The End of My EVEOnline Blog Posts? #EVEOnline

There’s an interesting Devblog post up on EVE that states that CCP is going to charge people $99 a year for the use of applications or services which uses the EVE online Intellectual Property (such as the screen shot I have above) – if you’re making money (or attempting to make money) from where those intellectual property things are. Let me explain better – see that donate icon I have on the right hand side of my site? Yep. That counts. Even though I have never ever gotten a donation from having it there. Notice how I also have google ads on nomadicgamer.com because they are there by default with wordpress? That counts. Even though I don’t see a lick of anything that gets made from google ads.

Needless to say I have a few thoughts about this. Number one, if EVE thinks they can do a better job at promoting their game then the small bloggers and MMO sites out there – then kudos to them. I think they’ve forgotten that a lot of these people who are running ads on sites are their fan base, and word of mouth is a powerful thing. I can understand why they may be thinking this is the best plan of action with things like iOS and android apps that are hitting the market requiring payments – but EVE has allowed players to access their character information without cost from 3rd party apps (EVEmon?) for years now, and if those 3rd party apps are accepting donations I don’t see what the big deal is – and I certainly don’t feel that they should be charged $99 a year to keep those apps running to the public. Here is the part of the post that irked me the most:

  • Will corporation and alliance websites require a commercial license?
  • No, private websites do not need a license. However, if you have an external facing part of the website that uses the EVE IP you will require a non-commercial or a commercial license, depending on your use.
  • 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.

I certainly will NOT be paying $99 a year to make blog posts about the game and include a screen shot here and there simple because I have a donation button. I’m going to retaliate (small time blogger that I am) by not writing about their game at all when this goes live, and they can deal with that instead. I realize I could simply remove any intellectual property of theirs I may have, but as one of the little guys, I have very few options presented to me on ways I can ‘fight back’ when I don’t agree with their decisions.

** Lets say that even though screen shots are considered intellectual property, I am not personally affected – but – you know who is? EVEMon, who I use daily, Battleclinic, who I also use daily, and numerous other 3rd party apps who accept donations of ISK or cash. This is going to hurt ALL of them. If you have an OPTIONAL donation addition to your project, and you use the API or any other intellectual property, you will be affected. There are 28 (at this moment) pages of comments from developers and fans alike, who are trying to speak out against this. **

What are your thoughts about this new ‘service’ being implemented? Be sure to check out the dev blog write up for all the details. They HAVE mentioned that due to comments they will certainly reconsider some things if required, so be sure to make your voice heard.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Luk

    @Wilhelm
    “So I’m not sure how this indicates how CCP is going “in a new direction” in any aspect except that they are making a new product on a new platform. ”

    I think now you can see “the new direction” of EvE Online. Take a hint: $68 monocle.

  2. Just wanted to follow up on this: I watched Eve’s Alliance Tournament today and it seems like they’ll be going away from charging the $99 fee for app development and putting something else in place.

    The guy who was explaining it did a good job at explaining WHY there was initially a charge there (had to do with contract lawyering and such) and said that due to the huge feedback by the community calling Bullshit on them, it was going to be re-evaluated.

    He said what they were trying to accomplish is a more … pure and non-shady distribution of apps out there that’s carrying their IP and by having the $99 fee transaction, it represented an acceptance of the contract by the developer so if they did do something malicious with the app like post ISK selling ads everywhere or ping their API servers 1000s of times per second, they would be legally responsible for breaking the contract.

    I dunno, it may all be crap, but I do believe he said they’re going away from the $99 fee and going towards something else.

  3. >Why do you think DUST will be released on PS3 only?

    Because it requires online play and there is currently no situation in which Xbox 360 players can play against PS3 players. The two networks will never be linked. Microsoft and Sony will never allow it.

    While they could do two completely separate versions of the game, CCP is kind of small still, so they probably have the resources to do one at a time, assuming they ever do more than one. They might find a deal with the second company hard after they got into bed with the first. Certainly both companies would offer some incentive for the game to start and remain an exclusive. So they had to make a choice.

    And since the whole plan involves running on, and being tightly integrated with, the player network of the console CCP chooses, they need to work closely with either Sony or Microsoft.

    So my guess would be that the deal they could cut with Sony made that integration easier than any deal they could cut with Microsoft. It was a business decision focused on what path would allow CCP to execute its plan with the highest possibility of success.

    So I’m not sure how this indicates how CCP is going “in a new direction” in any aspect except that they are making a new product on a new platform.

    And if LulzSec is launching DDoS attacks (which is not exactly the same thing as being “attacked by hackers”) because of this, I would be surprised. The LulzSec Twitter posts seem to indicate that they just like to piss people off and, as you noted, EVE players can be an excitable bunch. They twitch amusingly when poked.

    And even the whole DDoS thing isn’t new in EVE. The Russians were using DDoS attacks recently on the Goons to try to screw up their comms and forums so they couldn’t coordinate a defense.

  4. Luk

    @Wilhelm
    “I think pointing out holes in the plan and expressing concerns about what it really means on all fronts represents a totally appropriate response.
    Getting all “CCP is evil and is trying to screw their community!” is probably not.”

    No CCP is not evil, but it is definitely going into a new direction that will probably upset many EvE Online players. And you know how cheerful and friendly those EvE players can be. Why do you think DUST will be released on PS3 only? Why have CCP servers suddenly got attacked by hackers? Someone obviously is not happy.

  5. @Akely – I cannot see this as a revenue enhancing move. At $99 a year, the money they take in probably won’t cover the cost of administering the licensing scheme. This isn’t the iPhone app store with thousands of developers.

    I think the vagueness of their statements about who needs a license, which at one point was expressed as sites and applications which use “EVE API, In-Game Browser, Static Data Export, Image Export and Eve Image server” is causing a panic. I am not even sure what the last two on the list really are, but in the absence of that knowledge many people have assumed they mean screen shots. Does it? I couldn’t tell you, but I think if they meant “screen shots” they would say “screen shots.” (And if you Google the two terms, they seem to mean something else entirely.)

    I doubt CCP, which has generally been pretty good to its community and who shares a lot more information and data than other MMO companies (Who else has a quarterly economic report? And who else talks about subscription numbers is as much detail?) has suddenly decided to put the torch to their community.

    It looks like they were trying to come up with a plan that allowed 3rd parties to make money from their EVE utilities, which would be a good thing I think, while protecting their IP. What came out on this first effort obviously failed to pass the sniff test in the community. However, CCP isn’t saying, “Scew you all” and pushing ahead with this, as their responses have clearly indicated, if you have taken the time to follow up.

    I think pointing out holes in the plan and expressing concerns about what it really means on all fronts represents a totally appropriate response.

    Getting all “CCP is evil and is trying to screw their community!” is probably not.

  6. xXJayeDuBXx

    Frankly it all sounds a bit foolish to me.

  7. Dril

    I think the whole idea is, frankly, bullshit.

    They’re screwing over people who make their game better. Not cool.

  8. wow!

    I agree this shows and unusually low amount of foresight on CCP’s behalf. With a game as player driven as EVE, taking a glancing shot across a chunk of your community (everyone I know that plays eve blog’s about it to a certain degree) seems like a less than wise idea.

    One thing that has popped into my head is what about sites like Massively, TenTon, etc? They are commercial ventures so they will have to also pay if im reading it correctly. While unlike most bloggers they will probably be able to cover the cost, the question is will they want to? Why would they pay for the privilege of covering a game when there are more than enough other games out there can easily fill the column inches and bring in the visitors just the same.

    Just a thought

  9. stargrace

    @Werit – I mentioned they apply to anyone using intellectual property, and that includes the screen shots I add to every post. I get that I can still write about them just fine w/o using screen shots, but I still think the entire thing is foolish.

  10. I get what they’re aiming at, but I just think they’ve really fumbled the details, and like Akely, I’m sure (with the help of feedback and blog posts like this one) the details will change. Whomever wrote that “first draft” conveyed some things poorly. I’m sure ultimately the inclusion of EVE screenshots on a blog post won’t require a license. They just need to define what IP is and isn’t covered by the license requirements.

    It’s important to get it all cleared up now though. I was unaware of this new system, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  11. Maybe I missed it, but it only seems to apply to people using the Eve API and other actual services, not anyone mentioning Eve.

    Also, as they say this has nothing to do with revenue. It’s more about accountability. The amount of money they make on it would seem to be insignificant, since its a flat fee.

  12. These last months we’ve seen things that to me indicate that CCP wants to increase their revanue. Microtransactions was first, and now this thing. I get the feeling that either CCP is bleeding money tothe Secret World game in development, or they have some new guys over at Business Ideas Dpt that is a little whacky in the head. But perhaps it is just greed.

    I do back and support your decision. But I’m also pretty sure we’ll se the details of this thing change.

    The only people I know who defend their IP to the point of idiotically making sure no-one hears about it is Games Workshop. I wonder if CCP is in legue with them… :)

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