A lot has been said about the loss of sponsorship from various community sites but so far not much thought has been expressed about the rather seismic changes to the economic paradigm that generated all that spare revenue.
Here's my theory: gambling players generally pay for their gambles by selling plex.
Not entirely, no doubt there are some exceptions but the ways people grind cash in this game are long, a little tedious and intensely focused around isk per hour optimisation. If you spend 10 hours ratting at 100m isk/hour it's not economically rational to gamble it away and ratters and miners are highly steered towards economic rationality. If you trade on the markets why gamble on a third party site and lose when your main gameplay is gambling in Eve and winning?
However if you're cash rich and just want to make long boring waits on a titan or black ops bridger more exciting then splash some dollars pounds or euros and have a better time while you're waiting for content.
Next we know that gambling revenues have been huge, so large that the biggest richest coalition in nullsec was steamrolled by the economic power of the IWI bankers.
So a lot of "whales" are now no longer able to play the way they like to.
These players will respond in several ways. Some will alt tab or use a second monitor to entertain themselves during those times they would have been gambling. Some will buy the plexes and use them in-game to lose expensively fit soloing ships to gate camps. Some will just carry on playing an Eve that seems a bit duller but proves a lot cheaper. Some may leave entirely.
So we will see a lot less players selling plex.
In addition the launch of Eve's new free to play system will bring a lot of players, particularly teenagers, drawn by the idea that they can join for free and earn enough isk to subscribe. Overwhelmingly the free players will not be plex buyers (if they had the money they'd be subscribers) but an additional pressure on the plex supply.
Plexes are going to get expensive.
Another effect is that there will be more players in space.
As people seek isk in-game by running missions and anoms, mining etc and they're in many cases not all that experienced we're going to find tons of targets on our roams and hotdrops. I specialise in FCing small fast roaming gangs and I can't wait!
|Puff... sub runs out in 3 hours.... puff.... puff|
I think as a game design point CCP needs to find a method for whales to spend their money that isn't skins. Skins are only entertaining to a point, once you have a good collection you stop caring about new ones and the novelties worn off, people very rarely comment on other people's skin. (The exception seems to be my blue Nightmare which always attracts comments when Waffles fly our Dreamfleet comp).
What do you guys think the economic fallout from the Eula changes will be?