Massive Space Station Theft in EVE Online Causes Corporate Chaos and Player Bans

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One of the executives of a large military corporation in EVE has stolen resources including a space station that could amount to the largest theft in the history of EVE Online.

'The Judge' decided to break off ties with his former employer Circle of Two, aka CO2, and handed over much of its resources to their enemies the Goons, shifting the in-game balance of power significantly.

Keepstar Citadel Falls To Goons

In the latest development in an extended feud, The Judge shifted control of one of the most formidable and expensive, structures in the game to Circle of Two's long-standing adversaries, the Goons. It seems the Goons offered The Judge a significant bounty payable in ISK (the in-game currency) in return for switching sides.

When The Judge finally agreed to their requests and turned on CO2, the Goons celebrated their conquest by spelling out "LOL" in big letters with warp shield bubbles in the backdrop behind the space station. EVE historian Andrew Groen described the whole operation as "one of the most significant works of espionage" in game history.

Largest Theft in EVE History

The Judge has now joined the Goonswarm, taking with him all the corporate resources he had control over. Estimates vary as to the cost and value of the stolen items, but the Citadel alone is valued around a quarter-trillion ISK, making tis event a top contender for largest-ever EVE theft.

The Judge also took with him money, ships, and other resources. As it turns out, he controlled more than half of the ISK that CO2 owned. The Judge explained his decision in a Redditt post.

Circle of Two claimed to still have "plenty" of money in their corporate coffers, but whatever that amount is now, it is less than half what it used to be. That has to deal a serious blow to their operations and their pride. CO2 exec 'gigX' (pronounced gigz) reportedly woke up while the events were unfolding. He did not handle the news well.

CO2 Corporate Exec Banned For IRL Threats

In yet another shocking twist to this story, gigX confronted The Judge via chat and made some threats. No doubt he was upset; who wouldn't be? He followed up those threats with an open request to doxx The Judge, offering a bounty for anyone providing The Judge's real-world name and address.

It's not clear whether anyone provided that information, but gigX did not stop there. Later he posted another threat, warning the Judge to enjoy typing with his hands, following it up with another one-liner "while you can."

That was enough to get gigX permanently banned from EVE Online by CCP Games, almost instantly. The game developers have a strict policy prohibiting real-world threats. Other players are protesting the ban, but overturning the ban seems unlikely given the circumstances.

Chaos Marches On

Whatever happens, today's events mark a huge shift in the EVE Online world:

A single player, The Judge, executed the game's largest theft as a result of an in-game bribe. CO2 exec gigX said that if he were banned, CO2 would likely disband. That remains to be seen, but gigX is banned. Competing corporation TEST is offering CO2 players refugee passage to a safe zone in the game, likely in an attempt to attract players considering their own shift in allegiance. Meanwhile, the Goons have offered to sell the Keepstar Citadel to TEST. (No answer yet.)