Monday, November 4, 2013

The Global War On Illicit RMT: CCP's War Of Attrition Continues

With CCP's General Counsel Bill Winter taking control on the legal front in the war on illicit RMT, I can go back to my normal business of watching the illicit RMT sites.  I'm glad because while everyone else was distracted by SOMERgate, another website on my watch list went out of business.  Safe EVE Isk, an EVE-specific website that sold only ISK, let the domain registration lapse.  That makes 3 websites that have stopped selling ISK over the past 6 weeks.  The other two, IGE and MOGS, did so between 22-29 September.

Yes, you can copy this graph
I should add that yesterday's figures still represent 12 ISK sellers and 14 ISK-selling websites as I found another EVE-specific illicit RMT site on Google Ads to replace Safe EVE Isk.  I had to visit a furniture store website to find the ad, but I eventually found one.

The graph is the first one I've published showing the effect of IGE and MOGS leaving the ISK market.  What appears to have happened is that some of the RMT companies were engaged in a price war that had kept the median price of 1 billion ISK hovering around the $22 USD mark.  But then CCP came back from vacation at the end of July and Team Security initiated a ban wave

That result was a lot of illicit RMT sites, not just the ones on my watch list, selling ISK for at or above the price one could get from purchasing 2 PLEX directly from CCP and selling the PLEX in Jita.  What can't continue, won't.  With the withdrawal of a giant like IGE from the market competing for the supply of ISK, the prices fell down to the $24-$25 per billion ISK range, with the cheapest price on my watch list at $17.64 per billion ISK.  Yesterday's median of $24.72 per billion ISK was still 12.4% over the median on 28 July.

What does the rest of 2013 have in store for the ISK sellers?  Despite the temporary bump in the price of ISK in Jita caused by the SOMERblink sell off in an effort to RMT as much ISK as possible before the 7 November deadline, multiple character training promises to keep the demand for PLEX up and the real life cost of ISK down.  The only question remaining is how high will the price of PLEX go?

The other questions, of course, are what changes did CCP put into Rubicon that will affect bots and what sneaky stuff is Team Security sneaking into the game at the same time.  Just because one part of CCP is having difficulty with the RMT issue doesn't mean that everyone is.  CCP is not a monolithic company where everyone knows everything everyone else does.  Some people in Reykjavik are actually pretty good at catching the bad guys and I haven't heard that anyone's told them to stop.


  1. As always an interesting read. Thanks.

  2. I still have not seen a good answer from CCP as to why they cannot release specific hard data about the demographics of the people they catch RMT'ing, and what corp's/alliances they belong to.

    All this crap about privacy concerns goes up in smoke if they don't release the name of the chars, just the name of the corps and alliances involved in buying and selling ISK, and the quantity of ISK involved.

    But no, they don't. Which leads back to the old question, which RMT operations are they protecting? Clearly, after Somer-gate, it is clear that they do look the other way at some RMT operations, at least until the public heat gets too much.