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EVE Online Scandal

This EVE Online Forum Thread, currently at 621 posts and rising, details a brewing brouhaha in CCP's outer-space MMORPG that centers around alleged improprieties by CCP staff. The original post by EVE Online community manager kieron mentions that the identities of CCP employees participating in the game have become public, and that the compromised accounts have been deleted, and goes on to refer to the possibility that information about a coming story arc had been leaked by employee/players. They describe a tightening of the audit measures whereby accounts of employees are monitored for malfeasance to protect against employee misconduct. The fuel for the thread's rapid growth are allegations that the scandal runs deeper than what is being addressed, and that employees of CCP have been able to steer valuable in-game items to the groups in which they participate, with many expressing the opinion that allowing employees to play the game represents a conflict of interest. Here's a bit from the originating post:

Last summer, CCP implemented stricter monitoring procedures and audits on all CCP employees’ EVE accounts. We are confident that our rigid procedures and protocol will prevent any misconduct or, at least, allow us to quickly discover it, should such an unfortunate scenario arise.

As the community knows well, we at CCP enjoy not only playing EVE Online, but improving EVE and interacting with our playerbase. We feel EVE benefits from the developers playing EVE as any other members of the community do, and to impose artificial limitations -- such as no access to Tranquility or special flagging on a developer’s player character -- would greatly hinder the development of EVE.

CCP is very passionate about EVE Online and is committed to its continued growth. We hope that this statement will put this issue behind us once and for all and allow us to continue moving forward with the support of our community.

This reply from a user (Borgholio) sums up some of the outcry that follows:

The concern being talked about by the vast majority of players is not the identity of certain Dev or GM players, nor is it an in-game event that occured many months ago. The concern is that Band of Brothers (and possibly other large alliances) have received ill-gotten assistance from the Developers or GMs in the form of blueprints, ships, etc. That was the biggest concern, and you made absolutely no mention of it at all. Nobody really cares about the identity of CCP players in player alliances. Nobody really cares about an event that took place months ago. People care about rampant cheating by those whose job it is to STOP cheating. By conveniently ignoring this issue, you are only reinforcing the belief that CCP has something to hide.

Were you to come out and say "Yes, some of our Devs and GMs were cheating. We cannot release their names for privacy reasons, but we can tell you that they've been fired, and all ill-gotten assets have been removed from the game.", then the community would be happy. It would suck that CCP employees have (yet again) been caught cheating, but at least we would know that you're doing something about it. Or you could have said "In regards to the cheating issue, we can't find any evidence of this whatsoever.". That wouldn't make people as happy, but at least you would acknowledge it. Instead, you whitewash it. You really screwed up, CCP. We want clear, straightforward answers, and we want them now.

A post from a different recent thread by a senior producer refers to plans to publish the conclusion of an ongoing investigation after it has been completed, that was a couple of days ago, but it's not clear if this is the statement to which he refers. Also, a subsequent post by kieron asks for a list of concerns that have not been addressed, ensuring they will be thoroughly investigated.

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