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Monitize Your EVE Online App or Service… For a Fee… June 15, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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I’m still trying to digest this blog post from CCP.

It seems you will now need to obtain a license to create a 3rd party application or utility, but if you are willing to throw down $99 you can charge for said application or utility.

The key part of the announcement:

Starting this summer you will be able to charge people for usage of your applications, websites and services for EVE Online.

This new system was introduced at the Dev Track and discussed at the Fanfest round tables. We got a lot of good feedback at Fanfest and would like to get more before finalizing the service.

Highlights

  • Simple process – Sign up on a webpage, get started straight away
  • Inexpensive – $99 per year, no other fees
  • Developer-friendly – Very few restrictions
  • Open-ended – You can charge subscription fees, receive donations, sell your app in an app-store and more
  • Non-commercial websites and apps will now require a (free) license

Grueling legal details

  • CCP will license 3rd party developers to create commercial applications and services created using the EVE API, In-Game Browser, Static Data Export, Image Export and Eve Image server.
  • To become a licensee, developer must enter into a commercial license agreement with CCP. The fee for a commercial license is $99, payable annually by credit card or wire transfer (for identification purposes). We do not require further payments from developer or royalties.
  • Developer can choose how they monetize their app or service, provided that they conform with the EVE EULA and ToS. Examples of monetization could be donations, one-time purchase, in-app purchase, subscriptions or ad-supported sites or apps.
  • For ad-supported ventures, we require that licensed applications or services not be associated with ISK selling/buying, macros or bots. An example of unacceptable monetization would be accepting Google AdWords from sites violating our EULA and ToS. (this is essentially similar to our terms for fansites)
  • CCP may at its discretion, list developers’ application or service, and provide other publicity.
  • Developer may not market their application or service as being associated with CCP in any way, other than to include a logo and credit line identifying application or service as a licensed application for EVE. Or similar attribution as may be required by CCP from time to time.
  • We will continue to provide technical assistance via the Technology Lab forum and IRC channel, but CCP does not offer formal technical support to developers or warrant the API in any way. It’s provided as is.
  • 3rd Party applications and services may not accept PLEX.
  • CCP also allows non-commercial apps and services, subject to simple clickwrap agreement substantially similar to the one that is provided to registered fansites.

There is an additional Q&A section which I did not copy and paste that is part of the post which tries to clarify some of the detail.

What this will mean to the EVE apps and services we have all grown used to, such a EVE Mon, I do not know.

Comments»

1. epic.ben - June 15, 2011

Paying for EVEMON…. scary thought.

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2. Dril - June 15, 2011

Overnight CCP have gone from some of the most generous (in terms of content per buck) devs to some of the absolute worst money-grabbers.

Aurum? Selling ships for it?

Charging fans to improve your community and make the game easier to understand?

DUST being a “f2p” on an exclusive platform that isn’t the PC?

I’m seriously wondering if I’ve started to get into EVE just as it’s about to come crashing down in a wave of greed.

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3. Old Tom - June 15, 2011

This is a crying shame …

The profileration of 3rd party Eve apps is due to the horrific interface of the game itself. Evemon and the Eve fitting tool kept me playing the game by cutting through the arcane detail and helping me get a grasp on the game mechanics. But I guess serving your paying customers and keeping them happy with your lack of development in UI isn’t enough for CCP. Blatant money grab if there ever was one.

I’m glad I let Eve go in the Spring .. now its like watching a car crash in slow-mo.

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4. Stabs - June 15, 2011

Some of the apps may simply choose not to go commercial. I’m kind of ok with this. If Evemon charged $1 and had 100 customers they’d break even. I’m pretty grateful for Evemon, I’d give them a dollar.

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5. Old Tom - June 15, 2011

@stabs

“Commercial” has a funny meaning for CCP. If you have a donate button (even isk donation) .. you have to cough up for the fee. The choice is either go completely free with no hope of any pitance of compensation you do on behalf of the game OR you pay-up to CCP for making their game better.

They’re the only company I know that requires a license to allow the transfer of an imaginary currency.

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6. tipa - June 15, 2011

Yeah… since EVEMON and Capsuleer were free when I used them, those developers still wouldn’t pay anything for their license. If they charge they pay $99. Not seeing anything wrong with this at all.

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7. Oh how topical « Hardcore Casual - June 15, 2011

[...] Breaking news: CPP > others. [...]

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8. spinks - June 15, 2011

I’ll be interested to see how they will police this. Presumably there are sites out there already making money who will now be asked to pay a fee.

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9. Old Tom - June 15, 2011

tipa

Actually, that’d be incorrect. The commercial license is required if a site has a donate button or runs ads. Battleclinic, which hosts Evemon, has both. They have to pay $99 now.

Also these little tidbit is interesting .. from the QnA:

Will services for in-game currency require a commercial license?

Yes, if you require any sort of payment for your services you will need a commercial license.

Will website ads require a commercial license?

Yes, for ad-supported websites you will require a commercial license.

Will donations require a commercial license?

Yes, for donation supported websites you will require a commercial license.

Will I be able to charge real life currency for in game services?

No, the commercial license does not allow you to charge real life money for any in-game services.

Not sure what separates in-game services from out-game services .. but only being able to charge isk seems odd.

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10. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 15, 2011

I think, perhaps, that the licensing aspect is the real point here, that you must apply to CCP to obtain some sort of license to use things like the EVE API for anything public facing.

So, for example, the Hulkageddon kill board the last time around used the EVE API for kill tracking. It was publicly available. That means Helicity would need at least the non-commercial license for a repeat performance now. The kill board, if I recall right, had an ad for the site that provided the hosting. Would that then make it commercial? The ad was in exchange for hosting. And what if CCP decides they just don’t like Hulkageddon?

And, while I do not expect CCP to suddenly transform into a control-obsessed entity that will disallow or revoke licenses for apps, sites, or services it does not like, it certainly does put that ability in place.

Then again, they already said you couldn’t get a license if you were associated in any way with the selling of ISK. And while we all might approve of that, the door can perhaps be said to already be open.

More to chew on here.

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11. Odius - June 15, 2011

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Chances are CCP isn’t going to get rich and the $99 will just go toward administration for the program. Now at least indie devs will get the chance to make some money for their hard work.

I think the biggest issue is that people may have to start paying to use a program that use to be free. I wouldn’t mind compensating the devs for programs like Evemon, EFT, and the few iphone apps I use. Maybe we’ll end up with some even better products because of this?

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12. Odius - June 15, 2011

Should’ve dropped in some of the Q&A. I don’t see an issue with charging $99 for people that want to make real money. I do have an issue with charging $99 for people that get isk donations for stuff like making banner ads for blogs and what not. But I have a feeling that part will get cut out.

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13. Old Tom - June 15, 2011

My favorite quote from the nascent threadnaught:

“You are charging people who work for free to make your game better you asshats”

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14. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 15, 2011

@Old Tom – Hah! I expect the forums will be full of choice quotes. I will have to take a look.

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15. Dril - June 15, 2011

@Old Tom:

That sums up my position nicely :O

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16. Stabs - June 15, 2011

Seems to me the games companies are damned if they do damned if they don’t. People were very bitter when Blizzard told the addon community they couldn’t ask for money 2 years ago.

http://www.brokentoys.org/2009/03/21/blizzard-no-charging-for-addons/

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17. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 15, 2011

@Stabs – Yeah, I mentioned that on SynCaine’s post as a comparison point, though thanks for dragging out a link to put a time stamp on it. Blizz said no charging for addons or even asking for donations in addons. That was no doubt brought to a head by QuestTracker that used to ask for donations.

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18. Marlenus - June 16, 2011

If I’m reading this right, they are going to start requiring a license, albeit a free one, for fansites like my blog. It’s a “corporation website” with a “public facing portion”, so it would require at least the free license.

I find it rather ridiculous that a company would burden community-building in that way. I assume it will go unenforced as long as blogs and other community sites aren’t abusing the EVE IP, but if not, it will be just as easy to take down the site as jump through stupid hoops to keep it up.

Autocannon to the foot…

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19. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 16, 2011

@Marlenus – I think, if I read it right, that you only need the license if you use CCP assets like the EVE API.

Not sure if something like posting the EVE RSS feed in the side bar, as I do over at EVE Online Pictures, counts as using a CCP asset.

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20. Old Tom - June 16, 2011

Actually the dev blog states (though apparently its now being called a “first draft”)
that “CCP will license 3rd party developers to create commercial applications and services created using the EVE API, In-Game Browser, Static Data Export, Image Export and Eve Image server.”

And then goes on to define “commercial” as anything with a donate button, advertisement, or exchange of isk for an “in-game service”

The wording is so horrifically broad as to apply to things like in-game hauling services and merc corps. Clearly this is an abortive attempt at this. I’ve no doubt that a license policy will go through. My hope is that the final language will be vetted by someone who knows *anything* about Eve and its community.

As it is, they pissed of Chribba who expressed disillusionment with CCP … Chribba, the man with the word Veldspar tattoed on his body and who offered to fly to Iceland on his own dime to talk through this policy with them.

Egads, CCP is incapable of keeping their feet from their mouths.

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21. End of the free ride for (EVE) money making gaming blogs, guides, and addons « Welcome to Spinksville! - June 16, 2011

[...] developers of EVE Online, set the cat among the pigeons yesterday when they announced that they intend to charge a licence fee to 3rd parties who use their assets for profit making activities. (If you run a not for profit [...]

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22. CCP App Monetization | Why it’s good for gamers - June 16, 2011

[...] TAGN:  Monetize your EVE Online App … For a Fee (he’s neutral; the comments aren’… [...]

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23. epic.ben - June 16, 2011

@Odius – I completely agree with you. Your thoughts changed my mind and I expanded on that on my own blog.

@Old Tom – don’t get wrapped up in the exact wording. Lawyers are scary (I’m married to one), and they tend to overstate things in an effort to fend off any possibility of anyone possibly misinterpreting what they say. Which, in my experience, usually results in misinterpretation (thus fueling their profession).

After thinking this over, I can’t see this as anything but a move by CCP to add some fuel to their app ecosystem – the fuel being financial incentive, which usually works wonders. I’m excited to see what happens, and would be glad to pay a $1 for EVEMon.

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24. Christopher - June 16, 2011

I came across this article while researching a way to integrate EVE with Facebook with the plan to build an easy app for FB users to display their EVE bling but was immediately turned off the idea after reading CCP’s plans.

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25. epic.ben - June 16, 2011

Why would you be turned off of an idea that allowed you to profit from your work?

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26. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 16, 2011

@epic.ben – Just guessing here, but I would say they were making something that was free, but if it is on Facebook it automatically has ads, so they would have to pony up $99 a year.

Lots of people write apps for free for the joy of it. Not so many then want to turn around and have to pay to share those apps.

CCP has said that they are still working on their plan, but the terms, especially the licensing requirement for any use of CCP assets and the variations on what constitutes “free” and “commercial” clearly need to be honed before this goes anywhere.

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