There’s been an angry reaction from EVE Online players to the introduction of not-so-microtransactions by developers CCP, and leaked documents which suggest more on the way.
The recent ‘Incarna’ update to the game included the ability to purchase expensive vanity items like $70 USD monocles. Players didn’t exactly love that, but what really annoyed them was a leaked internal newsletter (confirmed as real) which showed CCP openly discussing the benefits of microtransactions and, essentially, how to stealthily introduce them without losing the support of the playerbase.
Many interpreted this as writing on the wall for the future introduction of purchasable items that would actually influence the game (not just vanity items, as are being sold at present).
CCP’s responses haven’t exactly been helping matters. In a particularly boneheaded move, CCP producer Arnar Hrafn Gylfason penned a comparing $70 virtual monocles to $1,000 designer Japanese jeans.
Last Friday, players took direct, in-game action by mobilising against and firing upon an indestructable monument in the ‘Jita’ system. This doesn’t sound terribly effective on its own, but Jita is a trading hub and when player capacity was reached, players began to organise ‘riots’ in other traffic-heavy areas. Server nodes were temporarily shut down as a result and for a while the game’s economy was disrupted.
In addition, players have been declaring that they will no longer renew their subscriptions or will outright cancel accounts. These figures are, at present, nearing the 4,500 mark.