Real Ads, Fake Money

EVE[EVE Online] EVE Online has this print magazine you can subscribe to, called EON. In the first issue, they offered advertising to the various corporations in-game. It was a new way to try to expand your corp. Understand, this is a real magazine – delivered to your home.

The devs just announced that they will be selling ad space in the future issues. But get this, it will cost you ISK (the in-game currency of EVE). In fact, it appears to cost you 200 million ISK to place an ad. Now that is a bit of a twist, right?

So what do they plan to do with this ISK? Well, they hope to offer it to potential writers in exchange for stories for the magazine. They expect to pay between 40 and 50 million ISK per page.

I think this is rather interesting. Paying for a real ad with virtual money. The virtual money is used to pay authors for real articles in a real magazine. I wonder if there is any legal ramifications here. They sell the magazine for real money. The magazine is filled with articles and ads paid for with virtual money. The magazine will cost real money to put together and print, of course. I just think this is fascinating.

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

2 thoughts on “Real Ads, Fake Money”

  1. While what they’re doing is fascinating, it’s not really innovative in the purest sense. Real-world companies with operations in different countries have been doing this for years, especially when one of the countries imposes a foreign exchange tax or a barrier to protect their currency.

    Basically here EVE is matching their inflows with their outflows: you pay for the magazine in real cash, and they use that to pay for the printing and distribution costs.

    The other part of it is that they’re using in-game money (or simply think about it being a different currency in the real world that cannot be easily converted in the international market) to pay for the authors of the articles to match the in-game inflow of money for the use of their advertising space. It still protects the in-game economy since the amount of money going in should more or less match the amount of money going out. I think it’s really only possible in games with a single shard; in a multiple-shard game, I don’t know if anyone would pay for out-of-game advertising since it reaches people beyond your target market. Secondly it would have an affect on the economy of many shards (as money is transferred out of one shard and possibly into another shard, thereby disrupting the supply of cash).

    It’s still a very interesting application and definitely new to the MMO world.

  2. Sounds like a logical extension of what CoH did with in-game characters being featured in their comic books. I actually wish more games would do stuff like this. At Disney World there is a Toy Story themed game where you can design your own toys. You can then buy a real version of the toy you just made. If games with limited character models (ie. you can’t move a slider and make the guy fatter or skinnier) like WoW could make a fortune selling action figures of people’s toons. I see a time not too long from now when we’ll see a lot more real world tie-ins with MMOs, especially as movie studios are gobbling up video game developers.

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