Could Gambling Kingpins Be Ruining EVE Online?

A year ago the Imperium was seen as an absolute—a kind of immutable law of the universe in EVE Online [official site]. They were the biggest coalition backed by the richest players armed with the most cunning diplomatic team. Around their central alliance, the Goonswarm Federation (‘goons’), were staunch allies who would hold the line if anyone dared invade. Their capital in the region of Deklein was thought to be an impregnable fortress from which flags with little bees waved in the solar wind. That’s not what Deklein looks like today. Their home system, YA0-XJ, now has a new flag flying above it, and the Imperium’s list of allies seems to be growing shorter by the month.

For important context and background on this story, we highly recommend reading Brendan Caldwell’s article chronicling the start of the war.

I arrive in the Saranen star system to find it buzzing with activity. Over 400 pilots are in the local chat channel and among their disjointed conversations comes the occasional offer from a player who claims he will “double your ISK (the currency used in EVE)” if you send it to him. I find the Imperium pilots flocked around the Quafe Company Warehouse, which itself orbits the moon of a massive gas giant. On the ‘undock,’ where ships depart from the safety of the station, a ballet of frozen corpses gently turn in the vacuum of space. This is what the Imperium now calls home. According to their enemies, it’s a refugee camp. But like everything to do with this war, the truth is a little more complicated.

“The Imperium as a whole convinced everyone in EVE that we were invulnerable for more than six months,” The Mittani, leader of the Imperium, tells me. “We didn’t come under any serious attack and we were horrifically overstretched. We essentially spent half a year enjoying all the profit from a bunch of regions we had no hope of holding in the long term.”

And then two months ago a group of gambling kingpins decided to call that bluff. They funded a small conflict that quickly spiralled out of control until over half of the galaxy wanted to bring the Imperium to ruin. And so that’s exactly what they did.

EVE Online’s new great war has ended with a disappointing fizzle and not a glorious bang. Moneybadger Coalition, the army of alliances assembled by the bankers of EVE, marched on the Imperium, who promptly abandoned everything for the safety of ‘low security space’ which is owned by EVE’s four computer-controlled empires. And though The Mittani still asserts with every breath that the Imperium is a force to be reckoned with, most of EVE Online is busting out the champagne and patting each other on the back.

But at the center of this whole conflict are the bankers who made this whole war possible and the gambling website that has forever upset the political ecosystem of EVE Online. To many, they are heroes. But, if you believe what The Mittani has to say, in banding together to cast out one villain, EVE Online’s community might have just gotten into bed with a far more dangerous one.

Out With the Old Gods, In With the New

The Mittani has never been a more contentious figure in EVE Online than he is right now. On the one hand, his manipulating and strategizing led to the forming of the greatest superpower EVE Online has ever seen. But the scorched-earth tactics and soured relationships that form the foundation of that empire have made him largely unpopular with just about everyone but his own people. He was once a kind of celebrity in EVE Online, but nowadays he’s considered the villain.

When I phone him over Skype to talk, it isn’t long until the conversation becomes centered around EVE’s new celebrities: the bankers.

Lenny Kravitz2, Eep Eep, and 1RONBANK. These are the three people who, by tapping their obscene personal wealth earned from a third-party gambling website called I Want ISK, funded the coalition that brought the Imperium to its knees. For many, these men are heroes.

But The Mittani understandably has a different view. After all, they purchased the boot that just kicked his ass. But he isn’t terribly concerned with that at this moment. Instead, he’s convinced that in the war to expel one villain, the pilots of EVE Online have created another.

I Want ISK isn’t the first gambling website in EVE Online, but it might be the last. It works by allowing players to take the money they earn in EVE and exchange it for equivalent credits they can use to gamble in a series of games hosted on the website. Winnings can either be cashed out back into EVE or used to continue playing, and special tokens earned through spending can purchase scratch cards or lottery tickets.

The amount of in-game money that I Want ISK makes in a month is positively staggering. It was enough that a player like Lenny Kravitz2 could use his personal earnings to fund the largest coalition of alliances ever seen—trillions of ISK. For reference, the largest fight in EVE Online cost both sides 11 trillion ISK or an estimated $300,000 USD. Lenny Kravitz2 has that sitting in his piggy bank.

“Whoever controls the gambling essentially has an infinite funnel of other people’s money that then flows into the game through their control,” The Mittani says. “That control cannot be stopped, or altered, or impacted in any way.”

As a sandbox MMO, EVE Online has always pushed players to find new and inventive ways to make money. When you fly into the largest trade hub in New Eden, the local chat window quickly fills with players peddling cheap scams like offering to double ISK or selling items with a few extra zeroes tacked in hopes that a wealthy player is bad at math. It’s not only allowed within the rules of EVE Online, it’s encouraged by its developers.

But I Want ISK represents a new frontier for EVE Online, and it’s a terrifying place to be for members of the Imperium. Because I Want ISK exists out of the game, there’s no feasible way to ever fight back—not without resorting to illegal methods like hacking and taking down the website. According to The Mittani, there’s nothing keeping this new superpower in check.

“There is no counterplay when you are dealing with a distributed network of gambling addicts funding any given casino,” The Mittani warns. “The only attempt to counterplay within the game itself is to attempt to set up your own gambling site and do the same thing. It creates an arms race to have bigger and better casinos. If you cannot stop a casino, then each side, in order to get a competitive advantage, must become ever more exploitative to the real human beings who are gambling addicts outside of the game to achieve parity within the game.”

It’s not the first time The Mittani uses that word—gambling addict. When I bring it up, he’s blunt about his belief that websites like I Want ISK profit off of the misery of players with compulsive behavior. But while the dangers and cost of gambling have been debated for decades, The Mittani contests that gambling websites like I Want ISK are worse for one sole reason.

“Whenever you find one of these player setup third-party casinos that piggybacks off an online game, they’re unregulated because they cross international boundaries, but they’re also open to children. I think there’s an extremely problematic, societal level issue, of having MMOs that have casinos that essentially are promoting and enabling under-aged gambling.”

It’s a pretty damning remark to make, and only the latest angle used to try and vilify the bankers of EVE Online. In April, an article was posted to The Mittani’s website specializing in coverage of EVE Online that attempted to form an argument against the legality of I Want ISK by arguing that they were in violation of Florida state law.

The Man Who Sold the World

Lenny Kravitz2, the most forward-facing member of the bankers who started this war, likes to think of it differently. “We’re not advocating gambling with real money,” he says. “EVE is very focused on personal responsibility. I believe that people have a personal responsibility to follow the laws of their country. We just provide a service, and if you’re not following the law, we can’t be held responsible.”

Lenny goes on to address the issue of gambling addiction, saying that, above all else, I Want ISK doesn’t exist to exploit compulsive behaviours in players. “If you know you have a gambling addiction, you can always talk to a banker and we’ll shut down your account and give you your money back. We want people to play responsibly.”

But even CCP isn’t sure that websites like I Want ISK aren’t harmful to EVE Online. At this year’s Fanfest in Iceland, I sat down with executive producer Andie Nordgren to get her thoughts.

“It’s really interesting and really challenging, and there are lots of opinions about this in different directions,” she says. “There is some outside the game stuff that we are explicitly allowing for people to charge ISK for, and we’re continuously monitoring those activities to see if it’s appropriate. But now, of course, it’s a politically charged situation where any move we would make or not make potentially impacts the current conflict. You can argue for either side.”

And that’s exactly the line that Lenny Kravitz2, Eep Eep, and 1RONBANK crossed when they pooled their resources to hire out mercenaries and form the Moneybadger Coalition to bring the Imperium down. While the wealthy elite of EVE Online have likely always influenced politics behind the scenes, even Lenny admits that what he did was crossing into new territory.

I ask him whether he thinks websites like I Want ISK risk seriously upsetting the delicate political balance of EVE Online. “Yes and no,” he says. “These gambling websites are all based on players going in there, trusting the sites enough to put their money in, and then they gamble.” Lenny uses the Imperium as an example, citing their controversial tactics like pretending to recruit players and stealing from them instead or supporting despised groups like CODE, to demonstrate how valuable customer trust is. “They tried to create their own gambling engine and it failed because the majority of the playerbase didn’t want to support it. If you have a gambling website that pushes its weight around and the community dislikes it, they’ll stop using them.”

When I follow up by asking what could stop him and the other bankers from using their funds to attack a different organization of the EVE community, he says: “We typically have a policy of neutrality. The only thing that broke that policy was SMA (SpaceMonkey’s Alliance) screwing over the site (referring to the Zombie heist detailed in Brendan’s article). If we’re biased in any way, we’ll lose money. One side of EVE or the other will choose not to gamble on our site.”

That still doesn’t address the fact of whether or not a single player in EVE Online should be able to fund an entire conflict with their personal bank account. While Lenny Kravitz2 might be kept personally accountable by his need to run a good business, there’s a worthwhile debate to be hand on whether or not casinos create an “arms race” like The Mittani suggests.

“That advantage of exploiting the gambling addiction of players in the game is so extreme that it unbalances the entire financial and resource based aspect,” The Mittani says. “Any kind of game that doesn’t have an age gate should not be allowing gambling period. There is a real human cost to promoting and incentivizing gambling addiction.”

It’s only one region of an evolving landscape unearthed by this latest conflict in EVE Online, and like everything in EVE, it’s mired in a sea of propaganda and bias. But whether or not CCP eventually decides websites like I Want ISK threaten the integrity of the sandbox by being too powerful or ethically wrong, it will be of little comfort to homeless Imperium.

But like all conflicts in EVE, the war isn’t over just because one side said so. “Wars are over when you decide to stop fighting them,” The Mittani says, and the Imperium and Goonswarm are going to keep fighting. Days earlier, a massive battle unfolded in Saranen, and amid the chaos The Mittani was right there on the frontlines fighting.

Despite what members of Moneybadger Coalition will say, Saranen is far from a refugee camp. Morale is high and every Goonswarm member I talk to seems to be having the time of their life.

“I have had the most fun I have ever had in EVE in the time I have been here,” one pilot tells me. “I most definitely do not think the war is lost.”

Another goon offers a similar opinion: “If there were no wars, the game wouldn’t be much fun. I think I’m on the funner side of the war.”

The Imperium might not own a hemisphere of New Eden all to itself, but the coming months will be the real test of whether or not it’s an empire destined to rise again or to fade quietly into EVE’s bloody history.

From this site

62 Comments

  1. Daniel says:

    I don’t play EVE but enjoy reading these. It’s like a sci-fi Spanish soap opera. That Mitani fellow’s pearl-clutching “won’t you please think of the children!?” is delightfully skeevy.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Eve Online’s community of wonderful characters is a serious reason to get involved. I mean, Mittani’s made death threats and joked about a guy killing himself, so him pivotting on his seat in order to take the moral highground is like a fantastic plot twist in a soap (or this actual space opera). People who have been playing since the 2nd Great War will know his tricks, but none of it matters – its what adds to the flavour of this game.

      As for gambling sites, especially in videogames – who cares, it’s a videogame. If you don’t wanna play, just walk away

      • QSpec says:

        For those interested:

        link to rockpapershotgun.com

      • rabbit says:

        glad you mentioned that. a guy that repeatedly called for people to urge a clearly-fragile user to kill himself is acting as the moral arbiter of the space universe.
        fuck off, mittani. fingers crossed you (and your drones) have had your day.

  2. SgtPepper1 says:

    Years ago CCP were working on station environments that would have gambling games in them which would have made these out-of-game sites irrelevant. But players threw one of the most ridiculous online temper tantrums ever against it, and Mittani and his council got them to shut the project down. Very ironic now that he’s out complaining about these sites when it could have been avoided in the first place.

    • lglethal says:

      I dont know. If what you say is true, then it shows this Mittani has had a pretty solid, unchanging stance against Gambling being involved in EVE Online. And if the player community got CCP to drop the notion of in-game gambling through a serious backlash, then that would sound like CCP should really be saying no to offline gambling as well.

      I would also question how you can trust an online casino not to be swinging things in its own favour. We have trust in real casinos because there is an authority in the government whose job it is to make sure the casino plays fair. Online, this doesnt happen. I would have concerns about ANY (real money or fake money) Casino online, all it takes is one line of code buried in the program to swings the odds just that little bit more to the house. The fact that the sites owners seem to have amassed a huge amount of money from the site (relatively quickly if I’m understanding the article right) would kind of imply that it aint exactly 100% on the level.

      By the way, I dont play EVE so I’m not on any side here…

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Casinos play fair? It’s a mugs game.
        Literally there is no way for a Casino to loose money. Unless they don’t know how to count. But basically it is always dipped in favour of them, legally, every game is. (Why worry about stealing the 1 mill payout of the lottery from their customers, when they make 1 mill or more for the privilege of running it)

        That’s what makes it a Casino and not a bank, or a charity.

      • evenan says:

        The mittani is just being salty that he’s lost the war, lets not forget he tried to start his own casino website that failed due to his alliance being widely known as scammers.

      • Baines says:

        It doesn’t mean The Mittani is anti-gambling. It could just as easily be that he realized that gambling was a potential threat to his own personal previously-believed-unstoppable force.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Casinos always cheat. If they didn’t cheat, they wouldn’t exist–you can’t reliably turn a profit off of a fair game. B we’ve collectively decided that at long as you only cheat according to clearly-established rules, it doesn’t actually count as cheating, so casinos make money hand over fist. Why would they risk their reputation (and thus their income stream) when they’re already sitting on a sure thing? When you’ve managed to make a business that amounts to putting out a shiny bucket that people empty their wallets into for no reason, you’d be a fool to also try to pickpocket their spare change as they walk away.

      • flidget says:

        He’s being vastly hypocritical about all this, is what he is – the CFC actually tried to start their own gambling site, the Evening Games Club, a couple of years ago, it just never took-off.

    • Distec says:

      I don’t think you really understand what players were throwing a fit over at that period in time.

      They were not railing against the concept of walking in stations, or any potential gambling within them. Maybe a few were, but these would have been an insignificant minority. There’s a whole lot of reasons wrapped up in that flashpoint, but a lot of it was because players were generally pissed that the game they subscribed to was being sidelined for other ventures, that parts of the game were being neglected to pursue a Jesus feature, and the leaked memo that suggested the addition of “gold ammo” microtransactions and other crap antithetical to the integrity of the sandbox.

      As for the station environments themselves, they’d been worked on since 2006 and all players got for it was a feature that was severely incomplete, had significant performance issues, and offered absolutely nothing of value. That last part is not hyperbole; anything you could do in your Captain’s Quarters could be done ten times more efficiently and quickly in your hangar without the godawful load times and walk speed.

      I would still really like to see it implemented and realized. But CCP dropped the ball on it too many times. I would rather they spend efforts elsewhere since they don’t seem to have the capability to realize that dream.

      • Josh W says:

        Yeah, I wasn’t in the game, but I followed that one with interest, the various ructions involved it being a sandbox-spaceship-spreadsheet game, where the development team was spending not enough time on the spaceships and spreadsheets, but rather features more amenable to supporting micro-transactions, or at least, that was the complaint.

        I think there was also something about the developers trying to make a whole new MMO, and fold third person engine and player customisation experience they were building up there into their primary game.

      • buzzmong says:

        ^^ This.

        Being an active player at the time, CCP released a shambles of a patch introducing a questionable feature, when there were severe problems with the game out in null sec and at the alliance level that had been present for a couple of years.
        The main vibe was “I’m paying for a space game and the space game is broken, why on earth are you focusing on some new meta game rather than fixing what’s broken?”.
        Then there was the gold ammo memo (which was actually an internal thought exercise), and to top it off, one of the higher ups was very clear about the new CQ being optional and opt it, so when the patch hit and you had to explicitly opt out…not a great move.

  3. sissyneck says:

    Mittens is obviously in propaganda mode, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the objection to facilitating underage gambling is invalid. My son is middle school now and a number of his friends fund their steam wallets by betting on CS:GO matches…he dabbled it himself and got enough money to buy Dark Souls III for himself (which on hand seems resourceful and admirable, and on the other kind of f—ed up).
    I’ve struggled with how to talk to him about it; I’ve tried to take a generally curious stance (as opposed to judgemental) and he seems to have learned a few lessons en vivo that I wouldn’t have been able to to fully impart by lecturing, e.g. “no such thing as a sure bet” and “the house always wins”.
    I still have my concerns about the possibilities, though; he’s told me of some missing class to run home and get a bet in on a CS: GO match.

    • Daniel says:

      The objection is invalid only in respect that it has no relation to the fun and games going on. A flailing appeal to emotion, shouting out “but he eats kittens!” in the middle of an argument kind of thing. From what I’ve read it’s also pretty rich for him to be lecturing about ethics.

      • Ragnar says:

        Even a hypocritical, unethical, self-serving clock is right twice a day.

  4. Distec says:

    It’s a bit rich seeing The Mittani take this moralizing “think of the children/addicts” stance. The heart of his empire and a number of its supported groups (CODE, et al) revel in all sorts of ~PSYOPS~ bullshit based on taking advantage of people and preying on their naivete or irrationality.

    I’m also a bit confused as to how rolling over, refusing to undock, and letting your enemies wipe out your space without any real fight puts you on the “funner side” of a war. But who am I to question a group that that deploys Weaponized Boredom™ as a legitimate tactic? /shrug

    • Sound says:

      Don’t let tribalism get the better of you. From a direct, mechanical perspective, it’s not helpful or in their interests to escalate fights except when they know they wont get dog-piled. Most of the small skirmishes aren’t important to win, and often are under threat from escalation that will outnumber them(especially via Time Dilation). If you don’t like the way the war was fought, I’d suggest turning your attention to what the Aegis Sovereignty system incentivizes. They’d be foolish not to work accordingly.

      • Distec says:

        I’m just saying that sticking to strategic objectives and “fighting smart” in this case is typically the opposite of fun*. Refusing to undock and practically handing over the fort keys to your enemy may be sensible enough for various reasons, but I’m having a lot of difficulty seeing the entertainment value.

        *Some of the usual caveats: 1) Who am I to dictate fun to others. 2) Eve is never fun.

  5. causticnl says:

    didnt knew Lucas Kell is writing for rps

  6. NephilimNexus says:

    Goon tears are the best tears.

  7. evenan says:

    “That advantage of exploiting the gambling addiction of players in the game is so extreme that it unbalances the entire financial and resource based aspect,” The Mittani says. “Any kind of game that doesn’t have an age gate should not be allowing gambling period. There is a real human cost to promoting and incentivizing gambling addiction.”

    This coming from the man that tried to start his own gambling website and failed due to his reputation for being a scammer.

    • Premium User Badge

      modzero says:

      That doesn’t mean it’s not true. I mean, yeah, I do realise he’s saying it now only because it’s convenient for him. This time.

      It’s still true. Gambling businesses are abusive. Just like Mittani.

      • Apologised says:

        Except the gambling in question only uses fake make beleive money and in no way impacts anyones IRL bank balance.
        If it DID involve real money (which is exactly what Goonswarm tried to accuse them of with trumped up complaints) then CCP would shut the site down.

        This is about as harmful as an addiction to eating space fairies that only you can see. What Mittens is really railing against is the realisation that there are people in the game who can destroy him with a button press and that he can NEVER NEVER touch.

        What those people have to do now is build a timetable for this coalition and when they can go back to business as usual.
        It’s worth pointing out that this whole debacle for the Imperium happened because someone in their alliance made it personal for the Gambling Oligarchs for whom this war is actually a terrible idea from a business perspective, as not only does it cost them money for no fiscal return but it’s also put them out into the limelight.

        • Ragnar says:

          Fake money that you can buy with real money. Those that fall prey to gambling are likely to fall prey to websites selling ISK as well.

          Mittani’s a master manipulator, look how he’s got people calling him “The”, and his argument is obviously self serving and apparently hypocritical. I’m just not sure he’s wrong in this case.

        • Phidelt230 says:

          Are all of you retardsso butthurt over goons that youre ignoring the fact that gambling in making the game unbalanced by making a few people invincible?

          All these gambling magnates do is sit in Jita 4-4 and have virtually unlimited money.

          You cant gank them because they never undock, you cant hurt their income because its outside the game.

          Theyre functionally not playing the game.

          Dont complain about goons. They actually play the game.

  8. Shinard says:

    The Mittani makes some good points, but I’ll never support him. Some of the things he’s done are, quite frankly, despicable and I’m of the opinion that any change away from him is good change. Still, the issue of gambling addiction is an interesting one and potentially a serious problem. Honestly it reminds me of nothing more than organized crime in miniature – ridiculous amounts of money being generated through dodgy means outside the system, that those with power in the system can do nothing to stop.

    • Cutwail says:

      What about the gambling website the CFC/Goons/Imperium/whatevers started? Were they thinking of children and addicts then? Probably, but only to get their space-money.

  9. FLoJ says:

    If you want to do an article about gambling in eve/games in general, then that would be an interesting article but would have almost nothing to with the Mittani (except a footnote about how his own casino attempt fell flat on its face because of the deserved reputation of his playerbase).

    I don’t agree with gambling websites in the game – but I don’t trust a word from Mittens when his ‘ethics’ are based purely on current self interest.

  10. geldonyetich says:

    EVE Online is no game.

    It started off a spreadsheet simulator, long on calculating ISK profits and short on player interation.

    It became a kind of social media activity, where success or failure is a lot more about who you know and scam than it is anything you do while logged in.

    When real money trade entered the picture, the gameplay became even less important. If you’re rich in real life, you can buy all the power you want in EVE Online. For the rest of you: welcome to the glass ceiling.

    Again, EVE Online is no game. This article suggests the Imperium was defeated in a disappointing fizzle brought about by over extension versus ISK manipulation. I disagree: the disappointment is because nobody actually plays EVE Online, they just posture and make mountains out of boring molehills. All that happens in 0.0 space is a vacuous lie.

    • Sound says:

      This doesn’t resemble my experience at all.

    • dorobo says:

      Now it resembles the real world even more.

    • dorobo says:

      ..and for me personally while i played i never wanted to be in some major alliance and go into these crazy huge battles and loose my isk and time for some dude’s fun up top. Small scale pvp is the best thing in eve. The problem is the game can be hyper ruthles to those seeking such activities.

    • popej says:

      Nah.

      I’ve still experienced no equivalent high in computer games.

      Fighting the odds (roughly 10 vs 50, 10 vs 100 etc.) in our nano gangs in Eve from 2006-2009, and losing no-one.

      If you get a good fight there simply is no better game. It’s like a drug (like gambling :p).

      I’m long burnt out and will never go back but they were some fun(nest) times.

  11. rabbit says:

    really don’t care about his plight, to be honest. for mittani and goons/goon allies to be complaining about people using metagame tactics to win fights is absolutely ridiculous. do i like the idea of gambling being the deciding factor in wars? no, not at all. but it’s not all that different to the basic premise of goonswarm – people focused around one external website coming in and doing X, Y or Z on one person’s bidding. if this is the beginning of the end for goons, good. fuck em.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Goonswarm and SA have had only tenuous connections for like a decade. It’s mostly become its own beast.

      And don’t forget that the early EVE community created that beast in the first place by systematically making the game hell for the goons in the beginning.

      Still, all empires fall. I get the feeling that when the Imperium does it’s going to be a long time before a coalition of its size shows up again which isn’t really a bad thing either.

      • popej says:

        Hey, we weren’t all BoB thanks.

      • sosolidshoe says:

        Those would be the same Goons who’s openly stated goal was to ruin the game by using every dirty trick they could think of to drive away newbies and destroy opposing corps through infiltration and theft? The only thing wrong with the EvE community’s treatment of the Goons is it legally and ethically had to be limited to cacking on them ingame.

        Nobody is ever going to convince most gamers that a group that exists for the sole purpose of deriving their fun from ruining the fun of other people is anything other than a cancer(and the idea that Mittens of all people is some moral arbiter concerned about the future of EvE and the poor addicts his enemies are exploiting is…I don’t even think there’s a word to express how laughable that is), but at least in EvE they found a sandbox full of some other equally virulent gits to compete against and so mostly started leaving other game communities alone – sadly now Mittens and his underlings have run into an enemy they can’t grind down with boredom or disgusting IRL harassment they’ll likely quietly filter away back into their inactive or semi-inactive guilds elsewhere and take out their impotent rage on those instead.

        • rabbit says:

          bingo.

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Mittani has always been an asshole (he’s heavily disliked by the actual SA forums nowadays) and yes he was the forefront of the initial Goons in EVE, but most of them were not the Mittani. It was a few vocal assholes and a bunch of goons who did just want to play the game but were automatically associated with those aholes. The alliance was never truly a unified entity and ran the gambit from the Mittani’s folks to Greater Gune who were extremely casual players that operated under the greater group’s protection.

          In EVE, though, it really was just another set of jerks adding to what was and always will be a very toxic environment by design. They’re mostly hated because they were successful while others failed. EVE is a game where everyone successful in NullSec uses the most underhanded methods possible, as this article wonderfully demonstrates. It’s the nature of the game.

          Still, as I said, all Empires fall. Goonswarm became complacent and lost a lot of manpower since sitting on top gets boring after a while. They’re a shadow of their former selves and I expect they’ll be disassembled piece by piece over the next few years. A “Goonswarm” may exist still, but with so much of their core gone this collapse was inevitable.

          Just, like I said, I don’t see any single alliance having the impact they (or BoB) did for a long time after. Even a decade from now, assuming EVE is still around, Goonswarm will still cast a long shadow on the history of the game.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            I also don’t see most of his kind filtering out to other games. Most games just don’t provide the freedom his kind requires and the existing goon guilds of most MMOs no longer have nor want this attitude.

  12. QSpec says:

    I don’t think there’s anything new here even though the sites exist outside of Eve. One of the biggest problems (in my opinion) with the game is that the largest moneyed interests are all but untouchable.

    Would this be any better if Kravitz and co. were a coalition of station traders? There are plenty of Eve billionaires and trillionaires that make their money in the relative comfort of the market screen. I don’t see much of a difference with a site either.

    • FLoJ says:

      I actually asked the same thing once in a fairly popular trading channel and ascertained that some of the real high rolling traders are in the same kinda income leagues as the casino guys – the main differences obviously are that they’re operating at much greater risks to their capital in terms of being able to lose a chunk of it on a bad speculation and they have to put a lot more effort into moving their isk around for their income generation rather than having a semi automated process and group of underlings doing it for them.

      • Josh W says:

        I wonder if it would help if the game started taxing assets held in high sec space above a certain amount? I mean probably the result would be someone creating a billion alts to hold all their assets, but there’s got to be some way to distinguish the use of high security for PVE and new players vs people using it to secure themselves while they fund other armies.

        On the other hand, goonswarm sort of are striking back against the casino guys just by getting killed by them; funding the moneybadgers did not gain them anything monetarily, it was just them paying for goonswarm pain. The more expensive the goonswarm makes that pain, the more they drain their opponents out of money.

        • Josh W says:

          I suppose another idea would be requiring players to site virtual servers for their websites in the Eve world in order to get the API to work, meaning that they would be forced to hold and work from territory, even if they hide it in wormhole space or something.

      • QSpec says:

        I definitely see the difference in the sense that traders have to use isk to get isk, and the gamblers don’t really since they don’t really have to pay anything out.

        But outside of the scope and desirability of their product, they aren’t much different than the “give me isk, and I’ll double it for you.

        Plus, I think the important thing with station traders is once they have capital, they aren’t taking nearly as huge of risks. If you have a big enough bank roll, taking a small gamble with 1% of your income is relatively nothing, though it is admittedly more than the gambling sites take who typically are only dependent on goodwill and reputation.

  13. ChromeBallz says:

    No, RPS, really?

    You realize that mittens has been in spin-mode ever since this war began? He’s grasping at straws and is abusing the press to get his way… And you’ve played right into his hands. Congratulations, you’ve been thoroughly manipulated.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Calm down son, it’s just a video game article.

      Besides the points raised are valid, important even. Gambling is destructive, especially when unregulated and attached to a real world currency.

      The messenger, their past actions and even their motives, are utterly irrelevant. Truth doesn’t become a lie because it’s spoken by a snake.

      • Distec says:

        Then thank goodness that there’s no real world currency attached and we can actually skip over the part where we indulge a sociopath’s pearl-clutching.

  14. kael13 says:

    Ah. I see Mittens is putting his multi-dollar media empire to work.

    He’s just mad that he lost.

    • Jambe says:

      Fekkan auto link truncation. That’s Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, i.e. “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

  15. Unruly says:

    Isn’t this just a case of the Goons being made about the shoe being on the other foot for once? From what I can gather, the Goons have never really been beaten anywhere near this badly before. Or at least they haven’t been in around a decade.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      [Not an Eve player] I can see their point tho. Obviously all the stuff about addiction and vulnerable children is spin because they’re losing a war, but he does have a point about the third party nature of the casino. When you’re in a sandbox like this, it’s not really fair to be able to use resources that come from outside the universe. If they owned an in-game gambling space-station, that would be a different story, because then at least the goons could conceivably launch attacks at the casinos and shut off the flow of money. But since it comes from outside, the bankers have an invincible, never-ending flow of capitol which seems to just appear constantly in their accounts, as far as the game world is concerned. I’d say that is pretty game-breaking, no matter the actual source.

  16. Libber says:

    You have to take everything The Mittani says about the harmful influence of gambling sites with a huge pinch of salt – it’s hard to believe he’s genuinely opposed to them on principle given that he attempted to set one up for himself two years ago: link to themittani.com

    His site flopped, and it seems overwhelmingly likely that his newfound strident opposition to gambling sites is mainly fuelled by envy and frustration that someone else has beaten him at his own game and torn down his space-empire in the process.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Everything you say is true and yet he does have somewhat of a point. An external site should not have that much control over the game’s resources (and is probably illegal in some place due to underage gambling ages.)

      ButteringSundays put it well above. Even a complete shithead can be right sometimes.

  17. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Eh.. seems like a bunch of hot air coming out of the Mittani to me. It’s gambling with ISK, right? In-game currency only means it should be fair game in EVE.

    I mean, you can buy game time from CCP and sell those on the market (PLEX, for those who don’t know).

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It’s gambling on ISK using an external site.

      Basically it’s not really that much different from gold selling except that there’s also a gambling side to it. It’s messing with the in game economy and wrecking the balance.

      It doesn’t excuse Mittani for trying it either.

  18. Messiah Complex says:

    I’ll give the Mittani this: the “no counterplay” argument is fairly seductive as a concern troll. The obvious problem with it in this context, however, is that the money wasn’t the motivation. The war chest wouldn’t have come into play unless most of Eve *wanted* to kick Mittens in the teeth in the first place. They did, and all that isk made it possible.