Friday, March 6, 2015

CCP's War On Illicit RMT: A Delayed Increase

I finished compiling the statistics for Player Actions and the Jita PLEX market for February last night. Let's just say the results were interesting, but expected. Bear with me, because I don't have any nice graphs or bar charts. Those will come sometime in April when I write up my comparison posts between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015.

The bad news is, that the sales of ISK from sellers on Player Auctions jumped from 717 billion ISK in February 2014 to 1485 billion ISK in February 2015. I don't track PA on a continuous basis, but that's the largest amount of ISK I've tracked of the 9 full months I've tracked since the beginning of 2013. In comparison, the amount of ISK sold only increased in January year-over-year from 1130 billion ISK in 2014 to 1224 billion ISK in 2015.

So why the increase in February? Shouldn't the change in ban policy for purchasing ISK decreased ISK sales? Or did the message even get out into the community? People coming from games like WoW probably don't realize that in EVE, players get banned for 7 days for a first-time ISK purchasing offense. Maybe Rixx and Sindel should have included getting caught with botted ISK in their "Dumb Ways To Die" parody.

Now, with that much in sales, I would at least hope that the price went up during the month like I've seen previously. Didn't happen this time. The average price of 1 billion ISK sold dropped from $11.34 USD in January down to $10.80 USD in February. Evidently, supply is not an issue, although the ban policy change probably contributed to the dropping price. And if the volume of sales had remained steady, I would attribute the drop in price to CCP's revised enforcement rules.

I do have one theory as to why so much ISK has entered the secondary ISK market. However, I don't want to voice it at this time, as I need to wade through the muck of some forums to try to correlate sales spikes/price drops with events I think I remember seeing. Also, I want to see the March data. Oh, do I want to see the March data! I'll probably need to extend the monitoring into April, which is something I hadn't planned on.

Also, I want to see what comes out of the Security presentation at Fanfest. I may find out that Team Security is doing sneaky stuff and I'm wearing a tinfoil hat. I hope so. But until then, I'll have to dig into some forums and take really careful notes. Ugh!


  1. I think there's an easy explanation. While the ISBoxer changes went into effect January 1, naturally not everybody would sell immediately, both to avoid the glut of now-unnecessary alts and to "give it a try" at NOT using input broadcasting. Once that urge is exhausted, those characters hit the market and players "cash out".

  2. Not hard to understand. Sales increases due to drop in price; drop in price due to increased supply of ISK; increased supply of ISK due to more players cashing out before Team Security confiscates the ISK from their accounts.