mentioned yesterday that our chat with SOE CEO John Smedley went very well, and he offers up a number of insights into the 'why' behind the decision to roll out Station Cash to EverQuest and EverQuest II. Sometimes, though, you don't really care about the why, you just want to know the what. The official Station Cash FAQ touches on a number of issues, but we uncovered some helpful pieces of information we wanted to present front and center for your edification.
- As we reported on Thursday, Station Cash will not be coming to Vanguard, Star Wars Galaxies, The Matrix Online, or Planetside.
- It will be playing a prominent role in Free Realms, but there will also be a subscription option for that game if players want to make that choice. Large portions of it, of course, will also be free-to-play.
- SOE will soon have Station Cash 'cards' in retail stores, much as companies like Nexon already offer.
- Many of the services SOE wants to offer with Station Cash include off-line products. Purchasing a guild photo, a t-shirt with your character on it, or even a full-sized character poster are all things SOE wants to offer. (See the interview for full details on those plans.)
- The Agency is likely to be the only game where the company sells 'gamplay altering' items. IE: we may see them selling special guns that offer a slight benefit to the player's skill. This is consistent with the FPS microtransactional model popular in South Korea, and seen in Nexon's Combat Arms here in the states.
- Any future EverQuest titles, if there are any, will not be solely microtransaction-based.
- The company views the sale of XP potions as a big combatant to the paid leveling services. One of their direct goals is to supplant the third-party goldselling and leveling services.
- The extra money brought in by microtransactions will, to some extent, be pushed right back to the team to fund extra content they might not have otherwise been able to offer.