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MMO Money Magazine

Writings on the business of fun: Virtual Worlds and Real Money Makes Online Gaming a Big Business. My economic view on the world of online games - without the hype.

Author: Inktomi

EVE Online Players Rocked Again By Financial Crime

Posted by Inktomi Friday June 12 2009 at 2:25PM
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"The point is ladies and gentlement, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good. Michael Douglas,1987

     Tsk, Tsk, Tsk or should I say, Isk, Isk, Isk. Reported today from "The Escapist" “Xabier”, member of Dynasty Bank, a player run financial institution has embezzled 80 Billion Isk of players invested funds. Dynasty Bank has recently released a statement to players and has since the realization of the crime has stopped taking deposits according to Manalapan. Who posted on Eve online forums today “ What we DO know is that he has missed a dividend payment on a personal bond, and his bio now states “Thanks for all the fish”. According to my handy dandy Virtual Currency Chart the EVE Isk is worth .0000004 of the US dollar. Which is totally incorrect according to Akaidos.


"The going isk rate is really based off the going rate of 60 day Game time cards which cost 32 bucks US. The reason is since CCP sells GTC they have a actual monetary investment in stopping isk sales online. If you buy isk from say ige.com within 2 days CCP will have removed the isk from your account thus everyone just sells GTC and thats why the "gold seller" price is so low. Currently the GTC are about 700million isk.
700,000,000 / 32 = 21,875,000 not 2.5million but that would actually mean the guy stole MORE Real life money worth so you must have dropped some zeros though simple math mate next time use a calculator. (My compututation were off the Currency Chart Number, check the math. Thanks - Inktomi)
200,000,000,000 / 21,875,000 = $9142 - Akaidos


 $9,000?

      Thanks for all the fish? So for every 700M  EVE Isk buys me one 60 day game card worth $32 USD, what does that really mean? It means that Xabier stole a whopping $9000.00 in USD. And that means he's playing EVE free for the next 31.5 years. YAY!

 

 

 Now wait, I’m not discounting player efforts and what I have read about EVE, money is not easily made. Often by mining that takes a very long time, in certain star systems it can also be very dangerous. People have been known to fall asleep mining only to wake up with their ship destroyed. So the ISK has some value ingame, nevertheless 80 or 200 billion is still a lot of money to active players. Although I read in certain articles that the ISK can fetch much higher values, how does that work? Is the VCC accurate?

But to become a virtual criminal for $9000.00? Just To lose all those relationships, playtime, your account and to live forever in the hearts and minds of all MMORPG players as a total loser, it doesn’t seem worth it. Most likely he’s got it scurried away somewhere, which is a tactic used by many white-collar criminals. Case in point was last years Wall Street Scandal involving Bernard Madoff that made off with over $60 Billion in investors money. And he is going to rot in jail for the rest of his life for it, but what is the downside for players that commit virtual crime?

  Not the first time…

                 That EVE players have been rocked by white-collar crime such as ponzi schemes and theft. August 2006, one of the largest online scams in history took place when “Cally” stole over 700 Billion in ISK that according to Ars Technica can be worth $170,000.00 USD. I am a little confused on how that can happen. Is that according to the trading value of the ISK compared to the USD at the time? I don’t have any data going back that far to compare. I suggest reading “A Deadly Dollar” by Jim Rossignol.

Don’t trust a Guiding Hand.

               2005, we read about a band of mercenaries infiltrating a Alliance and robbing them of over $16,500. The Guiding Hand Social Club took a year to plot and plan the downfall of Ubiqua Seraph. Taking a year to fulfill this “assassination” contract out, placing agents at every level within the target corp. “Istvaan Shogaatsu” Someone should hire the guy who masterminded this all, that takes time and patience. Those are skills that would be invaluable at certain levels of government. These were a list of materials stolen from Mirial:

  - Modulated Deep Core Miner II BPO

  - Covert Ops Cloak II BPO
- Armageddon BPO
- Prophecy BPO
- Malediction BPO
- Arkonor Crystal II BPO
- Scordite Crystal II BPO
- Numerous lesser tech II BPOs
 - A few billion ISK in minerals.
- 717 million taken from corporate wallet.
- Two billion taken under the guise of a loan from the executor.
 Our net gain from this massive heist is roughly estimated at over 20 billion ISK. -  Shogaatsu

 Whats that all worth in real life? 

Above, Istvaan Shogaastu

 BoB, spelled backwards.

  The Spy Game has been a longtime profitable “ingame job” in EVEspace for years. We all know of the famous GoonSwarm takeover of Band of Brothers soveriegnity space. The leader of the Mittani in his interview with Nick Breckon of Gameshack quotes on the metagame intailed in spyops, “Communication becomes a game in itself. "I'd get 20+ [reports] a day and, at one point, had 35 separate Trillian windows open," he explains. "AIM for Americans mostly, MSN for the Euros, and ICQ for the Russians."

                This hit could of partly be caused by the fact that Band Of Brother’s was once help out by dev’s from EVE Online themselves. Which was a pretty big scandal back in 2007, reported from kotaku.com. “The concern is that Band of Brothers (and possibly other large alliances) have received ill-gotten assistance from the Developers or GMs in the form of blueprints, ships, etc...People care about rampant cheating by those whose job it is to STOP cheating. By conveniently ignoring this issue, you are only reinforcing the belief that CCP has something to hide.”

 

 

 I am not criticizing EVE or the players, I am going to look at the developers and the GM’s of EVE that do not have a system in place to govern players or protect people from this type of behavior. At least investors have the SEC and the NASD to look over the shoulders of Wall Street, without them Wall Street would be a very bad place. Even with laws, people do still commit heavy duty financial crimes.

I was reading an excerpt from the book Virtual law By Benjamin Tyson Duranske and in one article he states that “real world financial institutions can guarantee some or all of the virtual world applications.” Is CCP responsible for the loss of players funds? I’m sure they have plenty of laws in the EULA protecting them from lawsuits from characters from what happens ingame. But where does that leave you? The player in the Wildest of all Wild West Shows in Space, is it caveat emptor or buyer beware, with the explanation of don’t “QQ” EVE is a hardcore PVP game.

 

                In my opinion, if EVE went RMT but kept the player driven economy, offer a realtime bank with fees and some financial safety then new players might be more comfortable with starting a new game that is as dangerous as EVE puts off to be. Look, I don’t mind being on either sides of the PVP coin, I can appreciate a good pirate every now and then, corporate or otherwise. But to put my trust a banking system and innocently be ripped off, it’s happened in real life for years. No thanks, I’m not going to tolerate it in my funtime.

 

Play safe,

~Ink


 

Death1942 writes:

to be honest anyone who bothers to use the banks can either 1. afford the loss or 2. is stupid for using them without accepting the risks. 

 

I quite enjoy this pirating business as it gives pirates something to aim for and keeps the game exciting.   As for the spy business...god damn that is creepy...

Fri Jun 12 2009 4:21PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 indeed

Fri Jun 12 2009 5:27PM Report
Akadios writes:

You might want to change the tone of your post making fun of him for stealing 200 billion isk.  You have made a serious miscalculation in your math let me explain.

Your number of 2.5million isk per dollar is totally incorrect btw going isk rate is really based off the going rate of 60 day Game time cards which cost 32 bucks US.  The reason is since CCP sells GTC they have a actual monetary investment in stopping isk sales online.  If you buy isk from say ige.com within 2 days CCP will have removed the isk from your account thus everyone just sells GTC and thats why the "gold seller" price is so low.  Currently the GTC are about 700million isk.

700,000,000 / 32 = 21,875,000 not 2.5million but that would actually mean the guy stole MORE Real life money worth so you must have dropped some zeros though simple math mate next time use a calculator.

200,000,000,000 / 21,875,000 = $9142

Someone stealing $9142.00 in a game where there will be no real life repercussions, well besides the new plasma tv in the living room.  That is total awesomeness,  anyways w/e w/e about eve allowing it but the guy stole a little over $9000 USD not $32.

Fri Jun 12 2009 6:32PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 Ok, first of all: I don't steal, and don't believe in it. Especially in a video game.

Second: I used a calculator, however the number from the VCChart is incorrect and If you read thoroughly I ASKED THE PUBLIC if this was correct. I use a calculator that could probably run EVE itself. I will correct my blog to reflect those number and use your post as evidence. Is there a site I can track this value?

Third: I will not change my tone, people got boned for a flatscreen TV. I even think of him in the same respect as Bernard Madoff, he's a loser. And just becuase you add some hot looking zero's doesn't make it any better. 

I  respect much more the planning out of a corporate demise, I stated that. But flat out stealing...

W/E to that.

Good luck to you, my friend.

Fri Jun 12 2009 7:02PM Report
Sievahn writes:

The blog was interesting, but in the future can you please pick a font size and stick to it? Thanks. :)

Fri Jun 12 2009 9:05PM Report
Inktomi writes:

 I'll try, but I write mostly in MSFT word and cut/paste over. MMORPG also doesn't have a preview function, that would be nice. I fixed it again, hope you all keep coming back, thanks for the comments and the const criticism.

Sat Jun 13 2009 12:02AM Report
fansede writes:

 Good stuff as usual inktomi. Just goes to show there are some bad apples out there. Bad apples that are crafty as hell.

Wonder if these guys had day jobs at GM , AIG or Fannie Mae/Freddy Mac.. LOL

Sat Jun 13 2009 7:28AM Report
ivan50265 writes:

I agree I am a huge fan of the GHSC scandal sooo much more interesting than white collar crime.

Sat Jun 13 2009 9:34PM Report
Wingclip writes:

CCP managed to make a game that resembles real life??....hmm

Damn them, what were they thinking!!!

Wed Jun 17 2009 12:38AM Report
Thradar writes:

I'm not sure which quote to use:

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

or

"Art imitates life."

Regardless...I don't play EVE, but when i read about things like this happening in game I actually look on it as being quite cool.  This is exactly what would happen in a galaxy dominated by corporations and greedy executives.  Creative roleplaying.  =)

Wed Jun 17 2009 1:04AM Report
dterry writes:

Anyone who puts their ISK into another players hands and expects to get it back in EVE is dangerously delusional.

Thu Jun 18 2009 7:12AM Report
Thalarius writes:

I tried EVE for several months and ended up leaving due to the rampant pvp gankings, cheating and corporations that have same names as the terrorist organization found in the Middle East.  Some corporations that allow new players to join have some strange application process for example BOB had in thier application that if you become a member of BOB you must be willing to CHEAT, STEAL AND PVP GANK LOWBIES EVEN IN EMPIRE SAFE ZONES, and commit acts of terrorism. 

Fri Jun 19 2009 4:21PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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