Comparison of the economy in Eve Online and in reality

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Two students from the Kazan Technical School of Information Technologies and Communication have conducted an examination of the economic aspect of EVE Online, comparing it to the real economy. The game features its own virtual currency, and players can engage in various activities such as exploration, industry, trade, and politics. EVE Online’s economy is influenced by both internal and external factors, and is regulated by different organizations including player-controlled corporations and alliances. The game’s economy not only resembles the real-life economy, but can also be used as a testing ground or simulation for various economic phenomena and policies. However, there are limitations to EVE Online’s economy that prevent it from fully reflecting all aspects of real life.

Comparison of the economy in Eve Online and in reality

We, the students of the Kazan Technical School of Information Technologies and Communication, Danylo Kaniv and Ilya Budnyk, under the supervision of economics teacher Dilyara Firnandivna Mannapova, decided to examine the economic part of the Eve Online game and compare it with the real economy.

EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that simulates a complex and dynamic sci-fi universe where players can engage in various activities such as battle, exploration, industry, trade, politics and more . The game has its own virtual currency called ISK (Interstellar Credits), which players can use to buy and sell goods and services. The game also features a sophisticated market system that allows players to set their own prices and compete with other players for supply and demand.

EVE Online’s economy is often compared to that of real life due to its scale, variety, and realism. According to CCP Games, developer EVE Online has more than 360,000 active players participating in the game’s economy. The game also publishes monthly economic reports that contain detailed data and analysis on various economic indicators such as production, consumption, trade, inflation, income distribution and more. The game’s economy is influenced by both internal (player behavior, game design, and events) and external factors (real-world events, news, and trends).

One of the similarities between the EVE Online economy and the real economy is that both are subject to market fluctuations and shocks. For example, in 2020, EVE Online experienced its own version of the Short Squeeze, when a group of players attempted to manipulate the price of a premium currency called PLEX (Pilot Extension) by buying it in large quantities and creating an artificial shortage. This caused the price of PLEX to skyrocket from around 3 million ISK per unit to 15 million ISK per unit in a matter of days. However, it also attracted other players who saw an opportunity to profit from selling their own shares of PLEX at high prices. This increased the supply of PLEX in the market and eventually brought its price down to a normal level.

Another similarity between the EVE Online economy and the real-life economy is that they are both regulated and managed by different organizations. EVE Online has four main factions that control different regions of space: the Amarr Empire, the Caldari State, the Gallente Federation, and the Republic of Minmatar. Each faction has its own laws, taxes, customs, security forces, etc. that affect how players can operate in their territories. In addition, there are also player-controlled corporations, alliances, and coalitions that have their own rules, policies, and agreements that affect how players can cooperate or compete with each other.

A third similarity between the EVE Online economy and the real-life economy is that both are subject to innovation and creativity by different agents. In EVE Online, players have many ways to create value and wealth for themselves or others using their skills, knowledge, resources, etc. For example, some players specialize in designing, building or researching new ships, modules, weapons that they can sell or use for themselves or others. Some players specialize in exploration, mining, and harvesting. Others specialize in trading, brokerage and arbitrage.

However, there are also some differences that make EVE Online’s economy unique and interesting. For example, EVE Online’s economy is based on a single-server model that allows all players to interact with each other in a single market system. This creates a high level of interdependence and competition between players. Another difference is that EVE Online’s economy is largely driven by player-generated content and events that create new, unpredictable stories. The third difference is that the economy of EVE Online has no direct connection or conversion to real currency (some players may use third-party platforms or services to do so, although this is illegal). This creates a sense of immersion and detachment from reality for some players.

EVE Online’s economy not only resembles the real-life economy, but benefits the real-life economy. For example, EVE Online’s economy may be a testing ground or simulation for the study of various economic phenomena or policies that may be difficult or unethical to implement in real life. For example, some researchers have used EVE Online data to study the effects of inflation, taxation, income inequality, market manipulation, and more. EVE Online’s economy can also be a source of inspiration or innovation to create new economic models or solutions that may be applicable or useful in real life. For example, some players have created their own banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, thereby offering various financial services or products to other players.

However, EVE Online’s economy also has some limitations that allow it to be a perfect example of a real economy. For example, the economy of EVE Online is subject to rules and game mechanics that cannot fully reflect all aspects of real life. For example, in the game there is no labor market, there are no environmental restrictions, there is no legal system, this can affect the functioning of the economy. Another limitation is that EVE Online’s economy is influenced by the game’s culture and community, which may not match the diversity or preferences of real people. For example, the game attracts mostly male players who are interested in battles and rivalry rather than cooperation and socialization. A third limitation is that EVE Online’s economy is affected by the game’s technical and security issues, which may compromise its stability or integrity. For example, the game may experience server failures, delays, bugs, hacks that may result in loss or corruption of player assets or transactions.

In the end, it can be said that the economy of EVE Online is similar in many ways to the economy of real life, although in some ways it is different. This is an interesting example of how the virtual economy can imitate, reflect and differ from the real economy. In addition, it is a source of learning, fun and challenge for many players who enjoy participating in it.

In our opinion, the economy of EVE Online is one of the most complex and realistic virtual economies in the gaming world.

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