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

    
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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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Yangers
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Yangers

*Government Regulation enters the chat *

Covynant001
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Covynant001

I’m not thrilled, but then again I haven’t seriously played EVE since 2016 so no skin off my nose really.

They have to make money somehow I suppose.

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kgptzac

While the gacha and lootbox systems are easy to pull off, not many games would dare to bring out the big gun like this kind of gambling. I don’t think the UK government is going to like this, whichever party wins the election.

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PanagiotisLial1

I saw the tweet and the dev blog today and facepalmed. If anything is needed on EVE it isnt gambling. Not only it may be damaging to the game’s reputation for attracting new players but also its a waste of development time.

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Eamil

On the surface it would seem completely reasonable if PLEX weren’t a factor… but then, the fact that it IS and thus “legal RMT” has existed in the game for over a decade with no one batting an eye means that PLEX to ISK exchange is considered the norm, so I don’t see why that should raise eyebrows, potential legal issues notwithstanding.

The bit that gets me is “The process begins by buying HyperCores from the New Eden Store or from the regional market” – it sounds like these HAVE to be purchased with PLEX or real money (and then are in turn sellable in-game) which means the actual process of holding a raffle is itself RMT-gated, but they helpfully breeze right over that rather than explaining in detail what they mean.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

Since you can buy and sell PLEX within the game for ISK, an individual running their HyperNet raffle might not need to spend real world money, but somewhere in the chain somebody has to, so it is all fruit of the RMT tree.

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Eamil

Which is exactly my point. From the sound of it, the “HyperCores” themselves HAVE to be bought for PLEX.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

You think Reddit and Twitter are juicy? The feedback thread in the official forums is on fire. If you like drama, dis gunna be gud.