EVE Online, the space-faring MMORPG that can be affectionately described as the prettiest economic simulation in the world, has set a weird sort of record for itself this week when a couple players became the first to destroy some in-game items that could otherwise have been redeemed for over $1,000 worth of game time. You see, a month ago, EVE Online allowed an in-game item that can be used to pay your real life EVE subscription fees to be transportable as ship’s cargo. Anything that is transportable on a ship can be stolen, or destroyed.
Wait, you say, what? I… uh. Why?
It’s the future now. Allow us to explain.
Like all MMOs, EVE Online has problems with people buying and selling the in-game curency, Interstellar Kredits (or ISK). Their (admittedly quite clever) response to this was to allow the purchase of paid game time to become a part of the in-game economy. The price of a two month subscription nets you two 30-day Pilots Extension Licenses (or PLEX), which can be redeemed for a month of game time each. Players who find it easy to amass ISK can purchase PLEX from other players, and essentially play for free. Players who find it more difficult to get ISK have the option of turning their subscription time into ISK.
Of course, things got much more interesting when the item was made transportable.
Players from Method Of Destruction corporation became the first to prove just how dangerous it can be to transport PLEX in a ship’s cargo hold. After scanning the cargo of a lone Kestrel in Jita, “slickdog” and “Viktor Vegas” discovered that the ship was carrying a whopping 74 PLEX. Unfortunately for the trigger-happy duo, all 74 were destroyed when they blew the ship up.
74 PLEX comes out to six years and two months of game time, or $1,295. As Massively points out, “the real winner here is [the game maker], who was paid for $1,295 worth of game time that can never be redeemed.”
EVE players are suggesting that CCP Games, maker of EVE Online, donate the value of all destroyed PLEX to a charity, similar to a drive the game maker mounted earlier this year that raised $40,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti.
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