Space raiders destroy real money in EVE

44218-space_pirates-thumb-200x159-44217.jpg

EVE, if you haven’t heard of it, is a space-based MMO run almost exclusively by the players. The economy, wars, and conflicts within the game are mostly against corporate empires run by and filled with real people piloting and building ships making it a place where anything can (and has) happened.

MMO site, Massively, has the goods on this latest collision between real-life and what should have been a relaxing evening for one trader in the game.

In short, the main currency used in EVE is called ISK and, like gold farming, has its own shady cottage industry where people with money can “buy” ISK instead of earning it the old fashioned way. It’s not legal according to the game’s rules, so as one way to fight this, EVE’s developers created the 30-day Pilot License Extension. Players can buy these with real cash to extend their membership.

Now here’s the rub: it’s also represented as an item in the game which can then be traded for ISK. Thus, people can buy a PLEX (as the Extensions are called) and trade it to other players for massive loads of ISK if they want to. We’re talking billions. Later, they made it so that PLEX could be carried on ships for transport. You can see where this is going.

One player apparently had 74 of these things in their ship when two raiders came by and attempted to seize it…only to end up destroying the ship and its cargo. Real world value? $1,294 USD. And in EVE, since this was technically within the rules of how it is played where risk is everything, I don’t expect any of that to be coming back to the owner.

Ouch.