Earlier today, CCP Games released a major devblog, in which they announced a significant price increase for both Omega subscriptions and the cost of PLEX packs on the EVE Store. The cost increases are provided in USD, with a small note stating that this will impact other major currencies. The cost increases will come into force from May 17, 2022, and are billed as the first change to USD pricing for EVE Online since 2004.
The devblog has been accompanied by both the standard forum thread and a reddit thread, with the announcement drawing criticism from many players. This includes current CSM 16 representative Brisc Rubal, who stated that it is “extremely hard to swallow a price increase without any new content“. These changes to subscription costs will quite possibly make EVE Online the single-most expensive MMO in the world for a one month subscription, with prices set to rise 33% from $15 to $20 USD.
At many points in the history of EVE Online, this announcement may have have been an acceptable step to take. Right now, however, is not one of those times. This is because right now the game is in a shameful state, having suffered through Rattati’s disastrous Era of Scarcity, recent attempts to sell fitted ships for real money, and the constant spectre of NFT’s and Cryptoscams. While CCP CEO Hilmar distanced EVE Online (or at least Tranquility) from NFTs and ‘the blockchain’ recently, the question remains; do we believe him?
Perhaps more cynically, we should also draw attention to the other devblog released today. In that article, CCP announced a 30% discount for one month of omega subscription. This seems awfully timed to draw in some good will ,and then take advantage of people panic-buying a cheap subscription now so they can save some money before the price rises kick in next month.
At this point, CCP seems to be making the exact same mistakes as Netflix have recently suffered from, cutting wildly back on their offerings to customers with one hand and asking for more money with the other. We should not have to tell CCP Games where that situation left Netflix, because it has been widely publicised in recent days. As of May 17, CCP will be charging the same price as the top-tier Netflix subscription, but for what content? At $20 per month, the value proposition is nearly non-existent.
As a sign off, I will leave you with this thought: CCP need to announce something good at Fanfest to make this act of shooting themselves in the foot worthwhile. If they don’t, people will seriously start considering other MMOs that have more reasonable prices nearer to $10-$15.
In case you’re curious, here is a short, non-exhaustive list of other services available at or below the $20 price point…
Final Fantasy XIV – $14.99/month
World of Warcraft – $14.99/month
Xbox Game Pass for PC – $14.99/month
Dual Universe – $9.99/month
Lord of the Rings Online – F2P, with a 4-region expansion available for a one-time $19.99 fee