Once again, it would appear that CCP has proven that they do not quite understand the “Micro” bit of Micro transitions. Skins are ridiculously expensive in eve. Aur currently works out at 252Au/gbp when purchased in £16 packages. This means that when you are looking at the store prices of ship skins, you are looking at prices ranging from £2.93 up to £22.77 distributed as you can see below in the chart:
Alternatively, a Mean of £10.08, a Median of £9.48 or a mode of £6.11. None of these numbers is particularly “micro” in my book. A frigate skin is going to cost you around £6 on average or as much as £17 if you want something more extravagant such as a Merlin Nugoeihuvi. However, that is only for frigates, if you are looking for something like a Cruiser or Battlecruiser, you are looking at £4 per skin at cheapest. If you want any kind of choice in skins, really, you are looking at around £10-20 at best. Let us be honest, it is not exactly like there is a huge amount of choice. When Mosaic hit, I looked at grabbing a couple of skins for my more frequently flown ships. However, the only two ships in my deployment fleet that I could skin were the Caracal and the Archon and the prices were not exactly enticing:
To put that into perspective bear in mind that £10 will buy you a month’s game time!
Now I will admit that at no point has CCP branded the skins as “micro” transactions, but looking at other games in a similar market, nobody is going to believe that these should be anything other than a micro transaction. When the choice is between a ship skin, a month’s game time or 800m isk where do you think the best investment lies? I certainly know where mine does.
All this leads into my second big issue with skins. Eve is still a monthly subscription game, (something I have no issue with and hope remains the case), yet here they are offering additional (cosmetic) content for extra (extravagant) price. I guess that I don’t mind CCP trying to make some extra cash via cosmetics but charging the monthly fee and exorbitant cosmetic prices at the same time feels like having your cake and eating it.
Of course therein lies the issue. CCP probably can have their cake and eat it. Some people will pay these prices for skins, without complaint or hesitation. Perhaps we are not entitled to free content from CCP (at least not cosmetics like this), but I cannot help but feel a little put out (yet again) by the price model, especially as it seems from the bug early in release that the skins do not take all that much effort to create (or at least wont going forward).
I would have pushed for a tiered system of pricing for each class: Standard (base price), Elite (+10%) and Legendary (+20%) adding this to the base price of each ship. Something like this:
Which would convert to a spread closer to this:
With a £5 median a £4.93 Mean and a £1.30 mode. Something that to me hits that “hmm that costs less than a pint” impulse price point which I think would result with far more sales. Perhaps it could even be a bit more expensive than this as long as there were still a lot of options, which sit under around £3 for impulse purchases.
Fly like your wearing very expensive jeans,