So not everyone is happy about the recent announcement that Sony Online Entertainment would be replacing the free five hundred Station Cash included with subscriptions and All Access passes, but John Smedley would like to explain a few things. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything, Smedley has explained that the change was for a few reasons. First to allow for larger items to be obtained more quickly, second to deal with the problematic accrual of Station Cash on accounts, third because gamers on SOE’s growing list of console games cannot use Station Cash, and finally because of a new plan for All Access:
We are considering (and are likely going to move forward with) a plan that means if you subscribe to one of our games you are a subscriber to all our games (this applies to PC titles only btw).. all for the current $14.99 a month. That’s a benefit most companies simply can’t offer because they don’t have our portfolio of games.
All Access for SOE’s library currently costs $20. So why is this accumulation of points an issue? User Israellopez explains it best:
In accounting something you owe someone (sc cash) is a liability. Its a benefit that we are given but some of us don’t use, and that’s a problem for accountants. Because on the books the business is saddled with a debt that is just virtual. Its not like it owes a webhosting company a six month Bill, but in accounting they are both liabilities. Its similar to gift cards at a small store, the money paid into a gift card is not income, it’s a liability until it is used … and typically the spend is more then the gc amount. I expect that if the 500sc was more often than not spent in 2 months the accountants wouldn’t care. However I expect that it was accumulating, and increasing on the number of memberships.
In the case of player studio items, Smedley says in the thread that Sony may allow users to buy the items with free station cash and simply eat the cost themselves in terms of providing royalties to the creator. The AMA is still in progress, so head on down.