If you imply real money, EVE Online mostly do not. If you imply virtual currency of course they do, like in all games, but EVE has processes that make cooperation important, therefore it’s mostly VERY large group of players that make money collectively, not single players (there are exceptions as in life ).
As for the real money value you read in those magazine articles and blogs, it is important to understand the process. You can convert real money to ingame wealth but reverse is not worth. And the economy, including the “conversion rate” of real money to game assets, is player driven, mostly stable, based on a free market (demand/supply forces).
Make money in EVE Online
In terms of ingame money (the virtual currency) some people do make a lot and some make little, but the ways you make money are what is interesting: you can invent those ways, as EvE is a sandbox. From scamming other players to trading on the items market (which is a real economy market), from being a manufacturer (which in EvE is not like in other games, you need to be good with excel) to being a hauler to whatever you want. The fundamental EVE game provided ways are:
– mine/collect resources (pays very less unless it’s done deep in lawless space, where you are not going to survive unless you have a lot of friends and a stable base).
– play PvE (a very poor experience which pays in terms of loot and money rewards. While it also pays very little and is mostly worth in groups out in dangerous lawless space, it pays better than mining when done in “empire”).
Anything else is up to the reader. Figure out activity you can do that other players would give you money/resources for. This include anything from scamming them, to opening fire on them and then looting the wrecks, to helping them killing and looting their enemies, to helping them defend their operations (or disrupting their operations, whatever you like). Actually spying for one of their enemies or being preparing a huge scam/theft/disruption operation against them. Some of these spy/scam operations lasted for months or years (in order to gain the trust you’ll eventually betray).
EvE is PvP to the core
Market trading is very competitive, in a real sense it’s Market PvP. Manufacturing is an obvious thing. But the market is very competitive, and manufacturing is worth only if you can do it at scale and are careful in running your spreadsheets. Again it’s logistic/manufacturing/market PvP.
The real “money makers” however are rarely players: they are corporations (think guilds) and alliances (think guilds of guilds). At that level cooperating players can get (via PvP) control of space and either farm it cooperatively or rent it to other corporations. The mechanisms are such that cooperation is either necessary or far more productive than solo. And if you (as a group) manage to control and defend an piece of lawless space, not only you’ll have access to those valued resources, but you can establish infrastructure there, produce more efficiently and, if the space is large, improve the local logistics.
But I guess you actually want to talk real money. Like in all games it’s possible to try and sell ingame stuff for real money, but this is not allowed by the licence and game developer rules, it’s quite risky as they are relatively effective at hunting these things and it’s very unprofitable.
How is EvE unprofitable?
EvE is “pay to play” and has a monthly subscription fee . Allowed and even encouraged by the developers, to buy game time for real money and then sell it to other players for ingame currency.
What you really do is convert one month of gametime into an ingame object (known as a pilot licence extension, or PLEX) which you can then sell in ingame markets (there are many markets, and you can of course haul PLEXes from one to another, but be careful because EvE is unconsensual PvP everywhere and what is lost in a fight is lost forever, including PLEXes).
Those two combined mean that effectively you can buy pretty much anything ingame using real money and there is a continuously fluctuating player driven “effective exchange rate” between real life money and ingame money. And each object ingame also have a fluctuating player driven value as measured in ingame money .
I believe there is a lot of good people on this game that wants to see it go far. However, I also believe a lot of people aren’t putting too much into changing this game for the better. I believe if people had the ability to make real and a good amount of money from this game, they will do whatever it took to keep and make this the number 1 game out there.
I think CCP needs to give us the ability to do indirect things to make money. Things that won’t mess with the gameplay, but things people will want to buy with isk or real money. I also believe CCP should profit side-by-side of us.
I think it’s about time CCP allows us to make designs and non critical items. Like it would be nice to make some money for making some in game clothes, a new paint job for a ship, a new look for the inside of your room/jail cell.
I also think it’s about time CCP allows us to make our own ships, and submit them too CCP. That away CCP can OK it, and send it out to the noble market.
You can have an option to do 4 things.
- 1. Keep the money in the aurum state.
- 2. Convert the aurum into game time, and the rest in isk.
- 3. Convert the aurum into isk.
- 4. Convert the aurum into real money.
Obviously the problem with getting real money from a game is:
- 1. taxes
- 2. the rate at which your money is worth today
- 3. laws.
A simple fix to this is have it where whomever is in charge of their own taxes. ( like a freelancer)
Have it where you can only get real money if CCP can send the money by PayPal. (PayPal should take care of the rates. Also this would mean you won’t get any money until you meet a $100+ min)
If the gov do not want to work with what’s going on, then do 2 things. First, let everyone know. (If word gets out that xyz gov doesn’t want their people to make money then it would make that gov look bad. Most likely it would force the gov to allow CCP to do their job)
2. Have it where the player can only do the first 3 options.