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The EVE Online Bank Job

Player embezzles billions of moonbux from player-run EVE Online bank.

It was the perfect crime. When you're assisting in the administration of a player-run bank in EVE Online, billions of ISK (the in-game currency of EVE), flow through your fingertips. Billions! And a player named Xabier decided that he had to make a go of it. So he's apparently embezzled 80 billion ISK and hit the road.

Read this bit from Massively's coverage of this event and see how many sentences it takes you before you feel like you live in Crazy Town, USA. (Sugar. Baby.)
Massively contacted Xabier today, who stated that the value of assets taken from Dynasty Banking was 86 billion ISK, adding that the total value is now 106.2 billion ISK due to how it was invested. He also stressed to Massively that he's used some of this ISK to repay his friends who invested with Dynasty Banking. We also spoke with Manalapan, the Chairman of Dynasty Banking, who placed the embezzled amount at 82.5 billion ISK. Manalapan has released a statement in hopes of quelling rumors related to the theft, which comes in the wake of two senior members of Dynasty Banking stepping down from their roles.
To me, MMO games involve right-clicking on things and swinging swords at stuff until it falls over. This sort of futuristic Trade-Wars-but-not-a-BBS-door-game stuff just makes my eyes glaze over. We fear what we don't understand. But how awesome is it that a group of players can just decide to run a bank, and then one of them can just decide he's had enough and bail on the whole thing with a bunch of the cash? I mean, since it's all in-world, it's not like there can be any actual real-world repercussions. But I bet this guy will have crazy men in spaceships following him for the rest of his EVE Online life. All this kind of makes me want to play a little EVE Online for myself... just so I can one day steal a bunch of money and blast off into the eternal night of outer space.

Read the full story on Massively for info on how this actually impacts players who invested their hard-earned ISKs in this venture.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
It was the perfect crime. When you're assisting in the administration of a player-run bank in EVE Online, billions of ISK (the in-game currency of EVE), flow through your fingertips. Billions! And a player named Xabier decided that he had to make a go of it. So he's apparently embezzled 80 billion ISK and hit the road.

Read this bit from Massively's coverage of this event and see how many sentences it takes you before you feel like you live in Crazy Town, USA. (Sugar. Baby.)
Massively contacted Xabier today, who stated that the value of assets taken from Dynasty Banking was 86 billion ISK, adding that the total value is now 106.2 billion ISK due to how it was invested. He also stressed to Massively that he's used some of this ISK to repay his friends who invested with Dynasty Banking. We also spoke with Manalapan, the Chairman of Dynasty Banking, who placed the embezzled amount at 82.5 billion ISK. Manalapan has released a statement in hopes of quelling rumors related to the theft, which comes in the wake of two senior members of Dynasty Banking stepping down from their roles.
To me, MMO games involve right-clicking on things and swinging swords at stuff until it falls over. This sort of futuristic Trade-Wars-but-not-a-BBS-door-game stuff just makes my eyes glaze over. We fear what we don't understand. But how awesome is it that a group of players can just decide to run a bank, and then one of them can just decide he's had enough and bail on the whole thing with a bunch of the cash? I mean, since it's all in-world, it's not like there can be any actual real-world repercussions. But I bet this guy will have crazy men in spaceships following him for the rest of his EVE Online life. All this kind of makes me want to play a little EVE Online for myself... just so I can one day steal a bunch of money and blast off into the eternal night of outer space.

Read the full story on Massively for info on how this actually impacts players who invested their hard-earned ISKs in this venture.
Posted by superezekiel

If there's anything cooler than calling first and adding nothing to the discussion, I don't know it.

And if this happened in WoW, he'd be fucking arrested.
Posted by TheMikelGuereca

This is like the Tea Pot Dome Scandal... except in space!

Edited by Alphazero

Woah. Freaky-deaky. I was just talking about Trade Wars 2002.

This might have some real world repercussions... in my brief stint playing Eve I received roughly ten billion messages offering to sell me ISK for real Obamadollars.

Now how do I transfer my ISK over to my Fable 2 character again?

Posted by Jayge_

Yeah, Eve Online has a long history of things like this going on. And that's why it's one of the greatest and most unique MMOs ever made.

Posted by Slippery

That's the beauty of EVE, this kind of thing is practically encouraged (Doesn't hurt that everytime it does more people start playing).

Not the game for me though, far too slow paced.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

What can I say? People who are into EVE online are really into EVE online. Enough to do a virtual crime in a virtual world.

Posted by MattBodega

Maybe Online MMO's like EVE have it right.
WOW is such a tightly controlled experience- there doesn't exist anything in the game that requires the same amount of user participation as a player run bank- but this kind of wild theft is totally BADASS. Think about how awesome it must be knowing that this player ripped off a fake corporation for billions of dollars.
Maybe leaving a world in the hands of players would allow more things like this to happen. That game would be totally lawless, but it would also be AWESOME.

Online
Posted by AndrewB

Can you be sent to prison for virtual embezzling?

Posted by Crono

There are SOOOOOOOOO many of these kinds of stories from EVE;  I love to see these kinds of amazing stories happen.  I wish more MMOs had the balls EVE does.

Posted by YellowChu

That's like awesome. Steal some virtual cash, in a virtual world, also hilarious that virtual people are "stepping down" from the virtual bank.

Posted by Seram

One of these days, this game will become reality and our current lives will become virtual reality.

Posted by Seram

One of these days, this game will become reality and our current existence will become virtual reality.

Posted by Dauragon

EVE is full of this stuff. If I recall correctly there was this huge starship heist that involved one faction merging with another faction and spending pretty much a whole year accumulating money and ships just so they could betray the other faction and run off with all of said ships and money.


EVE online is awesome.

Posted by Gorillawhat

Awesome, wheres Jason Statham when you need him?

Posted by TheJadeAngel

Wow imagine what they could do with real world companies . Macdonalds employee embezzles  20 billion dollars , found yachting in the Greek Isles .

Posted by NinjaSquirrel

That's why eve online will live forever in its own little corner of the mmo world. Awesome stories like this.

Edited by Claude

I tried it for about an hour and it's above and beyond me... or maybe time allowed... and you gain skill when not online.

I thought the ISK/virtual money was worth a certain % in real money, because you can sell it. I see a case.

Posted by AndrewB

Oooo! Oooo! I have another! When's the movie coming out?

Posted by cjmhockey

Haha... awesome

Posted by geinarm

I love this game

Posted by AspiringAndy

Wow, I never new that EVE was that deep.
Too bad the client is like, 12 GB..
Otherwise I would play it.
Posted by SpikeDelight

I've gotta say... Bravo to that guy! You really caught everybody with their pants down! Nice one lol!

Posted by NathHaw

EVE is one of those games that I occasionally return to play.  I've never played a game that people take so seriously.  It's rather complex and certainly very different than almost any other game in both good and bad ways.  I'd imagine this guy probably has some bounties on his head at this moment as well as an adoring fan base.

Posted by John1912
Posted by Shadow

mkay...and what's to stop the developers from just erasing that money from existance and refunding everything to its rightful owner?

Edited by Packfan104L4

Well for you people that have never played the game.  If you converted the amount of ISK stolen to actual cash value (you can by a Game Time Card and sell it for ISK for $34.99 for around 670 million ISK atm):

3.1 million US dollars.

That's one HELL of a pull


@Shadow

Because it's part of the game.  Hell I've stolen money all of the time in the game.  I steal rigs, I steal cans, I steal ore.  I steal more than I buy?  Have I gotten one item taken away by CCP.  Nope!  Cuz it's part of the game.

Posted by TooWalrus

$3,100,000 in game time? Holy shit dude. How awesome is that? He should open one of those ISK selling websites and sell it for cheaper than the game time actually costs.

Posted by BeeMac420

What is this game? Wall street training?

Edited by remixrunixlp

Though during my short time in its universe proved EVE was far from my type of game, it is these very things that make me wish I could invest the time in it necessary to become this kind of asshole.

For those who don't realize this, EVE's developers love letting their players create and mold their universe into whatever it is they choose. Only occasionally, when their players start to get too smart and try to alter very basic game mechanics (like, i dunno, taking over safe areas of space typically populated by new players) does EVE's developers step in and administer punishment...but even then its with a twist. Instead of cancelling your account of what you've done to the game, they usually show up in force sporting the most badass ships available and completely destroy everything the offender has of value.

I guarantee you this game will still be kicking and screaming far longer than any other MMO on the market because of the open minded premise it offers all its gamers who can commit the amount of time needed to pull crap like this off.

Posted by Kontrapunkt

All too real... Man.

Edited by Blackout62

Shame that's not the worst thing thats happened in EVE.

http://computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=180867&site=pcg

on another note: the guy had the style to leave the company quoting Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy,  apparently his bio now states “Thanks for all the fish”.

Posted by Fracture

Eve online would be awesome if it weren't so mind numbingly boring. But if your into it's really lazy ass pace it's great for this kind of stuff.

Posted by Llyr

I tried to get into EVE but I found the whole setup of the menus and everything extremely confusing.

Posted by Sekoku

EveZZzzzZZzzzzZZzzz...

Wake me up when Ultima Online comes back and does space faster than Eve does.

Posted by Hef

He could be the CEO of a real company! He's apparently really good as what they do best; embezzeling!

Posted by MeatSim

That is crazy in a cool sorta way.

Posted by zityz

That's crazy business, literally.

I wanted to try out EVE cause there really is a lack of future/space rpgs out there but it doesn't look like the type to start off with this late in the game.

Posted by Soroushy

Oh, crap, Jeff. You mentioned Trade Wars 2002. Then there was P.L.A.N.E.T.S.... then L.O.R.D.... man, I miss those days.

Posted by MB
Packfan104L4 said:
"Well for you people that have never played the game.  If you converted the amount of ISK stolen to actual cash value (you can by a Game Time Card and sell it for ISK for $34.99 for around 670 million ISK atm):

3.1 million US dollars.
Whoah dude, let's break down the math.

86,000,000,000 Isk embezzled, right? 

If a game time card can be purchased for approximately 67,000,000 Isk, then the guy can buy about 1300 game time cards.  That works out to a little over $45,000.00 in actual money.  Not that it matters, I'm sure CCP would simply ban him or take the Isk back long before that ever happened.
Moderator
Edited by Cubical

In EVE you can  higher players to kill the dude who stole your cash.  Happens all the time in this game  there was another large job done before i played the game free for like 4 months found it more fun to watch the crazyness of people backstabbing mostly since i was to weak to do anything cool like get money for killing people.

The other jobs story is Slightly more entertaing since it invloles revenge undercover spys  with secret codewords ,and people left floating in space before being murdered on request of the "client", and people stealing rare large battleships  besides money stealing.

more heist/assasin/murder stories here.


I
http://eve.klaki.net/heist/


http://eve.klaki.net/heist/page-1.jpg


http://eve.klaki.net/heist/page-2.jpg



http://eve.klaki.net/heist/page-3.jpg


http://eve.klaki.net/heist/page-4.jpg




Posted by Slique

Argh! Damn you, Cubical. I was just about to post the link to that story myself. I absolutely adore it, and everytime I see it it makes me want to get into EVE.

Posted by kidman

aaahhh, love the 'butterfly' touch there Jeff;) CXT baby!

Posted by Vimes

Whilst its a crappy thing to do it speaks volumes for the free player run narrative in Eve-Online. I play in a mmo with similar freedom though its a lot more fast paced and massive. Beyond Protocol is a Scifi MMORTS and you can find info elsewhere so I wont bore you, but the game has been live near 3 months and blood feuds over folk stealing all th emoney from the guild bank have already happened and are very much affecting the overall narrative. The devs are active and encourage folks to stretch the boundaries, and have tried to supply us with enough tools to pretty much design/customise everything - so many ideas have sprung up the devs never even considered but love and endorsed such actions.
I am finding that with this freedom comes some very good role play - so much so id declare scripted  and dev made narrative games like WoW to be 3d platform games not mmorpg's. Player defined narrative games like Eve and Beyond Protocol are awesome and truly blend hard core and casual gamers well.

Edited by ahoodedfigure

There are no real world repercussions?  Maybe if people didn't already buy and sell ISK in side accounts in exchange for real money, or spend a monthly fee in order to accrue this fake cash, only to have it stolen.  That seems fairly real to me, even if the solution is something like "stop playing EVE"

What struck me as surreal is you don't tend to get open interviews with real-life crooks about how much money they stole before they've been acquitted or sentenced to prison, and even then they're often cagey about it.  This dude actually said he had MORE than was believed, and he made a point to say he'd payed back some investors, as though that excused it! 

I find the whole thing amusing, but games like this, despite their saying they're player run sims, tend to push what we consider to be crime to the extreme simply because there's little in the way of enforcement of the law, there.  Punishment isn't always a deterrent, but it sure as hell would be for many of these people.

Posted by pause422

This is so goddamn awesome.

Posted by Jackel2072

this little story sold me! im downloading the 14 day free trail and giving the game a shot!

Posted by Johnny5

When they say virtual "world" they mean it.

One of the reasons why Eve is pretty amazing and scary at the same time.

Posted by PenguinDust

So when does the crazy kid who spent weeks-on-end hunched over a terminal in some South Korean internet coffee hut show up on the doorstep of this player with a machete and a slippery grip on reality?

Posted by Duckbutter

must be nice to see all that real world stuff happen in Eve. i tried the trial and ended up mining all day. shortly after i said "booooooooring" out loud i uninstalled it.

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