CCP Games withdraws all accusations against EVE Online CSM member it banned for supposed leaks

    
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At the beginning of April, we covered the latest scandal to rock MMORPG EVE Online, as studio CCP Games rather publicly removed a member of the Council of Stellar Management, accusing Brian “Brisc Rubal” Schoeneman of leaking NDA-bound information used for insider trading (with two alleged accomplices, Pandoralica and Dark Shines, who were also banned). As we noted at the time, the story blew up in part because Schoeneman had been previously spotlighted for his day job as a lawyer and GOP lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and because of his very public denials of wrongdoing.

A week ago the story too a much more bizarre twist, however, as CCP came out with a second statement suggesting it was “conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence” and promising apologies and reparations for mistakes made in its initial proclamation.

Now, CCP has completely withdrawn the accusations. “Neither Brisc Rubal nor the other players implicated in this incident breached CCP’s confidentiality, the terms of the Non-Disclosure Agreement, or used privileged information to obtain an in-game advantage,” the studio has concluded today in its apology to both the accused players and the CSM and community.

“We take full responsibility for any confusion and mistrust caused by our initial assessment of the situation. After reviewing our assessment of the information on which these allegations were based and having spoken repeatedly with everyone involved, it’s now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions. While we were motivated by a desire to protect the working relationship between the CSM and the EVE Development Team with all due speed, had we taken the time to review the information with greater scrutiny, this incident could have been resolved without the disruption that has since occurred.”

While CCP Games says it’s working to unban the players and restore their account assets –  as well as adjusting its own procedures for handling these sorts of issues – it does not clarify how exactly it came by its “initial assessment” in the first place nor suggest how any players or developers involved in it will be dealt with.

Schoeneman himself has thanked CCP for “doing the right thing” but still says he’ll be resigning from the CSM for now.

Source: Official site. Cheers, Wilhelm!
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Crowe

That’s pretty weird. What could it have been that prompted them to such immediate action that turned out to be nothing? Something doesn’t smell right about this. Then again, I guess most of EVE smells that way to me.

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Vorender

Shoot first, ask questions later I guess.

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Armsman

TLDR:
Elements of the CSM tried to frame one of their own members ( and only they know why); and CCP Management (somehow believing people who can be a$$holes in their game wouldn’t/couldn’t be a$$holes in real life) took them at their word and considered it “Case Closed”…

Until the CSM member who was framed said “WTF? Please SHOW ME what evidence you’ve got, because I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about…” – and after him stating his case, and the CCP wouldn’t even really respond to him past the notifcation he’d been banned for life – the whole thing blew up into bad PR so only them does CCP management finally bother to check on anything themselves…

And lo and behold…all charges dropped and CSM member and player reinstated.

Sorry, doesn’t make EITHER CCP or EVE Online look good.

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Nemui Byakko

But… what was that?
1) Somebody cleverly set up this Schoeneman guy. Who is this evildoer? Will he be punished?
2) Some company personnel made a big mistake and somehow misinterpreted the data in very bad fashion. Again, some disclosure is in order.
3) Shoeneman bribed / coerced / threatened CCP and his case was dismissed.

Apologies are good and all, but without clear understanding what was it – 1) or 2) many ppl will think it was 3). As we already see in comments :))

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Paragon Lost

Everyone one gets it wrong sometimes. The true mark of character is how they deal with their screw up.

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kgptzac

Accusing and banning extraordinary players requires extraordinary transparency, and looks like the non-evident based banning couldn’t stand the scrutiny of everyone else. I’m not sure it serves anyone’s interest by inviting more drama to the CSM, especially after the infamous episode of the Mittani.

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John Mclain

So… I guess CCP met a foe it couldn’t beat, political lobbying, and all the deep pockets in the world. Yeah, it never had a chance.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

imagine electing real politicians to your player council in a video game. no thanks.

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johnwillo

#Making Amarr Great Again

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Bruno Brito

Well, well, well. CCP couldn’t take the heat, it seems.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Are you suggesting CCP should have stood firm based on “unsubstantiated assumptions?” What are they, Daybreak?