A skirmish over an unpaid bill in CCP Games' spacefaring MMORPG EVE Online escalated to a battle of epic proportions on Monday, costing its participants an estimated $500,000 in real-world cash so far, according to a USA Today report.

When a missed payment left a contested area of space unprotected, the biggest battle in EVE Online's ten-year history erupted, involving more than 4,000 players. The fight saw the destruction of over 100 prized Titan vessels, which take months of gameplay to build and are worth around $3,000 each.

A series of animated .gifs capture the carnage as it unfolded, documenting hundreds of destroyed ships and untold losses for players caught up in the action.
[Photo credit: rooksandkings]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.