EVE Online Banker Scams Over 80 Billion ISK

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EVE Online Banker Scams Over 80 Billion ISK

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The unique universe of EVE Online has taken another turn for the crazy with news that a player named Xabier, the former Investments Manager at the in-game Dynasty Banking operation, has absconded with over 80 billion ISK.

One of the most interesting features of EVE Online is its player-driven economy, which is almost entirely unregulated by EVE developer and publisher CCP Games. Players control virtually everything, meaning the economic side of the game, handled via the game's corporations, banks and other entities, represents a more complex and vital component of play than the tightly-controlled "buy-and-sell" economies of most MMOGs. But human nature is what it is, and just like in the real world, players are vulnerable to the risks of bad behavior among those in positions of authority.

So it was when last week, according to Massively, Xabier walked away from Dynasty Banking with a tidy 86 billion ISK, the EVE Online currency, an amount which he says is now worth over 106 billion ISK thanks to investments. Manalapan, the chairman of Dynasty Banking, pegged the embezzled amount at the slightly lower mark of 82.5 billion ISK, but the difference is academic. A huge sum of money is gone.

Manalapan issued a statement claiming that it is not yet even confirmed that Xabier has in fact run off with the money, although he admitted that a dividend payment on a bond has been missed and that Xabier's bio now reads, "Thanks for all the fish." He also urged customers not to jump to conclusions at this point, assuring them that should the worst turn out to be true, the bank has enough in reserve to cover the loss. "All withdrawal requests are being dealt with this very moment but as I am sure you are aware there is an above average amount, and so we ask for patience with this matter," he said. "Dynasty Banking will get over these times and we will continue to strive to earn the public's faith as one of the leading banks of Eve Online."

EBANK, the largest player-run bank in New Eden, has also pledged its support to Dynasty Banking if the run on the bank, which at last report was up to 30 billion ISK, reaches the point where the bank itself is threatened. "From what I have seen after talking to Manalapan it's quite likely EBANK won't need to assist at all, but it can't hurt to have that extra backup just in case," EBANK Managing Director Ricdic said.

A lot of players will no doubt frown upon these shenanigans but I think it's a great example of what makes EVE stand out from the MMOG crowd. The insertion of the human element into the most basic aspects of gameplay, for both good and bad, results in the sort of emergent gaming that most designers can only dream of. Some people have questioned whether or not a real crime has taken place, since ISK does have a real world value: Based on rates at SwagVault.com, the amount embezzled by Xabier is worth around $2500.00. But the crime took place within the context of the game, so while EVE law may apply - such as it is - I find it hard to imagine that real law would.

And this is far from the only example of high-profile malfeasance in EVE. As far back as mid-2005, the Guiding Hand Social Club staged a devastating attack on the Ubiqua Seraph corporation that inflicted 30 billion ISK of damage and remains infamous to this day, while in 2006 the player at the head of the EVE Investment Bank disappeared with a reported 700 billion ISK. It takes balls to let this kind of thing go on, but the success of EVE Online is proof that this is exactly the action some players are looking for.

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During the recession and all! What bad luck.

...wait.

meh someone will kill him

Kudos to Xabier for the message though :)

Thats why if I had the time, could be bothered, and wasn't addicted to so many other things right now, I would be playing EVE, just becuase the economy is so appealing.

Wow, evidence that MMOG players aren't complete retards. Social maybe still.

Well, I have a shitload of isk in Dynasty, more than most people. Am I concerned? No.

If you treat ISK like IRL, then all a bank is is numbers. I am not emptying my account, so I still have the same worth as the bank owners. I can't touch my account for another 7 months when I get back, so by this time if the bank is still running I will still have value.

EDIT: And I will be contacting the guy personally and congratulating him.

It takes balls to let this kind of thing go on, but the success of EVE Online is proof that this is exactly the action some players are looking for.

Hell yes. This kind of thing makes me want to play EVE.

Exactly what can a ex-investments manager do with 80 million ISK?

Even virtual banks are failing now?

What a jerk.
He learned nothing from the Hitchhikers guide, too!

That's... so awesome and wicked all at once...

Wicked in the original sense of the word, not the cool hip sense, or in the New England sense as a word thrown in as a nearly meaningless adjective...

See I wish EVE was the kind of game I liked

Looks like I have another hero.

This game is less about having a big ship to take big hits in combat and more about having a big ship to fit all of your commererative staues to that time you stole from the bank just to buy commererative statues to just such an occasion.

Don't be fooled! It's all a conspiracy by the evil Space Monkeys! Stupid monkeys control everything, and have spread to Eve! *Runs off screaming like a nut*
...
....
.....
Anyways... Yeah, I contend the Monkeys are at fault for this, and this man must be brought to Eve justice. Even if it's constant podding. If he's smart, though, he'll transfer the money and all his possessions to another account. Devious monkey jerk!

......

I'm astonished at this. Gold Farmers are TEH EBIL!, but Gold Hijackers are cool dudes?

So a game that has a robust economy unlike EQ or WOW...Uh?

Can someone explain this dichotomy of thought?

Can the EVE government give the Banks a bailout?

HobbesMkii:
Can the EVE government give the Banks a bailout?

Only if Larry Flynt is asking.

As for my opinion, this is yet another reason for me to stay well the heck away from EVE. Too many sociopaths.

-- Steve

i agree kudos there. funny as hell.

Brian Name:
During the recession and all! What bad luck.

...wait.

yeah, but if your clever you can turn isk into real money :P

Amazing.

Absolutely amazing.

You have to applaud CCP for making something THIS adaptable.

To quote CaVG, "Any game in which Valentine Operative is a viable occupation is a good game indeed"

monalith:
meh someone will kill him

And then he'll respawn.

Neat stuff. I recall reading a lengthy story/narrative about a guy who scams a bunch of investors out of several billion dollars worth of ingame stuff, including blueprints for a Battleship (..? I think it was whatever ship was most expensive back then). The lengths he went to to secure the money was incredible to read about; he even had to run to a local library to receive a call in the porn section from a skeptical, would-be investor! In the end, he couldn't figure out what to do with all the cash/guilt he had accumulated and randomly dumped it all on some n00b. Very well written stuff.

It's cool and all, and fun to do if your actually running a scam, not just withdrawing large sums from the bank vault, but what's the point? What could he possibly use that money for? He's pretty much won the game at this point.

He can't even play, since the entire game is PvP and you lose your shit when you die. Everyone would blow him up if they see him.

lol,

Just goes to show... who says a game is about blowing stuff up!

Hang on, let me get the lube and spreadsheets.

not sure where author got that number from but its atleast $4,811 USD, if done the legit way of buying GTCs easily more if he auctioned them, probably more than that if sold them other ways.

Blank__:
Neat stuff. I recall reading a lengthy story/narrative about a guy who scams a bunch of investors out of several billion dollars worth of ingame stuff, including blueprints for a Battleship (..? I think it was whatever ship was most expensive back then). The lengths he went to to secure the money was incredible to read about; he even had to run to a local library to receive a call in the porn section from a skeptical, would-be investor! In the end, he couldn't figure out what to do with all the cash/guilt he had accumulated and randomly dumped it all on some n00b. Very well written stuff.

Ah I remember reading that one too... I must look for it at some stage. Almost as good as the P-P-P-Powerbook!

This is why I would play EVE if my computer could run it.

It's funny but when this happens in real life, it's the most evil, vile thing ever. In a game, he's a virtual Robin Hood-esque character.
I guess when the crimes you commit have real consequences it's not funny anymore.

PumpItUp:
It's funny but when this happens in real life, it's the most evil, vile thing ever. In a game, he's a virtual Robin Hood-esque character.
I guess when the crimes you commit have real consequences it's not funny anymore.

Just wait until someone commits suicide over this... it's only a matter of time.

The_root_of_all_evil:
......

I'm astonished at this. Gold Farmers are TEH EBIL!, but Gold Hijackers are cool dudes?

So a game that has a robust economy unlike EQ or WOW...Uh?

Can someone explain this dichotomy of thought?

Had a quick think on this, gold farmers are generally taking the piss and selling you their ill gotten gains so they can carry on.
Xabier however is just a rogue with giant brass balls, he obviously saw an opening and took it for all it's worth.
That's somewhat charming in it's own right, if i played EVE and had isk in that bank i wouldn't be mad, i'd be generally impressed.

Well, there is one great thing about the universe of EVE in comparison to ours. The heads of Dynasty Banking can put out a bounty/hit on this Xabier and it's perfectly legal for them to do so. If they really wanted to this bank could put out a bounty and probably have half of the freelancers and independent pilots in null space looking for him by tonight, especially is they have enough assets where they can still recover from an 86 million ISK loss.

I really wish I was far along in this game now, just so I could hunt him myself...

A friend of mine that plays this a lot says:

the maxim of this game is: Trust no one.

Wizzie:

The_root_of_all_evil:
......

I'm astonished at this. Gold Farmers are TEH EBIL!, but Gold Hijackers are cool dudes?

So a game that has a robust economy unlike EQ or WOW...Uh?

Can someone explain this dichotomy of thought?

Had a quick think on this, gold farmers are generally taking the piss and selling you their ill gotten gains so they can carry on.
Xabier however is just a rogue with giant brass balls, he obviously saw an opening and took it for all it's worth.
That's somewhat charming in it's own right, if i played EVE and had isk in that bank i wouldn't be mad, i'd be generally impressed.

The main difference, I think, is that in conventional MMORPGs, the "economy" is little more than a rudimentary market, that's really an addon to the core gameplay, so any economic activity that takes place outside of those basic markets really comes down to metagaming.

In Eve, on the other hand, CCP's non-intervention in the economy has allowed a highly sophisticated financial market to grow that comprises a core gameplay element.

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