Earlier this month, US lobbyist Brian Schoeneman received a permanent from EVE Online under allegations of in-game corruption. Now, developers CCP have finished reviewing the information and are rolling back Schoeneman's ban.
EVE has some serious scopeFor those that don't know, EVE Online is a sci-fi MMORPG with a reputation for it's massive scale. The 15-year-old game allows players to engage in economic competition, warfare, and political intrigue with other players. There are plenty of stories in the game's history that exemplify it's scope.
On April 8th, developers CCP gave a player a permanent ban. That doesn't sound too shocking, until you learn that the banned player is US Republican lobbyist Brian Schoeneman. Known in-game as Brisc Rubal, he served on the game's Council of Stellar Management. The CSM is a body of elected players who serve as lobbyists for various player factions. In addition, the CSM works closely with CCP to provide feedback on the game and weigh in on new features. Like real politicians, there are elections for the CSM positions, which Schoeneman starting running for in May 2018. The original post on the official EVE Online website announcing his ban has been deleted, but the reason for the ban was for"sharing confidential information with a member of his alliance that was later used by another alliance member to conduct illicit in-game transactions." Schoeneman proclaimed his innocence.
Cleared of all in-game chargesAs the month went on, CCP began a follow-up investigation. They spoke to Schoeneman and two other players banned for the insider trading (Dark Shines and Pandoralica, who both faced one-year bans.) Yesterday, their investigation concluded and found the three players innocent. In their official post, CCP has reversed the bans and offer their apologies. "While we were motivated by a desire to protect the working relationship between the CSM and the EVE Development Team with all due speed, had we taken the time to review the information with greater scrutiny, this incident could have been resolved without the disruption that has since occurred."
While the EVE Online subreddit is riled up by the ban and subsequent reversal, Schoeneman says he "has accepted CCP Games’ apology" and "holds no ill-will or residual acrimony against CCP." As for his avatar, Brisc has resigned from the CSM. However, he plans to run again next year when things have cooled off.