CCP Zulu on third party application licensing
Dear space friends,
To date, the EVE Online third party development community was only permitted to sell its products for ISK. After careful consideration of the growing requests for change, we set out to establish a program that will allow these third party developers to charge a fee for their services, if they so choose, but in such a way that also lets CCP protect its intellectual property and protects the EVE Online community from potentially harmful applications.
An overview of our tentative plans were presented last week in a dev blog by CCP Atlas. Your comments flooded in quickly and we heard you loud and clear. What became readily apparent to us was that we had not done a stellar job of communicating that these plans weren‘t set in stone yet and there is still plenty of room for change. More than anything, we didn‘t do the best job of explaining the reasons for implementing a licensing fee.
Below is a video interview with CCP Zulu about this important matter from the final night of the Alliance Tournament broadcast last weekend. For your convenience, we‘ve also added the transcript of this segment. We hope this will clear up some of the confusion, but we also realize you will still have questions and opinions. Keep talking. We‘re listening.
CCP Soundwave: "What is this $99 thing?"
CCP Zulu: "This really comes down to the third party monetization blog that was written. What is going on is that we as a company saw the need, and this is coming from all third party developers, that they want to make some money or have the option to charge ISK for services that they are providing to the community. In order to do this they are using CCP services and information through the API to build tools which funnel that out to players. This is great.
What we wanted to have in place was a framework for them to do so in a secure manner. Basically, what we wanted to do was to make sure that people were not building a tool which would put ISK selling advertisements everywhere or tools which were hammering the EVE API nonstop. So we wanted to put a contract in place to protect our brand and protect the IP, making sure that people were not doing silly things which would affect legitimate services.
The reason for charging $99 for the commercial license was because we needed a monetary value for the contract to become legally binding without having to go through a whole lot of hoops. When we are able to show a transaction we are also able to show that a contract has been accepted, basically.
What we needed was a token charge from the community and $99 is not a token charge by any stretch of the imagination. Charging $99 for a third party development suite or license is not what we are trying to accomplish. What we are trying to accomplish is building an environment where we can have as many people developing third party apps as possible while we still maintain a measure of control in how these people portray our IP and brand.
Now, I feel that the blog that was put out was good in many aspects and we had our lawyers go over the contract to ensure that it is sound. There were some nuances in there which the community called ‘bullshit' on, and rightfully so. What we are going to do now is go back, factor that in to a new arrangement and try to come up with something which is more to our needs and more to community expectations at the end of summer.
So no $99. We need a token charge and it is going to happen and we are all good."
Community Developer for EVE Online