In an unprecedented move, CCP implemented a 40% reduction in the cost of plex. Sort of. The 40% reduction was to the number of plex necessary to redeem 1 month of play time. The implementation was poorly executed and not exactly what it seems.
Just the Facts
The shaky roll out began with a Twitter post. And nothing else. As of the time of writing, there is no launcher splash, nothing on the Eve website, nothing besides the tweet. Well, the tweet and Reddit posts. Lots and lots of Reddit posts.
Someone was listening however. Immediately after downtime markets opened, plex prices were going through the roof.
Plex price has been slowly trending up all year. Up from 2.5 million this time last year, to 4.5 million on the morning of the September 23. With this new sale, that price spiked sharply due to low plex availability. You can see in the graph to volume of trade more than tripled to around 3 million units on the September 23.
The resulting spike peaked around 8 million and then adjusted down over the course of the day. By the end of the day plex was mostly stable around 5.3 million, but has been trending back up ever since. At the time of writing it is trading around 5.6 million.
Review of the Deal
Here are the things we know. For a play to plex their account, it costs about 1.7 billion. This is down from the 2.25 billion at full price. So about 25% savings at current prices. So long as the plex prices stay under 7.5 million per unit the player saves isk.
It is a good deal. I don’t want people to forget that. If you are still playing, you should take advantage of this sale.
Objectively, the evidence clearly shows that people (myself included) have purchased more plex to feed the market. Either that or some of those with large plex investments have released them back into circulation. Either case is very good for CCP.
Speculation on CCP’s Motivation
CCP holds plex sales on their books as unrealized income. In simple terms, a plex sold, but not used to buy game time, is a liability on their books. Getting those plex, especially those in stockpiles moving is the goal here. The reduction on the “cost” to USE plex, and not to BUY plex makes perfect sense in that context. Less liability on the book, and more realized revenue on the balance sheet.
Now on to the wild speculations.
The timing suggests this move is to balance the (assumed) slump in subscription revenue right before CCP must post their Q3 numbers. A good thing when trying to push the narrative that everything is fine and the game isn’t in (rapid?) decline.
Alternate voices of reddit suggest this might be a move to try and rapidly cash out the liability plex. In short, it costs CCP nothing to promise game time when there is no game to play. (AKA the star citizen model). The money from this realized revenue then can be funneled into their once and future failed FPS.
The more hopeful speculators are wondering if there is another buyer in the future. Perhaps someone with more give a darn about spaceships exploding. Personally I am not in this camp. CCP would not be the key player in such a move. PA would be. Frankly I suspect if PA was planning to step in or sell, we would have known about it by now.
But maybe I am wrong and hope springs eternal.