I am the type of person who hates to hear how a game is dying, whether it is or not. It’s annoying and it makes me think that I’ve been wasting my time playing a possibly dead game, and if I am it makes me want to stop playing or spend too much time finishing the game, instead of enjoying it slowly.
I have never had this experience in any other game than I have in EVE online and DUST514, both games that are considered to be dead, or on life support, but are, according to CCP, making a profit. Most people think EVE will die because it has dwindling subscription numbers, while DUST is dead because it is on PS3.
But I don’t think eve and dust are going anywhere anytime soon, despite some people saying “The End Is Nigh”, due to numerous factors that people might not be thinking about.
One of these factors are people that buy PLEX. In The United States, 1 PLEX costs 20 USD, while a 1 month subscription costs 15 USD a month. One good thing about PLEX is that it has more than one use. Not only can you add a month of game time to your account, but you can turn it into Aurum or have a second character be trained. Another great thing about PLEX is that you can sell it on the Market for a good amount of ISK, which another player can buy and use for themselves. PLEX must help CCP make a profit in some way, without necessarily being a liability on the financial books as subscription debt.
Another possibly profitable way for CCP to counter the declining subscriber base could be the use of Aurum. Aurum can be bought from the Eve Online account site as well as using a PLEX. As for DUST you can buy it on the PlayStation store aslong with DLC item bundles that also include the currency. These prices range from as low as 1 USD to 100 USD. With Aurum you can buy an incredible amount of things in EVE and DUST. In EVE you can buy clothing for your avatar, different skins for your ships, and these are all tradable on the market. For DUST, while most items are currently not tradable, there are a lot more items you can spend Aurum on, including: Dropsuit SKINS, weapons, APEX loadouts that never run out, and a lot more. This has to be a huge reason DUST is still free to play.
A third factor could be that EVE’s subscription numbers are not exactly equal to player base numbers. This is due to people having more than one account and paying for more than one account. For all we know, we might have new players replacing the bitter vets who are done playing the game. One vet leaves with six accounts, replaced by four new players at the keys. That may look like a loss, but it is an overall gain because CCP wants players at the keys, being social.
My last comment for possible factors for these games surviving is the issue of models of payment. With DUST being free to play, more people are willing to try it out for at least one time, at no cost to them. As for EVE, if you make enough ISK you can play the game without paying for at least a month via PLEX. Someone else had to buy with it real money in order to get it on the market.
These factors are the reasons that EVE and DUST are alive, if not thriving in a world of bitter vets foretelling their demise. According to some vets, EVE has been dying since 2005. Those original doomsayers probably quit, played a few other games and said those were dying too, and then moved on to a totally different hobby anyway. I hope not to become these doomsayers, ever, but I know I won’t be for at least a long while.