There were no burning cars or stores ransacked, no mass arrests or police investigations, no infamous pictures of couples kissing; only the strong sense of community directed at an outrageous scam. As news broke CCP, the developer of the hit spacefaring MMO EVE Online, was preparing to launch a micro-transaction store with hugely overpriced items, literally thousands of players gathered in the main hubs to protest. What culminated was a full-on riot (as riotous as MMO players can get) with thousands of players shooting lasers in the air at main trading hubs.
Players are fuming over the release of the new update, allowing characters to leave the ship -- a first for the game. But the introduction of new gameplay is not the issue: it's how drastically overpriced items are on the new store. Although a majority of the items sold are pure customization (monocles for $68, give me a break), there was a document released by a former CCP employee claiming, in further updates, players will be able to purchase different types of ammo and even faction reputation among other things. This is completely opposing what CCP said back in November, saying the new system wouldn't impact gameplay.
What CCP has done is blatantly alienate their fanbase. EVE Online is one of the hardest games to integrate into, especially someone coming from a fantasy MMO background, and the community takes pride in that. Many notable games (including World of Warcraft) have made great strides to grasp the casual MMO player while CCP refused. And the player base respects the developer for doing so. But these transactions are working against what the majority of fans feel, and that's not how to handle business. This is either a desperate attempt to attract more subscriptions or CCP just doesn't understand its audience.
The hardcore nature of the game is what makes it unique in the oversaturated MMO market. Giving players an easy pass for a fee is both disregarding and discrediting that hardcore nature. Therefore making Eve Online just another game in the lot. I don't know any fans personally, but I can assure anyone reading this the implementation of these transactions will be disastrous for the population count.
To players looking for a new game with similar characteristics, check out Black Prophecy. It's free-to-play and in open beta right now, and looks gorgeous. Hopefully CCP can resolve this peacefully and not force the fanbase to shift their interests elsewhere.
And to the readers, would you pay $68 for monocles or an immediate boost in reputation with a faction? Post your thoughts in the comment section below.