There comes a time when you just have to put aside all the fun things in life, make a strong pot of coffee (in my case tea) and go through the accounts. After watching the bills pile up and after ignoring the calls from the administrators, I could ignore the problem no longer. No matter which angle I looked at it from, regardless of lighting conditions or use of heavy make-up, the evidence pointed to the same conclusion – E·ON was in need of a hot injection of in-game ice-bucks!
All of E·ON’s in-game revenue comes from advertising. Until last issue the cost to advertisers per page was 350m ISK, with E·ON writers getting 50m ISK per page for their efforts – which meant that one page of advertising paid for seven pages of editorial. (Just to note here, the ratio of ads-per-editorial page is much lower than 1:7, but the books should balance out because not every contributor gets paid – Zapatero being the main one.) Of course 50m per page isn’t going to get you much these days, so I doubled the rate to 100m and so obviously had to double the ad costs to compensate. I’m no mathematician, but anyone would assume that the transition should be a smooth one, but that has not been the case.
In actuality, the dip into the red hasn’t arisen due to increases in cost (700m is a small price to pay, I think, for the permanence of being in print), but due to two reasons: One is that I haven’t gone out there to tempt corps or alliances to advertise, and the other is that two advertisers have not paid their bill – two very big advertisers, I might add, high-profile alliances run by salt-of-the-earth types who probably have more ISK than they know what to do with. If those two paid up E·ON’s in-game financial obligations would be fulfilled. I’m considering hiring mercenaries or thugs to recover the debt, but the bastard thing is that one debtor is a mercenary organization and the other are thugs. Maybe I should set one on the other, write-off the debt and enjoy the firework display :)
Anyway, regardless of how the payment in entertainment in lieu of owed monies turns out, a change in policy will be required: Firstly I will attempt to be more organized (which may involve putting aside the fun things more often) and secondly I shall insist upon up-front payment of ad charges prior to publication. Third I need to find a way to get three Tech-2 strip miners and some hardcore expanders on my shuttle, and sharpish. Needs must when there are hungry alts to feed!