Monday, November 5, 2012

CCP's War On Bots: The Price Of ISK

With both Eve News 24 and reporting that at least 20 pilots from Against ALL Authories banned for participating in the illicit ISK trade based on a leaked Eve mail on Eve Skunk, I decided to look for evidence that ISK selling web sites are feeling any shortages.  Getting information on the illicit trade in virtual currencies in MMORGPs is difficult.  In lieu of attempting to create my own database of sites I use MMOBUX to try to track the illicit ISK trade.

Over the past week the activity concerning Eve Online has increased.  Since last Sunday the median price of ISK sold by the companies listed on MMOBUX rose from $22.00 / 1 billion ISK to $22.50 / 1 billion ISK.  Overall 5 sites increased prices while one site lowered its price.  During the last seven days MMOBUX delisted six sites, including which apparently is out of business, while adding two new sellers, reducing the number of sites listed from 31 down to 27.

Looking closer into the numbers shows something interesting.  Most of the activity took place amongst the sites selling ISK the cheapest.  Looking at the thirteen web sites offering the lowest prices, 5 sites raised prices and 4 sites were delisted.  The five sites raised prices an average of 7.1%.  I don't think the rise in prices is necessarily a result of the increase in the price of buying ISK using CCP-approved PLEX.  Over the past week the decline in the price of PLEX resulted in a rise in the approved trading of ISK1 from $30.17 up to $30.35.

So is the price hike due to the actions of CCP against alliances engaged in the RMT trade?  If so, this week's rise in price should be the first of many to come.  Due to the low price of ISK by purchasing PLEX through CCP compared to the prices charged by the illicit ISK sellers I doubt we will see a near tripling of the illicit ISK price as happened followed Unholy Rage.  That means that another successful attack on the illicit ISK network in Eve could see a reduction in companies selling ISK.

1.  Price determined using average price of PLEX in The Forge and purchasing 2 PLEX ($34.99).


  1. Right now you'd have to be a complete idiot to buy 1b isk for $22.50 and have quite a high risk of sanctions at some future date instead of just buying 2 plex (worth about 1.2b) for $34.99.

    The amount of money you save is trivial and even if you don't get caught you'd be anxious every time RMT is mentioned. Just not worth it.

    I suspect the only reason any illicit isk is selling is simply habit, that some people have always bought off the black market and haven't checked the value recently (nor read this blog).

  2. CCP will never get rid of all of the RMTers, since a bunch of them are old Goons, and Sreegs will not ban any of his old pals. I would not even be surprised if he is supplying them with intel to avoid being caught.

    Certain well-known Goons have been raking in RL money from RMT for several years now. It isn't exactly a big secret. These guys don't even play Eve anymore - they are just meta-gaming it to hell, in order to farm as much RL money before CCP eventually goes under.

    1. Nothing wrong with this, if they are smart enough to get away with it - just like those WoW gold farmers. It isn't actually illegal or anything, right?

    2. If you're making money from playing a game, wouldn't governments see that as taxable income? Which I highly doubt is being declared and thus illegal