Eve Online has suffered through a sea of controversy in recent months over the introduction of micro transactions to the still fully subscription MMO, but through it all they have still maintained an otherwise loyal fan base. Never afraid to break new ground the folks over at CCP have announced that starting today, players can trade in PLEX to buy actual hardware upgrades, and the first item being offered is the NVidia GTX 560.
The economy of Eve Online operates on a currency known as ISK, however the relation of ISK to PLEX is an interesting one. Players can buy PLEX for real world dollars, and sell it on the open Eve marketplace to acquire ISK to buy ships, weapons, and upgrades. Plex up until now could only be redeemed for one month of free game time, however this new purpose will no doubt drive up its value. The idea behind PLEX was to allow gamers with more money than time to fund the adventures of those with more time than money. It’s an ingenious system, and one that has kept revenues steady while just about every other MMO has had to abandon subscriptions in favor of free-to-play.
The GTX 560 has a value of around $200 USD these days depending on where you look, and if you were to buy that much Plex using real world dollars it would come to around $300. Not a great value, however when you consider that some hardcore Eve players could probably buy up that much Plex using in-game ISK in less than 1-2 months of gameplay, it suddenly becomes very interesting .
Another fun fact? If you put Plex in your cargo hold and go cruising around the galaxy, another player has the ability to take you out and liberate your holdings. Nothing says pain quite like losing your expensive ship, and a GTX 560’s worth of Plex because you didn’t take the proper precautions.