EVE Online’s new HyperNet Relay reintroduces gambling to New Eden

Already raising eyebrows from gamers capable of remembering things that happened just three years ago


Remember way back in 2016, when CCP Games outlawed gambling in EVE Online’s universe after turning a blind eye for over a decade? In the EULA tweaks from just three years ago this month, the studio also made it possible to bar gambling organizations from operating in the game, and then it outright banned some of the players involved and accused them of RMT. At the time, our own EVE Online columnist noted that as harsh as it all sounded and as frustrating as it was for legitimate charity groups that depended on the gambling to raise funds, it was probably a necessary step for game studios anxious to avoid lawsuits and backlash akin to those then facing CS:GO over skin gambling.

“As much as we may have enjoyed gambling websites such as Somer Blink and IWantISK, I can’t help but be uncomfortable with the kind of power that their creators have gained over the rest of the game,” MOP’s Brendan Drain opined in 2016. “In a sandbox game in which wealth can buy literally anything, having trillions of ISK flowing from an out-of-game source that can’t be attacked seriously distorts the state of play. Third party games of chance also make it ridiculously easy to hide real money trades, and we’ve already seen one video game developer, Valve, exposed to serious legal action over gambling sites. The loss of income for events and charitable causes is something that hopefully CCP itself can help with, both by increasing the visibility of player-run events and distributing prizes to those in attendance.”

Y’all caught up now? Good. So that brings us to today, when CCP Games announced the “HyperNet Relay” on the test server, the goals of which are to “stimulate the economy of New Eden by increasing the trade velocity of items and thus the redistribution of assets” and “answer frequent requests for the return of raffle activities that were once hugely popular in the EVE community” according to the studio. It’s essentially a new trading system with an element of randomness injected in it, so a player can put up an item for raffle, collect bets, and let the system pick the winner transparently. Of course, given that EVE’s economy is influenced heavily by RMT thanks to the way PLEX works, that does mean it’d be possible to – with a few hops – use real-life money to buy currency to gamble in-game once again.

Twitter-goers and Reddit-denizens are… not taking it well. Some called it a joke or mocked it as a “wealth creation service,” while others call it rank hypocrisy since the only thing that’s changed here is that CCP itself will be making money off the system – an accusation frequently levied at many studios that over the years amazingly shifted to being in favor of RMT and gambling systems as soon as they were the beneficiaries of the profits. Then again, other players also miss the major gamblehouses like SOMER.blink and seem to be welcoming the idea.

The whole shebang is meant to launch on December 10th.

Further reading:

Source: Official site. Cheers, Wilhelm.
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