EVE Online creative director on microtransactions: "I personally think we shouldn't be doing it in the near future"
Torfi Frans Olafsson, Creative Director of EVE Online doesn't hate microtransactons, but he's not sure they're the best fit for his massively multiplayer space opera, EVE Online. Last year, CCP introduced cosmetic items that can be purchased for real money, including a $70 monocle that made a lot of people extremely annoyed. And more are incoming, despite the creative director describing his game as a "vulnerable little flower in a vulnerable little ecosystem."
"Yes - we're looking at microtransactions for our future business models" said the CCP dev. "However, we are very reluctant to do that in EVE because it's so established. It's like changing the DNA of a living organism after it's born. That didn't work in Blade Runner."
DUST 514 players will be able to purchase weapons for real cash, but all the EVE real-money transactions will be purely cosmetic, says Torfi: "We're not going to be offering weapons, or game changing items in EVE. We'll be selling cosmetic things - the ability to overhaul your avatar, your ship, or customise your starbase. Things that will help you express yourself in the game. But we're not going to allow pay-to-win."
It's a recurring term at this year's fanfest. When Brandon Ferrino, executive producer of DUST 514 mentioned that the free-to-play FPS has balance at the top of the priority list, the crowd expressed their relief with whoops and clapping. These are players already invested in a universe, and they don't want to see it tainted by rich console gamers.
"I think we have to be very careful in introducing such mechanics into EVE. And I personally think that we shouldn't be doing it in the near future. Because it's such a vulnerable little flower in a vulnerable little Ecosystem. You make minor changes to an ecosystem and you can introduce hostile things and the whole system breaks down."