Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The EVE Investment Scam

EVE is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) set in a futuristic world where economics, politics, science, warfare, and technology all come into play. Generally, a player can make money mining or as a corporation. One player, "Cally", decided to start a bank.

The "EVE Intergalactic Bank (EIB)" offered loans to start up businesses. Miners could get loans for expensive tools, corporations for expensive infrastructure. The bank charged interest rates on these loans and had detailed repayment plans in order to grow itself.

Cally then simply took all the money, right out of the bank. Under ordinary circumstances, a government would stop a person from doing this, or a group of angry investors would come looking for vengeance  Unfortunately, Cally made off with enough money to build an absurdly powerful warship and sailed off into space, making revenge highly unlikely. He placed an enormous bounty on his own head, daring people to come after him.

He then posted a 15 minute video mocking the employees of EIB, investors, and enemies who attempted to stop him. Luke McKinney writes on Cracked.com, "Understand: Cally is now officially smarter than every Bond villain put together, because he found a way to give an expository monologue without getting killed."

EVE has had other economic woes in its history. The raw tritanium required to produce a "Shuttle"
cost more than the shuttle itself. Players would buy shuttles (sold by NPC's) and melt them down into raw materials, then sell those materials for a profit. This was fixed, but it indicates how detailed the economy of EVE can be.

EVE's economy is so detailed that it makes it possible for players to start their own scams based on the economy of the game. All sorts of small economics problems arise in the game that the developers must fix. My personal belief is that by having the players supply the goods and services (as EVE largely does now) you can remove a large portion of this error.

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