I suppose we should not lose sight of a key bit of irony that has stemmed from the controversy surrounding the whole EVE Online Starter Pack thing this week.
By objecting loudly to the Starter Pack, by bringing attention to it to as many people as possible, those against such things have probably been able to sell a lot more of them than CCP would have otherwise manage on their own.
CCP dropped this Starter Pack update on their DLC page right after EVE North and without any fanfare and a group of angry capsuleers went and did the marketing for them.
One of the arguments for the Starter Pack has been that a million skill points isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things. For any but the youngest character a million skill points isn’t going to change the world, and for a crusty old vet like me, with over 200 million skill points on my main, the Starter Pack barely moves the needle.
But that is the wrong way to look at this. That ignores what will be the motivation for many, which is value.
The blurb on the Starter Pack says “Worth $10,” but that is wrong… very wrong for some people.
A million skill points is two large skill injectors worth. A large skill injector was selling for around 1 billion ISK when I last checked. (EVE Market Data confirms that for the moment.) With PLEX past the $4 million mark each, you need to buy about 500 PLEX in cash to end up with enough ISK to buy two fill skill injectors. So a million skill points is roughly worth 2 billion ISK, which even at the current end-of-quarter sale prices, comes out to more than double that “Worth $10” statement, if you buy the 1,100 PLEX pack.
But that assumes that you have a character who can get the full benefit of a skill injector, which have diminishing returns the more skill points you have.
- < 5 million total skill points = 500,000 skill points per injector
- 5 million – 50 million total skill points = 400,000 skill points per injector
- 50 million – 80 million total skill points = 300,000 skill points per injector
- > 80 million skill points = 150,000 skill points per injector
So for a vet like me, a large skill injector is worth just 150,000 skill points.
That means that a million skill points is actually worth almost SEVEN large skill injectors to somebody over 80 million skill points, or 7 billion ISK or 3,500 PLEX or somewhere past $100 even at the current PLEX sale prices.
Basically, a lot of people read this deal and see “Seven Large Skill Injectors for $5!” Why wouldn’t you throw a bit of change at that, even if you can only buy it once?
And then, with their promise to change the Start Pack, presumably in the near future, CCP has put a time pressure on getting the deal, so people think they have to buy it now or miss out! I mean, CCP could have yanked it from the buying options immediately. They have that power. Instead, they let it linger. It is still there as I write this. I doubt it will be gone before Monday.
Hilmar was on Twitter discounting the idea that this Start Pack was going to sell enough units to have any real impact on the financial numbers, but I suspect that whatever modest goals they had for it have been exceeded in less than a week, all thanks to player rage. Talk about having your cake and eating it. They get the money, the attention, and the good will for walking back their change, but only after it has had time to sell even more units.
Well played CCP, well played.