A prominent in-game politician and member of Eve Online’s Council of Stellar Management has been banned from the game after apparently engaging in some corrupt practices.
Known in-game as Brisc Rubal, real-life lobbyist Brian Schoeneman has been permanently banned for “sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct illicit in-game transactions,” according to a statement released by CCP Games.
The misconduct was reported to CCP by other members of the CSM, an elected council of players who are voted to their position by the player base. The job of the CSM is to advocate for the players during the development of the game. The position allows council members to communicate directly with CCP, and potentially influence how the game develops. Unsurprisingly, using it as a means to benefit your alliance is frowned upon.
There is a lot of cross over of skills from real life into the world of Eve, and this is not the first time a person with a political role in real life has risen to prominence in the Eve community. Schoeneman took to the Eve Online subreddit to make it clear that he feels he is guilty of any wrongdoing.
These baseless charges have had an immediate and negative impact on not only my in-game reputation but my out of game reputation. I have spent the last year working hard on behalf of the community that elected me to represent their interests to CCP. I have done so diligently, attending more than 95% of all of the meetings and conference calls that have taken place. There is no reason why I would jeopardize all of that by violating my word, putting my reputation on the line, and risking all of this to provide a fellow player with an unfair advantage in the game.
While we could assume that both the CSM and CCP Games had evidence of the corruption before deciding to ban Schoeneman, we may never actually find out if they did or not. CSM members sign an NDA agreement when they take their position, as they can be privy to all kind of knowledge that might have a real-world impact on the company, such as upcoming content or in-game changes. As such, it would seem that any conversation Schoeneman had with a non-council member, or non-CCP Games staff, about council business would have breached an NDA. This may be the cause of his permanent ban from the game, on top of any other factor.
I will point out, just for the fun of it, that Eve Online truly is a world of political intrigue. The game has produced some of the craziest, player driven stories the industry has ever seen, from enormous wars that chew through thousands of dollars worth of ships and assets, to massive cons that saw people lose everything they spend decades building.
Whether Shoeneman is, in fact, guilty, or this is all some elaborate plot, doesn’t matter at this point. No matter what way it goes, this will be another part of Eve’s ludicrously complex lore.