Like real wars, James Carl (a 29 year old banker) was asleep as a single missed payment threw the world of Eve Online into its biggest war ever, reaching half a million in damages ($500k estimated up from initial estimates of $200k). The simple trigger set off sparks into engulfing flames that threatened even Eve Online’s Icelandic servers, which slowed game time by a factor of 10. Ned Coker calls it a butterfly effect.

Each Titan ship destroyed goes for about $3k to $5k it looks.

(Bitcoin wouldn’t have solved the problem either since a recurring payments solution is still being developed 😛 But there are the Icelandic Mines of Bitcoin)

Carl was awakened by a messaging app on his phone used by alliance members alerting him that their system B-R5RB was under attack by rivals. He wasn’t scheduled to work in real life Monday, so he spent the entire day sending virtual ships into the fray. He said dozens of his alliance members took off work to join the fight, which is being waged by more than 4,000 players — and spectated by thousands more on the game streaming service Twitch.

“I’d be lying if I said our servers weren’t sweating a bit,” said “EVE Online” spokesman Ned Coker of CCP Games, the Reykjavik, Iceland-based video game developer who created the online universe. “Allowing players free movement wherever they want in a game with over half a million players means for some pretty tricky technological requirements.”

“EVE Online” — more than 500,000 players piloting starships, trading goods and engaging in sci-fi espionage — utilizes its own in-game currency, and Carl expects the damage from Monday’s conflict to be the game equivalent of about $500,000 in real-world cash.

h/t est

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