One of the producers of EVE has posted in the game's official blog to defend the company's pricing policy for in-game virtual clothes, and has called for attacks on individual employees mentioned in a leaked internal newsletter to cease.
Arnar Gylfason addressed the issues in a post which begins by praising the smooth rollout of the recent Incarna update, before moving on to cover players' concerns over item costs. One piece of virtual clothing on sale equates to $25 in its virtual currency cost - enough for several large ships. (Via RPS)
The producer also asks that any criticism of the move be addressed to CCP, and not individuals, after a copy of internal newsletter Fearless centred on the question of 'is greed good' was released to fans.
"The opinions and views expressed in Fearless are just that; opinions and views," writes Gylfason about the leaked internal document. "They are not CCP policy nor are they a reliable source of CCP views as a company. The employees who submitted articles to that newsletter did exactly what they were asked to do, write about theories and opinions from an exaggerated stand.
"While it's perfectly fine to disagree and attack CCP over policies or actions we take, we think it's not cool how individuals that work here have been called out and dragged through the mud due to something they wrote in the internal company newsletter. Seriously, these people were doing their jobs and do not deserve the hate and s***storm being pointed at them."
Gylfason then justified the cost of virtual items by comparing the glamour and status they would confer to that offered by expensive designer clothing.
"People have been shocked by the price range in the NeX store, but you should remember that we are talking about clothes. Look at the clothes you are currently wearing in real life. Do you have any specific brands? Did you choose it because it was better quality than a no-name brand?
"Assume for a short while that you are wearing a pair of $1,000 jeans from some exclusive Japanese boutique shop," he continues. "Why would you want to wear a pair of $1,000 jeans when you can get perfectly similar jeans for under $50? What do other people think about you when they see you wearing them?
"For some you will look like the sad culmination of vainness while others will admire you and think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Whichever it is, it is clear that by wearing clothes you are expressing yourself and that the price is one of the many dimensions that clothes possess to do that in addition to style and fit. You don't need to buy expensive clothes. In fact you don't need to buy any clothes. Whatever you choose to do reflects what you are and what you want others to think you are.
"We will gradually introduce items at other price points, definitely lower and probably higher than what's in the store today. We hope you enjoy them and are as passionate about them as you are of the current items that are for sale."
EVE is a game which lives or dies on the strength and balance of its economy, to the extent that it employs qualified economists to ensure its integrity. Whilst the price of some items is high, it may be that this was an intentional move to provide a cash sink for an overly bloated economy.