MMOBUX, a currency research site that provides researchers and academics alike with data for the secondary market, recently published an article displaying findings on the Eve Online’s economy since 2007. Eve Online is an online video game developed by CCP Games (Crowd Control Productions) and released in North America on May 2003. The game, a space-based MMORPG in nature, is presented as a galaxy that host over 7,500 star systems. EVE players travel through the vast galaxy via highly-customizable purchased ships to experience and participate in various online activities.
The piece by MMOBUX depicts how pricing of the game’s currency (ISK) against real-life monetary value fluctuates over time and how different incidents trigger new price developments. Main incidents covered in the research include new game expansions, heists, account banning by the game developer and Chinese New Year.
The article features detailed graphs and data charts illustrating the trends, correlations and major developments of Eve Online ISK prices against the various triggers mentioned above. Based on the data used, dating back since 2007, the research reveals a slow but steady 14% drop per year in the price of Eve Online ISK. Comparisons are also made with other game currencies, which pronounces the same steady drop. The article goes on to analyze and delve into some of the major price fluctuations; drops and spikes since 2007.
An interesting find on the prices of EVE ISK during and after Chinese New Year is discussed, which the research hypothesizes to be related to lowered supply. For many online MMOs, China has become notoriously known as the virtual factory for farming in-game gold for buyers in America and Europe who want to use real money to buy their way up the ladder in MMORPGs. Using data from 2007 to 2011, findings show that in most years there was an average price hike of 22% within the first week after Chinese New Year. Then in the following weeks, the prices would return back to normal, supposedly due to the more stable supply and demand equilibrium.
The research findings also suggest that each expansion release proved to be another crucial factor that brings about price changes. Expansions are released with either new content, new items or in most cases, both. Game operators introduce these so-called game expansions ever so often to attract new players and incite old players to log back in. This is one of the strongest factors that seem to influence ISK prices given the spikes seen after each expansion, with the exception of Incarna; an expansion wherein players were furious about the high priced vanity items such as the $68 monacle. More facts, dates and price comparison graphs are shared in the article over at mmobux.com.