How much news can we pack into the massively multiplayer online
industry in one day? First, we hit you with the Cryptic
being acquired by Atari
, and then we dropped
the bomb that Sony was cutting 8,000 jobs
. Whether to counter
the 8,000 job cut announcement or not, Sony Online Entertainment added
their own bit of news to the mix announcing that they were introducing
a microtransaction model to EverQuest
and EverQuest II
Players will now be able to purchase items in these two games with
currency called “Station Cash” that they can buy
with real money.
Does this mean that the fundamental properties behind EQ and EQ2 have
changed? At this point, the answer is no, at least according to their official SOE Station Cash FAQ
It sounds as
if Station Cash may give some players an unfair advantage.
How is SOE preventing this?
The EQ and EQII
development teams have chosen items carefully in an effort to avoid a
disruption in gameplay balance. Rather, Station Cash (and items
purchased with SC) are intended to allow for convenience and added
customization. Such items provide players with a unique gameplay
experience for nominal fees. We understand that some players may not
choose to purchase items, however, the option is available for all,
leaving the choice in each player’s hands.
this mean SOE is fundamentally changing the business models of EQ and
No, this is simply a
means to give additional options to our player base.
However, this kind of experimentation – if it proves
profitable – will certainly make it appealing to the SOE
management to possibly give F2P gaming in their two franchise games a
We’ll just have to wait and see.