Controversy brewing over EVE Online microtransactions

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Controversy brewing over EVE Online microtransactions
When we first heard that EVE Online was planning to add microtransaction options, players were most concerned with the effect of microtransaction items on gameplay. CCP was quick to reassure players that microtransactions would focus on vanity items for Incarna and no gameplay-affecting items would be released. Fast-forward to today, when the first phase of Incarna finally went live along with the new Noble Exchange cash shop. As promised, the store contained only vanity items for Incarna, starting with a series of alternative clothing options.

The one thing we didn't really think of while we worried about microtransactions affecting EVE's gameplay was price. The current prices on items in the Noble Exchange are far above typical microtransaction charges and an order of magnitude higher than expected. Items in the Noble Exchange are bought with a new currency called Aurum, 3500 of which can be created from one 30-day pilot's license (PLEX). With the price of PLEX set at around $19.95 US, players can expect to pay over $20 for a skirt, $25 for a blouse, and more than a whopping $68 for the much-desired ocular implant monocle.

In a bizarre twist, many of the clothing options for sale at the Noble Exchange actually cost more than real clothes of the same type. As PLEX can be bought from other players for ISK, however, most players will not be spending their own cash on these items. PLEX prices have already spiked to over 400 million each, putting the price of the monocle at over 1.3 billion ISK. CCP could not provide any more information on the issue, but we expect an issue this hot will prompt an announcement.
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