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  ‘EVE Online’ Player Corporation Going Public  
Posted 2006-12-15 by Tony Walsh
Mark Wallace of explains how a player-created corporation in sci-fi MMO EVE Online is going public. According to Wallace, Interstellar Starbase Syndicate Operations (ISS) first sold shares of its in-game outposts about 18 months ago, but is now selling shares in the corporation itself--an effort not directly supported by the game's system. The IPO is expected to raise 500 billion ISK (in-game currency), the equivalent of about $75,000 USD, by Wallace's calculations. While there's lots of cash at stake, EVE's maker forbids conversion of the virtual currency to real money.

Wallace speculates that the IPO will impact the entire game of EVE Online, which takes place in a contiguous (non-sharded) universe (unlike World of Warcraft, for example): "Part of the company’s goal is to make the most dangerous regions of space ('0.0 space') more accessible to new players or those who do not belong to one of the major alliances, which control most such regions. To this end, ISS has already constructed six outposts that are open to anyone. This is in sharp contrast to other outposts, which are generally used as a base of operations for warring alliances, who offer docking rights only to their allies. ISS’s outposts are designed to be open to all, as a safe haven..." Kudos to Interstellar Starbase Syndicate Operations for carving out a slice of EVE's universe for themselves. I believe that constructive, player-generated efforts like this can only help enhance interest in and extend the life of the game.
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