CCP Games is looking at more ways to sell real-life products to players in exchange for in-game money.
The developer-publisher of popular PC MMO EVE Online – which has over 360,000 subscribers worldwide – recently offered gamers 100 Nvidia graphics cards in-game. They sold out in less than two minutes.
Players of the online space game were able to purchase the cards using EVE’s virtual Plex currency last month. They were priced at 20 Plex each.
CCP says it wants to offer more promotions like this in the future, as well as sell a range of real-life EVE merchandise in-game.
“It was an interesting experiment and one we’re going to follow up,” EVE Online senior producer Jon Lander (pictured) told MCV.
“As it was more successful than I was hoping, there’s obviously quite an appetite out there to doing this sort of thing.
“We’re certainly hoping for EVE merchandise. We need to just look at what the right opportunities are now. We’ve got lots of people beavering away trying to work out what the right thing to do is.”
CCP also said that around a quarter of EVE Online subscribers play for free. Players are charged a monthly fee, but the virtual Plex currency can be used to pay for the subscription.
EVE is one of few MMOs that still require users to pay a monthly fee, along with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. Many others have gone free-to-play, such as Lord of the Rings Online, which is free but charges gamers for extra items and content.
“Unless you’re in trouble or you actually build a game from scratch specifically for a free-to-play model, it’d be incredible damaging to EVE if we went free-to-play,” added Lander. “There’s no need for us to do it.”
CCP says EVE has grown in terms of subscribers every year. The latest EVE expansion pack, Inferno, was released on May 22nd.