PvP is easily monetized, and that's where the money IRE gets comes from.
Personally, the reason I got into these games was the RP environment. There will be many of you in the beginning that share that passion with me, and I look forward to it.
But how does IRE benefit? How can we have our RP, and flavor fluff and all the (admittedly good) breadcrumbs we get, and still fund the company?
Long-term benefits is my answer. We keep people around, before they are ready to "participate" in the more intense (depending on who you ask) aspects of the game.
The social interaction is a huge part of these games, but one IRE can't force. So how do we help them help us?