the charge that bothers me. It just looks like a cash grab from a company that has been one of the more generous over the years.

          I can also see themeparks aping this and doing it very poorly (as you said in the OP) but…meh. I’ve softened on it somewhat, but the charge is still unsettling.

    • Rammstein says:

      How is this good? Why should the creators of EVEmon get a chunk of money from their mod which is dependent on the existence of EVE, when they created the mod in the complete foreknowledge that they couldn’t profit off of it other than by donations?

      I suppose you think EVEmon selling ship fits for money is better than paying money to transfer servers as well?

      Noty. I’m fairly annoyed that the month I choose to actually start to like money is the month that people start charging money for services.

      • Dril says:

        They made the mod for EVE. They didn’t sit down and go “hmm, let’s make a mod, then find a game for it.” I mean, heaven forbid people make tools to solve a problem, rather than a quick way to make some cash.

        Those ship fits made by the community?

        I’ve always quite liked not spending needles amounts of money because a company decided to take the time off developing content this month to come up with schemes to get a bit more profit. But, hey, if you want to pay more to all those starving orphans at CCP be my guest.

        • Rammstein says:

          “They made the mod for EVE. They didn’t sit down and go “hmm, let’s make a mod, then find a game for it.””

          How is that relevant? Who bears responsibility for determining whether a mod makes the game better or worse? What should matter in determining whether a mod is available to players or not, whether the mod makes the game better, or whether the intent of the mod developers was to make the game better? How many mods that were intended to make WoW better were subsequently disabled by the WoW developers for making the game worse?

          That’s one issue. The issue of you not wanting to spend needless amounts of money is a completely different issue, your arguments are blending them together somewhat. The proper response to a company mishandling the above issue is for mod authors to not write mods for that game anymore. The proper response to you feeling the game is too expensive is for you to stop playing the game. You can attempt to blend the problems together, but those are completely separate solutions that do not lend themselves to your strategy.

          The reason that CCP being a small company is relevant to people saying you shouldn’t complain about them, is that the only rational reason to complain about high prices is when a company is both dominant in a sector, and using that dominance to drive out competition so that the high prices are not a legitimate market strategy but an expression of their illegal monopoly. Since CCP is so small, the question of whether they are operating monopolistically is thereby waived.

  5. The Claw says:

    What on earth in the connection between CCP opening up what is basically an “app store” where third-parties can charge for useful utilities and webservices; and the idea of Blizzard charging money for in-game power?

    I appreciate that you probably wrote this post in a hurry, since it’s so short, but damn, if you can’t come up with better Blizzard-slamming than that, just don’t bother. It just makes you look pathetic.

    • Rammstein says:

      If you can’t come up with better criticism of Syncaine than that his slamming of Blizzard gets repetitive, then just don’t bother. It just makes you look pathetic.

      • The Claw says:

        Your sycophancy lessens an already poor retort, sir.

      • Linkin says:

        SynCaine’s dad, maybe? That would explain the relentless defense.

        • Rammstein says:

          That would make you “The Claw’s” mother, right? Fact of the matter is, I’m not saying anything good about SynCaine here, I’m simply attacking people who are attacking him in stupid ways. Like you, low hanging fruit. Saying I’m being sycophantic is a classic fallacy, the resort of someone who lacks a rational argument. I was going to take the high road and just ignore it, until you had your mother post in support of you.

  6. Rammstein says:

    You’re just insulting yourself, sir.

  7. Shadow says:

    I’m mixed on this overall. It’s an issue, that I think won’t really be determined until after the chips land. Too many variables distributed amongst too many people.

  8. Saucelah says:

    I don’t see an issue here. A company wants to control licensing of products that use their IP to make profit. Feel free to not make profit, but if you want to profit of off our product, pay for the right. $99 per year is a hell of a lot less than most platforms charge to create for them.

    It’s simple, EVEMon stays free if it doesn’t charge, but if they want to charge, they pay the owner of the license a small fee. As someone whose entire income is based on creative labors, I would certainly expect anyone making a profit off my shoulders to pay for the right, if only so I could maintain control of the direction of my IP.

    • The only real “issue” I can see so far is that CCP didn’t think this through enough before they went public with it. It is one of their endearing traits that they can be awfully naive at times.

      So everybody read the proposed licensing and came back with responses by which CCP seemed genuinely blind sided. Basically, there were huge gray areas in what they said, CCP’s Q&A section was laughably short, and so people assumed the worst.

      So there are now people out there who assume that they cannot post EVE screen shots to their free blog because WordPress.com injects ads into them thus making their blogs commercial ventures, if you read the rules from the right angle.

      $99/yr. to be able to sell a product piggy-backed on CCP’s assets should not be a deal breaker, though it will cut out anybody who isn’t serious. But all the scenarios about ads and donation buttons and the like muddies the water so much that nobody can be sure what constitutes free. Is EVEMon free under the rules if Battleclinic doesn’t charge for it, but has banner ads on the site where you download it? Or if they accept donations? Or if the fitting tool in it sends you to their forums where there are ads?

      CCP has a lot to nail down, but a lot of the outrage seems to be based on the uncertainty about who will have to pay and who will not. And they will, because they know the value of their community. But their proposal went out half-baked at best and they are paying a price for it.

      • SynCaine says:

        True, the communication needed to be more clear, but that core idea is still pretty damn solid, and I would not be surprised if this time next year we look back and see a ton of great apps for EVE because of this initiative.

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