[Updated] Real Money Trading Loophole Sees Players Attempting to "Cash Out" of EVE Online
The ongoing "scandal" of EVE Online developer CCP Games' apparent support of a third-party player organisation, SOMERblink, making a real-world profit from in-game activity (albeit indirectly through gambling), has seen a rash of players attempting to do the same by various means, including offering their in-game currency as a bonus for following their affiliate link to an official Electronic Time Code (ETC) reseller.
At the core of the issue is EVE Online's End User Licence Agreement (EULA), which does not allow Real Money Trading (RMT). However, there are claims that this rule has been undermined or ignored by CCP's own decision to support SOMERblink's activities.
GameSkinny has approached CCP Games for clarification on the matter, but no official response has yet been forthcoming; however, members of the player-run Council of Stellar Management have offered assurances that the matter is being addressed internally.
In response to concerns from Twitter users that CCP's strategy was just to ignore the issue until it went away, CSM delegate Mike Dawe responded:
Meanwhile, the community dissent continues, largely beyond the forums as discussion of RMT is against EVE Online's forum rules.
- EVE-O Forum thread with CCP's official statement of October 10th.
- 'The Worms are Out of the Can' - EVE Radio DJ Funky Bacon's explanation of the EULA loophole being exploited (October 26th).
- RMT analysis specialist blogger NosyGamer's excellent in-depth discussions: The Slippery Slope (October 23rd) & SOMERblink, A SOMER Clone, And GTCs (October 28th)
Alleged Player Cashouts:
- DNSBlack ($2,475 - apparently "a troll"),
- Katarina Reid ($560),
- Poetic Stanziel ($1340 via Ebay sales),
- Carrey Winter (thread locked by CCP),
- Dark Decay (thread locked by CCP after 40 PLEX sold),
- Shai 'Hulud (thread locked by CCP)
Update: Katarina Reid, one of the only players whose forum thread had not been locked by CCP moderators, has posted explaining that her activities have also been curtailed, with CCP instructing the ETC resellers not to engage with player schemes:
Not sure if im allowed to link the letter given to resellers but it says to stop players trading ingame items for cash. ETC + bonus items may not be direclty or indirectly traded by the buyer for isk. EULA says cant sell ingame stuff for cash. 10 days for reseller to stop it or else.
You can still support me for no reward when you buy your ETC's here.
$660 made for me
377 sale of ETC's
$13,195 for CCP
188b given out"
Quite what this means for SOMERblink and other, similar organisations, remains to be seen.
Update 2: A development which casts the above forum post by Katarina Reid into question, the following statement, allegedly made in the SOMERblink Lotteries in-game channel by a representative of SOMERblink, was as follows:
[ 2013.10.30 06:59:51 ] Andre Ox > Blake - CCP hasn't in any way asked us to stop. They're talking with the affilaites, the guys who actual do the sales, and trying to find a solution. But forum trolls to the contrary, they've not backed away from saying the credit was kosher at all :)
Still no official response from CCP however.