CCP Sreegs keeps the RMTers real in his recent dev blog. Originally posted here.

Dev Blog: Team Security RMT Update – 3 weeks in numbers (yay)

Dearest Internet Space Pilots,

Earlier this month we announced a crackdown on RMT which began with a single circle of actors. With those gentlemen out of business we've been able to focus our sights on some new sources and I'd like to share some numbers with you. This isn't going to be my longest blog ever but it is going to contain some numbers and things that are sure to please most (heh) of you and give you some thoughts about how we're going to proceed.

After the first wave of action we've improved our methods a bit. Because of our focus on this subject we've seen some anecdotal things around the internet that aren't exactly scientific but do point somewhat towards impact.

    – We've seen the cost of illegal isk go up

    – We've seen illegal isk sellers having supply problems

    Apparently, despite the chest-beating protestations of self-professed internet "experts" on the subject, when you buckle down hard enough on the supply-side of the problem you do indeed create ripples in their capacity to operate. When you ban all the suppliers the sellers need to look for new ones. When you increase the risk by taking out the sellers people are less likely to do so. In many cases we've been able to not just take out the supply networks, but immediately key in on the new supply networks and take those out as well. We have done this over and over and over again for the past 3 weeks and the results are telling:

      – 1268 accounts of both sellers and suppliers have been banned permanently. Of these 90% or so are accounts that are very young. This is important because it helps to underscore the fact that these aren't good customers who have been tempted over to the dark side. These are illicit businessmen who could really care less about their impact on New Eden so long as they can buy a new tiger skin rug or a pair of signed purple Jordans.

      – 524 accounts have had their illegal transactions reversed.

      – No exact number here but we are seeing a great many customers realize the error of their ways, reversing the transaction to the illicit seller, then spending the cash on PLEX, which is absolutely the only right way to do this. For whatever reason people take risks, but when they are ultimately found out and have their proceeds taken they want to "go legit".

      – Number of account cancellations due to reversal is around 10. People are understanding what they did was wrong but they still love EVE and tend to want to stay engaged.

      – 1.5 Trillion isk has been reversed from people's accounts because they purchased it illegally.

      – 4.2 Trillion or so isk in assets has been seized from RMTers or suppliers.

      The lesson that begins to appear from this is one that starts to put a real dampner on the "common" "wisdom" that it's not profitable for us to crack down on this activity. While 1268 accounts had to be permanently banned they were not what we would qualify as "EVE Players". Buyers tend to be people who make a poor decision and try to save a couple of bucks by doing something illegal, but still want to be engaged in the game. We negative this activity and give them an opportunity to continue enjoying the game and they stay loyal customers, which helps to make New Eden a more enjoyable place for everyone. Instead of people sending cash to some shady dude running a sweat shop out in *insert country name here*, they purchase a PLEX, which can be used by you to fund your game time and the money goes into developing a better spaceship game instead of buying the equivalent of a digital drug dealer a cool new diamond-covered blingy case for his beeper.

      Going forward we're going to keep twisting the knife on the sellers. Ultimately we do not believe this activity should continue and we will focus and do every single thing in our power to ensure that they are no longer able to take advantage of our customers and try to profit from our hard work. We're also exploring opportunities for how to get this messaging out to new players of the game. One of the things people mention fairly often is that they're concerned that new players can fall into this trap of "easy" isk by being targeted by these terrible isk sellers. Along with going after the supply-side of the problem we're doing a deep dive on what the best ways to reach out to new players is so that this never becomes a problem from the beginning. Part of this is word of mouth and dev blogs such as this, but we'll probably also see things like splash ads on login, news items, things in the launcher and some other stuff that's been thought of but is still being tweaked.

      We're really hoping that by taking a layered approach to this we can solve this problem which will in turn have a net positive impact on both New Eden's economy and our ability to devote proper resourcing to the things that matter to you as a customer and, if I may say so… Internet Space Friend. Please feel free to post in the associated thread and let me know if you have any comments or anything. Unfortunately RMT tears are a bit harder to harvest but if you can find a way feel free to share (don't link the site) and I will give you a virtual hug in my head.

      Until next time Space Friends!

      – CCP Sreegs

      ps. I need to give a shout out to Team Security, CCP Arkanon, CCP Peligro and CCP Stillman. They put a lot of hard work into this stuff and they deserve a hi five.


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  1. alts

    "Of these 90% or so are accounts that are very young. This is important because it helps to underscore the fact that these aren't good customers who have been tempted over to the dark side. These are illicit businessmen who could really care less about their impact on New Eden so long as they can buy a new tiger skin rug or a pair of signed purple Jordans."

    Or current players looking to RMT do it on young alts so that when they get caught they only use their alt, rather than losing their main.

    April 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm Reply
    1. AFK cloaker


      April 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm Reply
    2. David_Star

      I wonder if they are tracking the originating IP addresses of these “young accounts” to see if they match up to more established accounts in anyway, so they can identify those RMT’ers that are trying to hide their main. Or, are they just tracking the flow of isk to an end-user account to find the hidden mains.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply
      1. civan

        Actually they are tracking hardware signatures mostly. That's why I developed tools to deal with this problem ;).

        April 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm Reply
    3. chongo

      they track em. If you bot from an ip adress they ban all accounts used threw that ip. Got friends that learned the hard way

      April 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm Reply
      1. haha

        I sure wish there was a way to get around that. Oh wait. 420 still botting ery day.

        April 26, 2012 at 11:16 pm Reply
      2. Hans

        Unless they are super careful and use a proxy for the Alt i am sure CCP can see the same IP running to accounts.

        April 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm Reply
  2. Darksoul

    Well done and congratulations.

    Good Work!

    April 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm Reply
  3. Northsoldier

    CCP Sreegs is my hero.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm Reply
  4. CareBearStares

    Good job!

    Here come more PLEX sales. The Wallet Warriors gotta keep themselves in space whips.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm Reply
    1. ViperRum

      In a game like WoT Wallet Warrior makes sense and I can understand it as a slur.

      But in Eve there isn't much benefit other than you don't have to spend hours grinding ISK. And once you reach a threshold in the game in terms of skills and knowledge you can usually find a way to generate isk in nearly passive ways (i.e. ways that require minimal logging in and time). I would imagine that many people that use PLEX to fatten their wallets are newer players.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm Reply
      1. CareBearStares

        O! Wallet Warrior is a slur?
        That's fair. I just got learned.

        April 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm Reply
      2. Just -A- Grunt

        "Wallet Warriors" in WOT allow's everybody to play for free. I don't get why so many people sperge about it.

        I'm sure they would get rid of them and premium tanks, if you wanted to pay a sub for every month of tanks of course.

        April 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm Reply
      3. zzz

        you can buy isk legitly from ccp you faggot.

        April 27, 2012 at 4:03 am Reply
        1. Imigo

          He was talking about PLEX bought legitimately from CCP, you faggot.

          April 27, 2012 at 9:58 am Reply
  5. Whitebirch

    RMT problem can be solved only with botting problem in combination. I'm absolutely sure that 95% of isk that are sold in RMT comes from bots (or moons or other stuff that were taken with bot's isk help).
    Anyway. Nice job. No worry about banned accounts, they didn't ever bring real money to CCP. The less botting or RMTing we see in the game the more enjoyable EVE becomes. The more $ CCP gets to even more improve their product.

    April 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm Reply
    1. Jihad!!!

      The impact has been a focus on 0.0 PvP again… Isk is flowing into SRP – EVERYWHERE. It's a great thing and the pew shows it.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm Reply
  6. Poorus Horus


    Please could someone help me reset my password I have not been able to log in for a week. I don't know why and I need service my new customers.

    Ta thanks


    PS Mittens if you need to move out of your mums basement hook me up we could do wonderful things together now you have your nice shiney cartel

    April 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm Reply
  7. lol

    glad to see screegs is off drugs.

    April 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm Reply
  8. haha

    CCP Screegs

    Starving Chinese families since 2012

    Well done bro

    April 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm Reply
    1. Aonus

      dont u mean

      Making Drunk Russians go Sober since 2012?

      last i checked there were more Russian RMTers then chinese.. i think ur talking bout WoW…

      April 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm Reply
      1. Jita Will Burn

        Correct. The WoW gold farmers are notorious as being from the far east.

        The isk farmers in eve-o have a more eastern europe cybercrim vibe.

        April 27, 2012 at 11:56 am Reply
  9. M1k3y

    RMT will die.

    At least when the cost of RMT isk is more than 500m per $20, which is about the plex conversion.


    April 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm Reply
    1. CareBearStares

      For reals. *fistbump*
      Kill all that shit.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm Reply
    2. masterochi

      Death may be a bit much, but banning abusers but letting them return to the game later gives them a second chance. Some people get into this by ignorance, giving them an option to stay in the game makes sense to me.

      As long as we get the professional scammers out of the game, they suck and make my efforts as a paying player seem insignificant.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm Reply
      1. ...

        Did you just stealth admit to RMTing?

        April 27, 2012 at 1:40 am Reply
  10. Marcus_McTavish

    So I am going to guess that these people that buy isk will either: switch to legit plex or hrfu.
    Soooo higher plex prices?

    April 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm Reply
    1. LightMeUpJohnny

      not likely; increasing plex supply on the market (dumping) will drive prices down

      April 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm Reply
      1. civan

        They have no plex to dump, unless they create some out of thin air. 10k plexes that they were talking about is only a week's worth of usage. At best it will create only a short blip. Case study – taking out 2k plexes increased the price by 30 mil for 2 days.

        That said price won't increase either because RMT plexes sill trade at about half their "ccp" value.

        April 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm Reply
        1. Imigo

          If every person who has ever bought black market ISK switches over to buying PLEX to convert to ISK, that will be a steady increase in PLEX supply, not a blip.

          April 27, 2012 at 10:01 am Reply
          1. civan

            Unlikely. Unless CCP starts banning ISK buyers, all they are risking is the amount in question. In other words it is simply a matter of equilibrium between the price and the demand.

            However they already tried tacking the problem on the demand side. And failed. Quite frankly I'm looking forward to them thinning out the RMT from kids running a couple of accounts.

            April 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm
          2. Imigo

            CCP ARE banning (illegal) ISK buyers, not just the sellers. They're also reversing the transactions and leaving people with negative wallets. If those ISK buyers change their ways and start buying ISK legitimately the way they do that is by buying PLEX from CCP (ie literally creating them out of thin air) and selling it for ISK on the in-game market.

            April 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm
          3. civan

            Are we playing the same game? Last time I checked there was a load of screenshots of various wallets set to large negative balances (for those that are ban-virgins, api keys stop working after you are banned).

            April 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm
          4. Imigo

            Are we reading the same posts?!?!

            April 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm
          5. civan

            Are you referring to the devblog? Quote the part where it says that they are banning buyers.

            April 28, 2012 at 12:36 am
          6. Imigo

            Are you comprehension impaired?

            "No exact number here but we are seeing a great many customers realize the error of their ways, reversing the transaction to the illicit seller"

            Pro tip: The person reversing a "transaction to the illicit seller" is on the other side of the transaction (ie, they're a buyer).

            Not talking about permanent bans here, or necessarily just the information in this dev blog. But repeat offending buyers are being banned too.

            April 28, 2012 at 4:01 am
          7. civan

            I would simply let you backpedal away silently, but I'm just interested on your take where they got that information from.

            April 28, 2012 at 4:34 am
          8. Imigo

            Try reading through the comments relating to the devblog (eve-o forums). Sheesh.

            April 28, 2012 at 6:48 am
        2. Tallian

          Plex do get created out of air, all you have to do is pay for it in real life, and poof, there it is.

          April 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm Reply
    2. CareBearStares

      Depends. RMT apparently has a constant enough demand to encounter supply issues. If those roll over into PLEX for the sake of ISK.. theory seems that the abundance in the market would drive the prices down.

      In the Fanfest State of the Economy presentation, Dr. Eyjo indicated that they suspected there was some overt market manipulation taking place involveing PLEX. With that being the case it's hard to say.

      April 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm Reply
    3. test scum

      so fuck about higher plex prices, stop botting and pay for your accout with real money

      April 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm Reply
      1. PHNXofEVE

        Believe it or not, some people would rather spend real money on real life. I've got multiple accounts, all of which are funded with passive isk making that I use to buy PLEX. Not because I can't afford to spend real money, but because I don't see a point in it if there is a legit way to keep an account open otherwise.

        If PLEX price goes up, I adjust, but if spending extra isk for em means hampering the efforts of the worthless few that are ruining the game with RMT, I'm fine with that trade off.

        April 27, 2012 at 2:09 am Reply
  11. Random CFC Grunt

    Honestly, I'd like to read another interview with Horus now… I hope that's at least a couple of his…

    April 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm Reply
  12. test scum

    fuck the RMT dicks!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm Reply
  13. Killdabottas

    I really think they're just doing it the difficult way. The crux of the issue is the botters which provide easy isk for the RMTers. Why don't they just put all this effort into anti-botting efforts? It'd surely drive prices up for RMT much higher than just reducing the suppliers. I'm guessing the only reason they'd do this is that RMT is easier to track down than botting…

    At the end of the day, though, I applaud this progress (if it actually is progress on the issue). Keep it up Sreegs!

    April 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm Reply
  14. SephirothSeptim

    I find it rather comical… that … once CCP started tracking down RMT dealers and botters that some of Eve's most powerful alliances take a sharp turn for the worse!

    Hmmmm…. I guess we were all right about them botting alliances eh?!

    April 27, 2012 at 12:17 am Reply
  15. Rail J'Kar

    Beepers, does anyone use those anymore?

    As far as the RMT goes, part of the core of the problem is PVE is dull. If your pve becomes such where people would rather just bot or do some sort of RMT to get your isk, it's quite telling of a game design problem.

    Make a tool set where players can make their own mission dead space sites. Allow the owners to hire npc mercs (isk sink [costs to hire them / don't give bounties] ) to protect the location which produces in game assets (minerals / manufactured goods / dust equipment / illigal boosters / ect.) Other players could then scan down these sites (or be given the location by specific agents) and then proceed to blow them up without concord intervention but flagging them as hostiles to owner player / corp / alliance if the structures are in empire.

    Much of this could be enabled by the new pos system CCP is planning on implementing. If they could mesh it together with the incursion rat aggression mechanics as well as figure out a way for certain npcs not to fire on blues but attack people showing agression.

    The entire purpose of such a system is to make it dynamic thus removing boredom from the equation while destroying the ability to bot at the same time. You don't know when you enter one of these locations if it's undefended or if the warp in is protected by 20 npc disco battleships. CCP could also make it so in order to activate the acceleration gates you'd have to use a hacking mod on it… which would be a great way to give that profession new life.

    Good game design could solve so many issues.

    April 27, 2012 at 1:33 am Reply
    1. NullSecHoBo

      There will always be cheaters. Good game design notwithstanding.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:37 am Reply
      1. Rail J'Kar

        True enough… good game design just makes it harder.

        April 27, 2012 at 2:51 am Reply
        1. Imigo

          Granted EVE PvE is pretty bland, but good game design doesn't make it harder, it just takes some of the motivation away.

          "people would rather just bot or do some sort of RMT to get your isk"

          CCP have added the PLEX system for a very good reason, because with PLEX everybody wins. Ultimately the only people who benefit from botting or RMT are people who cheat, and cheating screws up the very delicate balance that CCP have designed (extremely) well with an emergent player-driven economy.

          April 27, 2012 at 9:56 am Reply
    2. The14th

      …Or it would create a new afk money source and a substantial burden on the servers (who now have to store thousands of active deadspace plexes instead of spawning them when needed).

      April 27, 2012 at 5:05 am Reply
  16. RMTforlife!


    You may have banned my 30 accounts, but I have 20 more accounts and I will have more soon enough. CCP, nor goonswarm, nor Test will stop my business. I WILL RETURN, AND IT WILL BE WITH MORE BOTS THAT IT BLACKENS ICELAND IN IT"S SHADOW MOTHERFUCKING GINGER ASSTARDS!

    April 27, 2012 at 3:55 am Reply
    1. zzz

      hahahaha become homeless and die

      April 27, 2012 at 3:58 am Reply
    2. Tempestas

      Troll spotted.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:03 am Reply
    3. Aonus

      Well if you ever become homeless, i hear Trolls like living under bridges. maybe u could start there.

      April 27, 2012 at 4:19 am Reply
      1. RMTforlife

        I will not be berated by a so called Eve player who thinks that he can lecture me on real life principles, dear sir, you should be ashamed for your comment. And I am not ashamed, even though you may neg rep me down to oblivion Real Money Trading is the future of gaming, if the koreans, russians, and chinese are doing it why the hell can't the rest of the world do it as well?

        Now don't go on your pedestal and say how I can't do that your stupid sister fucking dicktarded asspirates, this is my time we are talking about. If after spending 8 years in EVE, I want to get some money back why not? If times are tough, you need to sell your assets for a buck to pay the rent or get the groceries, I will betray an EULA that gives all the money to a greedy company that we all know is controlled by Sony Entertainments aka Soviet Russia.

        And I will continue to RMT, my audience may have grown smaller, my supply has been hampered, but the operation will continue because if their is a demand for ISK for money that doesn't want to go through CCP hands, their will be always people like me that will go out and give them that service.

        P.S. I accidently caplocked that last post.

        April 27, 2012 at 5:13 am Reply
        1. Get a fucking job

          Tell you what dickhead. You are a complete and utter fuck. You want to be treated with respect, yet you show none. Dude piss the fuck off, troll or not, you can go ahead and die. At least it will make Eve a better game for all of us.
          God damn 2 dollar asshat!

          April 27, 2012 at 6:42 am Reply
          1. mama

            u mad bro?

            April 27, 2012 at 7:22 am
        2. Imigo

          Obvious troll, but to clarify for the audience:

          "If after spending 8 years in EVE, I want to get some money back why not?"

          Because the virtual items you are selling are not yours to sell. It really is that simple.

          April 27, 2012 at 9:47 am Reply
    4. u mad bro

      Strong the hate is in this post

      April 27, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply
  17. anon

    only 1.5 trillion reversed? my friend alone was at -100b ROFL.

    April 27, 2012 at 11:08 am Reply
  18. omfgwtf

    RMT is not illegal, gee!
    It's against their rules but by a far fetch not illegal!
    Overstate much CCP?

    April 27, 2012 at 11:52 am Reply
    1. Tallian

      Contract violation is a illegal, the TOS is a legally binding contract that you agree to by creating an account and logging in, RMT violates TOS, therefor RMT is illegal.

      April 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm Reply
      1. omfgwtf

        TOS are about as legally binding as buying a bubble gum in most countries apart from the big "corporations are above the law, hi2u DMCA" one …
        In most countries, given that the EULA/TOS etc. contain so many things completely surreal and customer "hostile", they would simply be voided in court :-)

        April 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm Reply
        1. Random pubbie

          i pray that this a is a troll… otherwise you sir are a complete… and utter.. retard.

          the terms of a contract make no impact on the validity of the contract as you are free to read said terms and it is YOUR decision to accept or deny the contract. hence there is not a court in the UNIVERSE that your argument would make any realistic sense.

          April 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm Reply
          1. civan

            Oh look, another budding teenage lawyer. Even in the "home of the free" contracts are quite tightly regulated by law. This includes a fairness clause (although courts tend to interpret it very randomly).
            When you will be old enough to own a credit card compare two different agreements from two different banks. You will notice that they are nearly identical because they have to meet consumer protection laws.

            April 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm
          2. Searsy

            All well and good guys but you do realise you sound like complete cunts right?

            It's naughty nuff said xx

            April 28, 2012 at 12:09 am
        2. Tallian

          EULAs are not legally binding, TOS are. That simple. The TOS says violating the EULA is grounds for banning, and thats as far as the EULA has weight, but the TOS most certainly does carry legal weight.

          April 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm Reply
          1. civan

            And on what legal basis you base that judgement, sir?
            How about if I present an argument "I didn't follow the TOS, so you cut off my service. No problems there. What are the grounds for any further claims?"

            April 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm
          2. Tallian

            Who said further claims would ever be made?

            Additionally, I might point out that a few nations have passed anti-RMT laws(notably china) and more have them in the works, tho they are not exactly publicized, since 99% of the voting population has no idea what its about.

            April 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    2. civan

      Himlar is no Goebbels ;). You are quite right in that sense, but if I go into further details of criminal vs civil law I will loose the audience in the first sentence. Plus I quite rather like being an "internet drug dealer".

      Btw, I like the bit where he claims to have info on transactions out of eve and begs people to come back to the flock better.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm Reply
  19. Tallian

    Doesn't change the fact that it can be factually called illegal, which, if you scroll up, is the whole cause of this discussion.

    And as far as any legal action being taken regarding EULA or TOS breaches, I have never heard of a company suing a person(RIAA and its ilk are not actually companies, they are more like unions), only people trying to sue said companies, and the eula being dismissed by the judge as not binding since it is impossible to make one that actually abides by the laws.

    I have also heard of almost identical suits where the TOS was what was brought up, and was upheld.

    Sadly, you are not paying me a lawyers rates, so I am not actually gonna bother looking up precedent.

    April 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm Reply
    1. civan

      No need to, it would be pretty usual for a court to force a company to serve a customer outside of the utilities market.

      That said I still think that comparing rmt to drug dealing is overly dramatic (as is the whole tone of this devblog, especially in parts directed at the buyers). I might get myself an "e-pimp" shirt if there are more blogs like that ;).

      April 28, 2012 at 12:50 am Reply
      1. Tallian

        As someone who sells plex because I am too lazy to make serious isk the normal ways, I assure you the plex injections are like a drug. The more you do it, the more you want to do it more. Making half a bil for 3 hours effort is far more enjoyable that grinding for 10 hours to do the same.

        Admittedly, CCP is my drug dealer, so I am buying legal prescriptions instead of hard street drugs.

        April 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm Reply

    I think CCP needs to do what many of the other MMO Host/Developers do & have a list that is updated each week on the character names of the people who have been banned.

    I think that doing this would also show other players that no matter WHO you are YOU are NOT immuned to the wrath of the CCP ban hammer squad!

    Maybe even have some ISK values next to the names so that everyone can see just how much or how little the character had been doing.

    April 28, 2012 at 3:05 am Reply

    this is a game therefore you buy it with ingame money not real money

    April 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm Reply

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