Thousands promise to end their subscriptions amid microtransaction outrage

Eve Online backlash could cost CCP $1m

Under-fire Icelandic studio CCP Games is being threatened with as much as $1 million in lost subscription revenues, as uproar over the company’s microtransactions policy intensifies.

The Reykjavík studio has been told by a growing number of disgruntled fans they will not continue their subscription of the lucrative MMO Eve Online.

Now a list of customers, who all wish to cancel their accounts, has been published.

At the time of going to press, some 5,257 accounts are due to be cancelled in protest. An annual subscription in Eve Online costs €131, meaning the absconding players would represent a loss near $1 million – though the number is likely to climb further.

CCP Games made more than $46 million in 2008, according to financial statements.

The expected mass-cancellation of Eve Online accounts comes as CCP Games looks to recover from a humiliating backlash regarding its microtransaction plans.

Leaked documents show that CCP management wish to charge customers for in-game items.

The uproar appears to be centred on four issues:

* Eve Online users already pay high subscription fees.

* It is feared these items will give buyers in-game
advantages – which will force ambitious players to buy, while those that don’t will be handicapped.

* Eve Online has begun selling non-essential in-game items at inordinately high prices (e.g. $40 virtual t-shirts, $70 for virtual monocles).

* The tone of CCP’s management, expressed through leaked documents and some public statements, has exhibited a lack of empathy for the players’ concerns.

Customer outrage resulted in mass in-game protests over the weekend, where Eve’s customers ceased playing the game. Instead, together they circled game world landmarks and demonstrated their anger by attacking them.

CCP Games has still declined to assure game-affecting items will not be sold.

This week the group will hold an extraordinary meeting with the Council of Stellar Management – essentially Eve’s elected customer representatives – to debate the issue.

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