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  Virtual Cash Buys ‘EVE’ Magazine-Ads, Pays Writers  
Posted 2005-11-22 by Tony Walsh
Massively-multiplayer online game EVE Online may not be the first MMOG with its own official magazine, but it seems to be the first that to offer real ad space in exchange virtual currency. Ad slots in the first issue of E-ON magazine were free for players of the game interested in advertising their services or corporate affiliation. With issue #002, said EVE developer CCP in an official blog post, ads will be available exclusively for 200-million "ISK" (units of play-money). At the time of this writing, most online currency exchanges are offering 100M ISK for $20 - $40 USD.

So many players have taken CCP up on its offer than all ads are now booked, with new orders backlogged. A CCP employee noted on the EVE blog that "E-ON is the first magazine I've heard people raving about the adverts." If true, this indicates EVE players understand how to advertise appropriately to a familiar audience, contrasting the clumsy efforts of corporate advertisers in the MMOG space.

Interestingly, CCP plans to use its influx of virtual millions to pay its writers, who could receive 40-50 million ISK per page (roughly $10 - $20 per page). The company says that the move will establish freelance writing as one of EVE's "viable" player careers--the pay per page certainly isn't viable in real space, however (at least in most parts of North America and the E.U.).

Paying content-creators in play-money is very attractive to developers of virtual worlds, who essentially have a license to print money. Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, has tapped into its constituent content creators successfully for some time, and in October said it was considering paying future PR writers in Linden Dollars to the real-world tune of about $25 - $50 per article -- substantially more than CCP is offering, but still sub-par for a real-world professional.
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