|As Seen on 1 November 2013|
"CCP is changing policy and has asked that we discontinue the bonus credit program after November 7th. So until then, enjoy a super-bonus of 1B Blink Credit for each 60-day GTC you buy!
"Thanks to everyone who has helped support our server costs by buying through the affiliate link :)
"The bonus will go away after the 7th, so we'll be investigating other options to cover the server expense after the GTC money runs out :)"
On Monday I posted an explanation of the policy that allowed giving away ISK for GTC referrals from the Chief Operating Officer of Shattered Crystal, Dennis Hutchinson...
When I pressed him for an explanation, Mr. Hutchinson first pointed me to point 2 of the EVE Time Code Bazaar rules, "Any form of ETC trading outside of the CCP created system is not permitted or supported by CCP." As I had also asked if he knew if CCP had approved of SOMERblink's "purchase GTCs, get ISK" promotion, he included that in his explanation...I also wrote on Monday that I disagreed that the rules of the Time Code Bazaar should override the EULA and Terms of Service. Apparently CCP's legal staff agreed, which has led to the shakeup.
"We are an authorized reseller so when the affiliate gives isk incentive to buy from us he is using the official ETC system. Shattered Crystal affiliate ###### and somer are doing the same thing. Somer gives blink credits which you gamble at a 20% loss to get isk, Shattered Crystal affiliate ###### leaves out the gamble part. It will probably be a few weeks until any official response is made by CCP, although I understand they are meeting about the situation. Anything that stops Shattered Crystal affiliate ###### scheme may do the same for somer. Somerblink has run for years and CCP has done so much with somer they just never got ask to make a direct decision about the incentives." [affiliate identification number edited out by me - NG]
One thing I found curious about the statement is the claim that SOMERblink will have no money coming in from GTC sales referrals after 7 November. On its face that makes no sense. CCP did not outlaw the ability of the GTC resellers from having affiliate programs. They only told the resellers that their affiliates had to follow the EULA.
The statement does make sense if Markee Dragon or SOMERblink plans to end the relationship. From the description of the end of the business relationship between SOMERblink and Shattered Crystal given by Mr. Hutchinson, SOMERblink is probably getting a sales commission of 8% from Markee Dragon. The normal rate is 5%. I'm guessing that without the referral bonus, SOMERblink will not drive enough traffic to Markee Dragon to justify an 8% sales commission. I have the feeling that SOMERblink is looking to use this as cover for why the business relationship is ending. Whether SOMERblink can find another GTC reseller with an affiliate program willing to work with her is, in my view, questionable.
In the meantime the demand at SOMERblink is high. In fact, Markee Dragon ran out of 60-day game time codes within 3 hours of the offer going live. So the madness ended temporarily until Markee Dragon can purchase more time codes from CCP. So will we see Markee Dragon end its relationship with SOMERblink before putting any more GTCs up for sale? A lot of people are watching, wondering what will happen next.