How much for a sparklepony with a monocle?

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’.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, Mass Media, MMO design, Rant, RMT, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to How much for a sparklepony with a monocle?

  1. Tom Hoffman says:

    I’m sure a lot fewer people would have bought the sparkle pony too if you couldn’t actually ride it outside of a single room which only you could enter. Part of the reason the cash shop rollout seems so half-assed is that I don’t think they really expected much action until you could actually wear the stuff in public.

  2. Dink says:

    summery and Eve = Summers Eve (Douche)

    summary = a comprehensive and usually brief abstract, recapitulation, or compendium of previously stated facts or statements.

  3. Dril says:

    I lol’d at them boasting at the number 52.

    As I said in Spinks’ post, doing some (very rough) math it works out at the approx equivalent of 780 sparkle lions/ponies sold in the west.

    In fact, the sparkle pony sold almost 2,700 times better, assuming 140k is in the ballpark.

    Mayhaps that paint a picture for CCP.

  4. Saucelah says:

    1000 points for successful use of the phrase “Online Space Barbie”

    -1500 points if Mattel teams up with SOE and makes that very game.

    • But at least 500 points back if SOE then attempts to sells an “Online Space Barbie” themed Zippo lighter in the Station Store.

      (For those who might have missed it, SOE has been trying to sell EQ theme’d Zippo lighters… they must have bought a lot… since back when EQ was their only real game. They are still available in the Station Store!)

  5. You’ve seen the pictures from the parties CCP throws at GDC every year. There is clearly a “hookers, blow, and booze” line on the CCP balance sheet.

    Now the blowback controversy I am really waiting for is when somebody starts complaining that they cannot put the female clothing items on their male avatars, and vice versa.

    Incarna though… if there were something really good in the release to occupy everybody, this whole Aurum store thing would be page 6 news. But the expansion is all very superficial items. Even the agent finder, cool though it is, is pretty low impact on the excitement meter. And that is something of a rage multiplier when people are annoyed that the old station view is gone and the new one is a resource hogging Barbie’s Space Station, suitable only for showing off cash shop monocles and high heeled boots. CCP managed to really perform a serious combo “piss off the forums” move here.

  6. wizardling says:

    Not to mention the failure to fix bugs lingering from Incursion before they added this almost complete fluff excuse-to-sell-MT expansion, e.g. Eve has been crashing when I jump while tabbed out of fullscreen. Use fixed window mode you say? I’d love to, only it was disabled for Eve for Mac last expansion too, due to it causing crashes as well… Then there’s certain mod attributes not displaying correctly, or worse not working…

    As they said on Eve Radio the other day, this expansion has something for everyone to get mad about. Yet CCP still had one remaining chance to pacify most players, by coming forward and reassuring them they’d put things right ASAP… opps, was that a massive PR disaster compounded by multiple damning leaks they just had? There goes that chance down the toilet… :-D

  7. Adam says:

    Outside of the store drama, Incarna changes are fairly positive.

    However the underlying concern is where and when does Incarna start adding actual Gameplay?

    Walking around stations is Roleplay stuff. GREAT for new players and RP folks.

    Storefronts and bars in the station don’t add gameplay to my mind. More roleplay.

    Gameplay would be leaving your ship in Incarna driven first person power armor and exploring an Archaelogy site.

    Gameplay would be boarding each other’s large ships in power armor to wrest control of it.

    Incarna makes these things possible but where is the vision for this?

    • Rammstein says:

      Those are great to think about, but until the CQ technology reaches at least 60% of the speed and fluidity found in 20 year old FPS Games like castle wolfenstein, thanks but no thanks.

    • Rammstein says:

      p.s. That’s comparing CQ running on an i7 with a gtx480 against CW running on a broken abacus. Eve’s first person technology is incredibly pathetic. I would say more about it but I have it turned off in the EVE client and am intentionally blanking my brain of all memories of it as we speak.

  8. defconquell says:

    “Gameplay would be leaving your ship in Incarna driven first person power armor and exploring an archaeology site.” THIS!!! … Or at least archaeology robots you can remote pilot while deciphering the ancient jovian droppings.

    Wilhelm: love that “Barbie Space Station” line! My gf is cracking the eff up. =)


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