Dev Track Feedback: Monetizing Your Apps and Services
Monetizing 3rd Party Apps
**tr.v. mon·e·tized, mon·e·tiz·ing, mon·e·tiz·es** * To establish as legal tender. * To coin (money). * To convert (government debt) from securities into currency that can be used to purchase goods and services. * Cha-Ching.
At this year's Fanfest CCP hosted the first Dev Track in what we hope will be a regular event. To kick off the event I gave an exciting announcement about monetization, which has up to this point been a sore point for EVE Online 3rd party software development, since it has been against the ToS to charge for applications or services which use the EVE Online Intellectual Property.
Starting this summer you will be able to charge people for usage of your applications, websites and services for EVE Online.
This new system was introduced at the Dev Track and discussed at the Fanfest round tables. We got a lot of good feedback at Fanfest and would like to get more before finalizing the service.
- Simple process - Sign up on a webpage, get started straight away
- Inexpensive - $99 per year, no other fees
- Developer-friendly - Very few restrictions
- Open-ended - You can charge subscription fees, receive donations, sell your app in an app-store and more
- Non-commercial websites and apps will now require a (free) license
Grueling legal details
- CCP will license 3rd party developers to create commercial applications and services created using the EVE API, In-Game Browser, Static Data Export, Image Export and Eve Image server.
- To become a licensee, developer must enter into a commercial license agreement with CCP. The fee for a commercial license is $99, payable annually by credit card or wire transfer (for identification purposes). We do not require further payments from developer or royalties.
- Developer can choose how they monetize their app or service, provided that they conform with the EVE EULA and ToS. Examples of monetization could be donations, one-time purchase, in-app purchase, subscriptions or ad-supported sites or apps.
- For ad-supported ventures, we require that licensed applications or services not be associated with ISK selling/buying, macros or bots. An example of unacceptable monetization would be accepting Google AdWords from sites violating our EULA and ToS. (this is essentially similar to our terms for fansites)
- CCP may at its discretion, list developers' application or service, and provide other publicity.
- Developer may not market their application or service as being associated with CCP in any way, other than to include a logo and credit line identifying application or service as a licensed application for EVE. Or similar attribution as may be required by CCP from time to time.
- We will continue to provide technical assistance via the Technology Lab forum and IRC channel, but CCP does not offer formal technical support to developers or warrant the API in any way. It's provided as is.
- 3rd Party applications and services may not accept PLEX.
- CCP also allows non-commercial apps and services, subject to simple clickwrap agreement substantially similar to the one that is provided to registered fansites.
Here are some questions that we have received so far. Please use the feedback thread to add your own questions about this program and we will do our best to answer them and add them to this list.
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).
The feedback to this blog is an important input into the process of finalizing the details.
That's about it. This is a pretty simple program and hopefully it will help you convincing your significant other that developing applications for a space game until 3am in the morning is a good idea.
For us at CCP this is an important step in getting more exposure of the tremendous possibilities that the various hooks into the game provide.
I'm sure we will have plenty to talk about in the discussion thread. :-)
Feeback thread discussion
thank you all for your input so far. Based on your comments, I feel I should step in to clarify a few things and address some concerns.
1) The blog represents the first draft of what our bizdev department is thinking of in terms of the license agreement. We published it to get feedback from you guys. This is not the final word on the matter and we want to build this service up with you so that it's fair and empowers you to build these applications and services which better the game.
2) Regarding this clause: Q: Will services for in-game currency require a commercial license? A: Yes, if you require any sort of payment for your services you will need a commercial license. I've spoken to Biz Dev and this is something that might be revised, possibly to exclude ISK payments. I'll let you know as soon as I know more.
3) This project is not about CCP making money. Whether we charge $100 or $50 or $10 for a commercial license won't make a big difference to our balance sheet. $99 is the lowest that we estimated that we could reasonably go and still justify the cost of the service. If this is too high for app developers, this is something that could possibly be revisited.
4) Nothing is set in stone. We're willing to reconsider anything you deem unfair about the program. Donation and ad supported ventures is a tricky thing to allow without any sort of a commercial license though and that's a legal slippery slope. Whether that license needs to be $99 per year is something we might reconsider.
Please help us by continuing to give constructive feedback into how you want this service to be since our motives are really to empower 3rd party development and not to try to squeeze money out of starving programmers.
Our Biz Dev department will give us some more answers and clarify ambiguity. Rest assured this will change to suit your needs and our aim is to make you want to develop software and services for EVE and not to throw obstacles in your way.
Addendum from CCP Guard: Don't miss CCP Zulu's update regarding your feedback in this post
EVE Online, CCP Games