Shocking news from Iceland today as famed game company CCP Games announced bankruptcy after releasing a brief blog post detailing the situation. It seems one of the largest pillars keeping the company alive— EVE’s economy—was torn down in a matter of hours. But how did this happen? All it took, it seems, is one simple coding mistake that went unnoticed.
According to CCP Fozzie, who was “working on making citadels even less fun,” accidentally added an item to the NPC pirates drop table. Normally, this would not be a large concern, however the item added was a blueprint original producing ISK from Veldspar. After the blueprint and its copies quickly circulated through several manufacturing-centered corporations, the damage was done. Players were, literally, printing ISK.
“I thought it was a joke” said Richie Richards, CEO of the well known “BPOwned” Corporation, which has a large presence in every trade hub in New Eden. “Or I was still on the test server or something. Of course I bought every BPO that was found. Only cost like, a hundred trillion ISK. Child’s play for someone like me, obviously. What do you mean there are other things to do in EVE?”
Soon after others found the blueprint, the market was completely wiped out. All items that once held a substantial cost such as PLEX and capital components were bought up with printed ISK. After recognizing the rock-bottom value of ISK, the price of every market commodity increased by 1000%. Only the largest, greediest alliances could afford something as simple as a shuttle.
All of this occurred in less than 24 hours, and after CCP discovered the issue, it was far too late. Players left the game in droves, unable to afford even the simplest of replacement items. The rich were richer than ever, and the poor practically didn’t exist. No one paid for a subscription with hard-earned ISK anymore, and all the PLEX on the market was too expensive or sold out completely. The company went under very quickly, for we all know no one uses the New Eden Store anymore.
Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to game developers in the future: Always double check your changes before making them live. And always, always be willing to go back on promises of being “cruel and unforgiving, even to ourselves”.