Playing video games online can easily be a frustrating experience if you’re not on the winning side. Whether you’re blaming the netcode for a string of losses in your favorite fighting game, or calling unfair teams to cover your loss in your MOBA of choice, no one likes to lose out — but in the hugely popular spacefaring MMO EVE Online, the stakes can be much higher than they are elsewhere.
In the past week, the EVE Online community has been rocked by a massive heist pulled off in-game by a player known as Non Erata, eclipsing previous robberies in the game. According to an interview with EVE News 24, Non Erata had been planning the theft for over six months, and will apparently land the player on the list of the 10 most successful EVE Online thieves in the history of the game.
Non Erata pulled off the heist by infiltrating Vanguard Frontiers, a corporation operating in the game and comprised of real-life players. Alongside an estimated 20,000 blueprints, the player managed to steal 600 Billion ISK, the game’s primary currency. Since ISK can be used to purchase subscription time to the MMO, it’s real-world value has been estimated to be in excess of $13,000.
The sheer amount of money that Non Erata has stolen raises ethical questions regarding his actions. The player has been lauded as something of a hero for his escapade, but the fact is that he ripped off the large group of players who had been working together as Vanguard Frontiers to raise that money as a team.
The open-ended nature of a game like EVE Online means that Non Erata’s actions can be written off as fair play in a highly competitive environment. However, it’s difficult to see all that much difference between this gambit and the recent story of a troll deleting players’ accounts in Destiny and GTA V — other than the fact that Non Erata benefits financially, in this case.
At the end of the day, it’s a consideration that players have to make before getting into the game. While other MMOs typically hit headlines for more heartwarming stories about the way their players interact, EVE Online makes headlines for a more ruthless sort of ingenuity. The depths of space can be a dangerous place, especially when there’s real money on the line.
EVE Online is available now as a digital download for Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
Source: EVE News 24