Thursday, November 1, 2012

Illicit ISK Price During Unholy Rage

I usually consider CCP's War On Bots™ as beginning in March 2011 with CCP Sreegs' security presentation at Fanfest 2011.  But the Icelandic game company has battled botters and the illicit RMT trade long before CCP Sreegs arrived on the scene.  While doing some research on illicit RMT I ran across and article on MMOBUX discussing the jump in price of illicit ISK in the aftermath of Unholy Rage in June 2009. 

The article states that the price of illicit ISK rose from $25 / 1 billion ISK to $65 / 1 billion ISK as a result of Unholy Rage as illicit ISK selling sites were ravaged by the operation.  The interesting bit of information was the speculation surrounding how CCP uncovered so many illicit ISK operations at once: the EBank scandal.
"One potential cause for this massive strike against ISK farmers could be the recent case of a player defrauding an in-game bank which he ran. The according to the game-rules 'legally' embezzled amount was valued at roughly 5000 USD. It is possible that this highly publicized case lead the Iceland-based developers of the game on the trail of major currency trading operations.

"Ricdic, as the former CEO-gone-rogue of the bank called himself in the game, acquired a currency amount probably too large to sell to any single company alone. In the process of getting rid of his hot goods and transferring them in return for real USD, he probably revealed several large currency trading networks."
The article reveals a few interesting facts about the illicit ISK selling business back in 2009.  First, the price of ISK is down approximately 12% today as compared to 3 years ago.  The second is that no company was able to process 200 billion ISK, or at least that's the conclusion of someone who follows the illicit RMT trade.  Processing that much ISK put the entire business at risk.  Next is the point to which the price rose.  I'm pretty sure that the $65 / 1 billion ISK was near the official rate obtainable by purchasing the newly introduced PLEX.  And the final conclusion I can find is that reading the articles at MMOBUX can give me a head's up on what Team Security is up to.  The article on MMOBUX was published on 10 July 2009 while the official dev blog announcing Unholy Rage came out on 17 August.  I'm aware that Unholy Rage occurred before CCP Sreegs was hired but the War on Bots™ is a conflict taking place in the shadows so finding any regular sources of information is always a good thing.

CCP Stillman made a bold statement at Eve Vegas about ending the social acceptance of illicit RMT and CCP Sreegs doubled down on going after the two handfuls of alliances whose leadership is engaged in the trade.  We've seen what happened in 2009 to the price of illicit ISK.  I'm looking forward to observing what occurs in 2013.


  1. "First, the price of ISK is down approximately 12% today as compared to 3 years ago."

    Down as compared to the $25 price or the $65 price?

    Also it should be noted that isk is a mudflationary currency albeit less so than in most other MMOs. In other words isk can be expected to get cheaper over time because characters get older and improve earning potential. The inflation-proof measure is probably plex price and if you measure current illegal isk against the plex (Eve's Gold Standard) it shows how effective CCP have been over the last 3 years. I remember plex being around 300m at the time of Unholy Rage.

  2. They came on an alliance for RMT right now: