With all the info about the DUST 514 console MMO set in the EVE Online universe, and player-run banks in the game mirroring the financial meltdowns we read about in real world headlines, we didn't have much time to look over something that's quite unique to the game. EVE's developer CCP Games releases "Quarterly Economic Newsletters" (QEN) which show the various ways in which player actions affect the game universe, given its player-driven economy. The QEN for the second quarter of 2009 has been released and gives us a snapshot of player activity in EVE's single-shard world.
When you PvP in EVE, someone's going to win while other ships are obliterated. Someone manufactured the ship, modules, and ammunition you used to take down your opponents, likewise the ships and modules you destroyed were also created by other player characters somewhere in the New Eden galaxy -- players who have mined and refined, bought and sold materials needed to build the various items put to use by EVE's pilots every day.
The QEN goes beyond a simple analysis of supply and demand in a virtual economy and tracks the trends that run throughout EVE, providing useful information about things the players do in the sandbox. More than anything, the QENs are an overview of player activity in the game throughout the year.
This is the only massively multiplayer online title we're aware of where the in-game economy, entirely player-driven, is so dynamic that the developer has an economist on staff to study the in-game data. The Quarterly Economic Newsletters are put together by Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson with the help of a small team of researchers focused on player activity in EVE. The end result is an easily understood snapshot of the game's economic activity for the playerbase to use.
What this latest QEN contains is really beyond the scope of this post, but we wanted to let you know about it. If you're into crafting in your MMO of choice, or are just curious about the things that happen in EVE Online's sandbox setting of New Eden, you can find the Quarterly Economic Newsletter for Q2 2009 in PDF format on the EVE Online site.