How would you describe the Eve Online Economy

I am sure there are people here way more knowledgeable than I am in the topic of economics.

See, I would argue against the economy in this game being a form of neoliberal capitalism parallel to what we have (globally not locally) IRL.

What is it then? Anarcho-socialism where workers own the means of production?

Another little tidbit is that I cannot figure out the role that the constant cash influx through people buying PLEX plays in economic terms. Would this be a parallel to debt? Then again, I assume the big null sec alliances don’t really need the cash influx, given their in-game capacities for wealth generation.

What do you guys think?

Real world economy.

Why would you say it not neoliberalism? People can do whatever they want on the market and screw up everyone else by doing so. They can screw up prices, corner markets into monopolies, drive other participants out of business with structure markets, avoid taxes and fees with structures, there are no regulations for products, etc. Sounds very much like neoliberalism.

Exactly. Sounds like something that would be possible in an anarchic economy as well. The currency in Eve, however, is not fiat, right? So no financial institutions involved. Or is isk fiat somehow?

Plex Purchase does not inject any cash value (ISK) into the economy nor does it inject any material value other than clothing & ship skins or other items that players have no way of creating anyway. Plex is fairly irrelevant in that matter except to maybe bot or multiboxer fleets who would otherwise be castrated and unwilling to pay a sub to use their accounts.

I have not sub’d an eve account ever and have only purchased a handfull of plex back in the day before I became PLEX sufficient. I however feel that making a sub mandatory would be good for the game of say $5 per account.

ah true. Thanks for that! Didn’t think of that at all.

The economy follows RL behavior (if no regulations by law would be present), but is also much different from RL because:

  • no depreciation, hoarded stuff doesn’t lose value or has storage costs, hence demand needs destruction and consumption
  • no dept, hence loans are either given out by trust or collateral (pawnshop principle)

The influx of ISK is regulated by the time you need to work for it. Trading and PLEX do not generate ISK, it just moves it between players. ISK is only created by rat bounties, insurance, and NPC buy orders (e.g. blue/red loot).

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This plus the fact that we all tend to own our ships and time makes me think of anarcho-socialism as a good characterization.

ISK in EVE flows overall in one direction and not so much in a circle. It’s produced by ship insurances, ratting and mission running and is destroyed or lost with taxation and fees, as well as by players who leave (leaving players freeze up ISK). Some circulation among players does occur obviously. One could describe it as a river of flowing water with vortexes in it, where the water represents the ISKs.

PLEX is simply a special item. The value it has is the value players decide to give it and the ISKs for it come from ISK circulations as mention before.

Does this make you think there is no way to apply real-world economic characterizations to the in-game economy?

I wonder if the way the money is created in EVE could, in a way, be likened to the creation of money by governments. The difference would be that in-game money is created as a net plus, whereas the RL money is usually created as national debt.

Eve Online style destruction of money does not seem to have a RL economic parallel, other than, perhaps, depreciation and storage costs, described above by Tipa Riot:

No, it doesn’t.

Not sure what this should be, it sounds contradicting to me.

“Socialism” has basically production amounts centrally defined by a dictatorship while disabling the mechanics of demand and supply. “Anarchy” just means everybody does what he wants without a leadership at all, where the right is with whom has the bigger gun.

In EvE there is the “right of the bigger gun”, but finally you can not force somebody to do something because it’s a game.

That’s the Soviet and Chinese take on socialism, the need for central government. See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-communism for that particular rabbit hole. It’s fun. See this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PheA4BPXQzg&frags=pl%2Cwn for the socialist rabbit hole in particular. The video is long, but the second half largely repeats the first.

The basic idea here is that workers own the means of production, as we do in EVE.

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In this vein, PLEX can be characterized as value generated by production outside of the game, i.e., time that you own. For the purposes of economic examination, I suppose there is little difference between a miner (afk or not) and a person buying PLEX. The only detectable difference is that the miner contributes ISK to the economy while the person buying Plex simply redistributes existing wealth, like Whitehound argued:

How not? Y can buy Plex with real money and sell it . It the will inject billions of isk into economy

Well, try to figure this out yourself by playing it through… What happens when you buy a PLEX with real money and sell them?

  1. CCP receives your payment and transfers PLEXes to your account.
  2. You set up a sell market order with the PLEXes from your vault.
  3. Whenever a player buys PLEXes from your order does the market exchange the PLEXes for the player’s ISKs.

There is no ISK being created in these steps. The ISKs come from other players, who have obtained them in the usual ways (i.e. by trading other goods for ISKs or by running missions, ratting NPCs, etc.).

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I would say it’s better working than the real one.

Despite you overlook that property in EvE is privately held, and people rent this property for fees and taxes, or being their own entrepreneur. This is a very typical capitalist economy. Also corporations don’t work collaboratively, they are usually dictatorships, with clear hierarchy, where a few own everything and make the rules.

Oh I see now, thank you

Bots. That’s how I would describe the economy.
Bots to mine, bots to rat and bots to trade.

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