Yesterday, CCP Atlas made a new post to his Developer Blog which was focused on monetizing 3rd Party Applications, such as EVEMon, EFT, Battleclinic, Killboards and just about every Alliance and corporation website there is. It was noted on the EVEOnline Twitter as “great news”, but many people have seen it to the contrary.

Firstly, what does the blog post say? CCP Atlas has said they want all 3rd party developers to pay $99 a year in order to use CCP’s Intellectual Property (Here on known as I.P.). This would allow all 3rd party developers to start charging for their services. The developer can chose how they want to monetize their own application, for example, donations or subscriptions. The developers can’t accept PLEX as payment though. All non-commercial applications and services, such as ourselves (Just remembered we have adverts on the forums, meaning we would need a $99 license), have to acquire a free license. CCP has also included an FAQ which can be seen below.

Will corporation and alliance websites require a commercial license?

No, private websites do not need a license. However, if you have an external facing part of the website that uses the EVE IP you will require a non-commercial or a commercial license, depending on your use.

Will services for in-game currency require a commercial license?

Yes, if you require any sort of payment for your services you will need a commercial license.

Will website ads require a commercial license?

Yes, for ad-supported websites you will require a commercial license.

Will donations require a commercial license?

Yes, for donation supported websites you will require a commercial license.

Will I be able to charge real life currency for in game services?

No, the commercial license does not allow you to charge real life money for any in-game services.

Why charge for the license at all?

The licensing fee is there to partially cover expenses from this initiative and more importantly, we need to charge a fee so that we get proper non-spoofable information about the applicant. We have kept the fee as low as possible and hope that the $99 fee is low enough to not dissuade serious developers from participating in the program.

When will this happen?

This program is something we’re hoping to get up and running this summer so if things go well, you’ll be able to sign up in the next few months (as always though, we can’t make any promises).

There has been outrage on the forum, 35 pages as of writing to be exact. CCP have replied and said this is a draft, and not something they’re thinking about putting in. The last question in the FAQ seems to suggest otherwise however. The forum can be found here.

Personally, I don’t see why this is being implemented at all. Maybe CCP wants more control over their I.P? I don’t see why though, everyone knows EVE Online is developed by CCP. They also are being helped by the developers who fill the gaps and usability issues left by CCP. I don’t know about you, but PvP wouldn’t be half as fun without Killboards (which under this new idea would require $99 a year to operate). It also means anyone who simply places a donate button on their EVE related website must buy the $99 license. I can see a lot of applications never being developed and just staying as ideas, greatly harming the community. CCP also mentions they are not doing it for the money. If that was the case, why are they charging $99 then? If they just want names of those who use their I.P. for applications, wouldn’t a $1 license suffice. At $99, they do have money on their mind as well.

This scheme is very similar to Android market, and the App store by Apple. Both of these markets require developers to buy a license in order to get their apps on the application market. The only difference is, these developers are usually doing it for profit, and they’re not necessarily filling gaps in usability as none of the applications are near mandatory for a good experience.

You can find the blog post by CCP Atlas here