2014 Membership - Update from Smed

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Ashlanne, Jan 6, 2014.

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  1. Lodrelhai Well-Known Member

    It's fairly well spelled out in previous statements where Smed explained the issue was with SC accumulation and tax liability. Basically for accounting purposes they aren't able to list the funds as available for use until the SC bought with them is actually spent, which means there's a whole lot of money on the books that SOE can't do a thing with (but still owe taxes on). As some have pointed out, the 500 "Free" SC was never free, but was a benefit of membership - which means part of the paid subscriptions each month were getting locked up until the benefit was redeemed. So they are requiring the funds be /claimed every month to ensure the people getting it are people who want and will use it.

    If the SC could accumulate in your /claim window, then it's still accumulating and the cash equivalent from it is still locked up on the books. By putting a limit on it (1 item only, or must be redeemed by x date), it becomes more like a $5 off coupon for a store you have a club card with. If you claim it within that time, the item claimed (in this case the SC) is yours and you can sit on it as long as you like. If you don't, the coupon is unredeemed and the funds are released to the company's accounts when the limit expires.
    Shmogre likes this.
  2. Shalavar New Member

    I don't know if this has been said before, but why not create another currency equivalent in value to Station Cash but only available as a perk to subscribers? Since it's not available for cash, it has no cash value. Since it has no cash value, there is no tax liability or accounting requirements. Problem solved.
    Katra likes this.
  3. Lodrelhai Well-Known Member

    Except it's something we get from a cash purchase (our subscription) and use to purchase items of cash value (Marketplace items) - ergo, it has cash value. Or at least, the IRS or whatever local equivalent is appropriate will try to claim it does in that way.

    Actually, this makes me think that might be part of the reason the goblin games were also discontinued.
  4. Lucus Well-Known Member

    It was suggested by myself and others. i don't understand tax laws but from what i've seen others say it's something like this.

    These days governments are seeing that there is worthwhile profits for companies selling virtual currency and they want a slice of the pie.

    As long as you have to give SOE money in any shape or form to get the 500 free SC governments will see that SC as having a cash value and expect SOE to pay taxes on it.

    Even with us claiming the free sc through /claim still costs SOE money on taxes the difference is no everyone will login to claim that free sc, i.e people on long half-year jobs, those in the military and players not actively playing EQ2 that have all-access and are instead playing other games..
  5. Grazel New Member

    The other part that makes it taxable (versus our plat) is that the items it buys are bought with a currency we buy directly rather than earn and spend in game. The presence of Player Studio items that involved the creator getting real money for it as well adds to the 'monetization' of SC for tax purposes.

    There have been lawmakers (from local to federal level) that have tried to tax ALL virtual currency, but thankfully they've not had that much success or we'd definitely not see f2p games, or else there'd be no ingame currency accumulation and we'd be lucky to see any kind of loot. To have all virtual currency taxed could be stretched to include xp gains in the extreme by a creative or poorly worded law (since it's a numeric counter that is used to 'purchase' an item, aka a level). I believe the current tax laws only apply to virtual currencies that can be purchased with real money like SC, and the fact that the tax laws considers the monthly stipend a purchase means the 500SC wasn't "free" since it came with a recurring subscription and considered part of it and paid for. It may have been a 'bonus' but it wasn't 'free', just as grocery stores selling 'buy two get one free' isn't really free, the free part is just to make it sound more appealing when actually it's just each item is 33% of normal price but only if you buy three. Having the voucher may avoid this entirely depending on how the tax laws are written, or it may just limit the 'money sink' of accumulating SC since inactive accounts won't build it up as fast.
  6. Lucus Well-Known Member

    can you elaborate on this? I know with the second part of your post i haven't displayed an obscure meaning on purchase could apply to game experience points(and it'd be a cold day in heck before they could tax XP without being crushed by massive public outcry) that for someone to suggest taxing experience points in games would have to be insane.
  7. RadarX Community Manager

    You will continue to receive Double Alternate Currency as a Gold Member. This means Loyal Point Tokens, City Tokens, Obols, etc...,
    Zeddicious, Redshift21 and Meri like this.
  8. Moose9 New Member

    The problem has to lie within the player studio items and how SOE is determining what it pays these folks, based on the sales occurring in game. That's the only part that would make any sense, the rest of it occurs when you actually purchase points either via a direct payment to SOE or going to a store and buying a prepaid card. Actual taxable transactions on points are occurring at time money changes hands purchasing the points. Same with the 500 credit, an actual cash transaction is occurring to purchase the sub and you are getting a discount.
    Katra and Sambril like this.
  9. daicia Well-Known Member

    I'd just like to know when we can get a for-sure clarification on all of this. I canceled my sub not out of rage, but because the first announcement implied that perk changes would apply to all paid sub types, regardless of how they were paid for starting Feb 3rd and not just for auto-renew, recurring payments. I'm one of those who paid for an annual, but the (previous) loss of the 500 SC accumulation diminished the value of that, since it offset the times when I couldn't log in much.In other words, if it was for any paid sub type, I figured I'd just sub when I was sure I could play enough instead of paying in a lump.

    When I called to ask another question about my account, I asked about these (most) recent changes too and I was told that as of that day (last Wed or Thur? I forget which day I called) that this would not be the case so far. As it stands now, my lack of auto-renewal means I'd loose the new SC perk as of Feb, even though my account is paid up through July. I'm currently hanging around here wondering when they will make final decisions, so I can decide what to do with my sub.
  10. Lodrelhai Well-Known Member

    Official word:

  11. daicia Well-Known Member

    Thanks Lodrelhi. I hope that truly does apply to all sub types then, including the remainder of my previously paid annual gold. I don't use the Krono, but Radar's statement does imply that if I pay a month or two here and there in the future, I should still get the benefit too, so I don't see why that won't be the case with my already-paid annual.

    I (like a few other people) got an email informing us that we lost the SC perks immediately by canceling the auto-renew. At first I shrugged, since the they were changing it anyway. I called on the 8th or 9th, so maybe the new info hadn't made it down the pike. I was told on the phone that I'd have to re-sub to get the SC perk applied to my existing months, even though I am paid through July. Either way, I'd like to see a clearly written, fresh thread/announcement before I make any decisions. At this point, info seems to be scattered on various forums/social media platforms and digging though it is a drag at best, even with dev tracking.
    Brezard likes this.
  12. Brezard New Member

    I'm still waiting for a response to Customer Service on this topic - submitted 01/04/2014 09:09 PM. My annual subscription was renewed at the beginning of this month so I'm not terribly impressed so far.
    Obviously there is a huge back log on this topic as I received another automated response on 01/06/2014 09:52 AM saying "Thank you for your patience. Due to high volume, it may take us a little bit longer to respond to your ticket. If your issue is urgent, please contact us by telephone."
    Since I don't wish to make an international phone call to speed things along - I am still waiting patiently - 8 days later after updating my ticket with a polite reply.
  13. Redshift21 Member

    Thank you RadarX - this was the confirm is was hoping and looking for.
  14. ShyMidnight Active Member

    Whoa, this thread's gotten too long for me to go thru' it all. ;)

    Has Sony said how long it'll take for all subscriptions to change to All Access?
  15. beagley Well-Known Member

    Not explicitly as I recall but hey, if you can't be bothered to trawl through the thread then neither can I!:D

    Most people are assuming this is going to kick in on the original proposed change date which was (IIRC) 3rd February although I haven't seen it formally confirmed as SOE are still gathering feedback. If you're a European player it probably will be later than that as we are still awaiting details on how they propose to handle it (i.e. keep on SOE account, forced to use PSS or either)
  16. Kilar Active Member

    Still no info on the All-Access issue for Euro's who play EQ2 (and other games) through an SOE account?

    I keep watching the thread but unless I missed it there has still been no info on this.
    Pipsissiwa likes this.
  17. Zeddicious Well-Known Member

    For clarification purposes, you may want to mention with this NEW revised promotion - there will be NO separation between members paying with Krono and SC game cards, and those with a recurring membership paid with a credit card on file. From what I've read (twitter) Smed and the other powers that be decided to consider all Gold Memberships the same (finally) in terms of Gold Membership Benefits.

    Also - I'm quite certain that for those paying with Krono / SC - that the NEW promotion most likely will NOT be retro-active with the 500 SC / month. Meaning, its new - from X day forward and you won't get a truckload of SC to claim despite being a krono / gamecard subscriber for the previous months before the NEW promotion.
  18. Finora Well-Known Member

    So I was digging around on the other game forums this morning & this is what Piestro had to say about the sub pricing:

    "The current thinking is existing deals will continue to be honored and that the all access benefits will be extended to those folks. So if you have the imaginary $10 a year for EQ deal, and are locked in at that rate, you'd be paying $10 a year for all access now. I can't promise this because this is the kind of thing I need legal approval to promise, but that's the thinking. "

    Here's hoping we here the official word on it all this week.

    It would also be nice to know how the situation with people who have long term separate subs (same account) for specific games, not all-access is going to be handled.
  19. flameweaver Well-Known Member

    Whilst I too am keen for this to resolved, I guess this is going to take some time to negotiate with the other parties. It's not just a case of Smed saying we're going to change it.
    What would be nice though is some idea of timescales, other than just "soon",
    Pipsissiwa likes this.
  20. Finora Well-Known Member


    Looks like anyone with a lifetime sub for DCUO will have that honored at least for the time being with the changes.

    And I must say it's really amusing to see so many people think that one little forum community were the only ones voicing opinions about the original changes. I saw posts to the effect of "omg the vocal <insert game/forum community here> minority has messed things up for all the rest of us AGAIN!" on every forum I've visited at least once. A couple of "wow! our little community did it! hurrah for us!" as well. =)
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