Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The fundamental reason is that PLEX is not a scarce commodity.
PLEX prices cannot be controlled in the same way that ice can be controlled under a Goonswarm Gallente Ice Interdiction. Now some might say "But there's infinite ice available." While that is true, there are only a small number known locations where it is available. Goonswarm can block those known ice belts by choking them up with gank ships. They can quite easily halt or slow the extraction of ice from those known locations. Goonswarm can, in effect, make ice a scarce commodity.
PLEX derives from the ether. As long as a player has real-world cash to spend, they can acquire PLEX. There are no in-game mechanics to stop its acquisition. It is a commodity with no means with which to impede its flow onto the market.
So yesterday, PLEX peaked at around 530M ISK per unit. I believe this caused a small frenzy of out-of-game purchasing, to capitalize on the 525M+ prices. Today PLEX is back under 500M ISK per unit.
I think we'll continue to see this ping-ponging of PLEX prices until Crucible's release. For the next two weeks, PLEX will rise above 525M ISK, then PLEX will start to flood the market as people hope to take advantage of the higher prices. PLEX will then fall back below 500M ISK per unit.
I expect a larger drop in PLEX prices post-Crucible. I think by Christmas it will level out around 475M ISK. I expect that those people that are going to return will have. All the accounts that will be re-activated will have been by Christmas. The game will have settled back into the hum of routine.