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EVE Online: The taxman cometh

James Egan

When EVE Online developer CCP Soundwave isn't entertaining fans of internet spaceships with his wit during the EVE Alliance Tournament, he's apparently finding new ways to ... impose taxes on players? His dev blog today explains that CCP Games will tax the earnings of players in NPC corps and their reasons for introducing this taxes. This won't apply to those in EVE's player corporations or those enlisted with a militia for factional warfare. "Service guarantees citizenship and all that, so keep on trucking," he writes. (Note: For those less familiar with EVE Online, this deals entirely with in-game currency of course, InterStellar Kredits or ISK. No real world taxation is involved.)

After all these years, why impose taxes on players in NPC corps? CCP Soundwave explains it all in "I Bring Gifts! (By Gifts I Mean Taxes, Sorry)". NPC corps have a few advantages over player corps in that they cannot have wars declared against them by player corporations; immunity to wardecs is perhaps a key reason some players don't move on to player corps. In addition, members of NPC corporations don't have taxes subtracted from their NPC bounties and mission rewards, which most player corporations impose.

But despite those advantages, players who never leave NPC corps are somewhat isolated from the fabric of the game -- the kinds of interactions (both beneficial and hostile) that come from really jumping in and joining a player corporation. While CCP Games still recognizes the choice to remain in an NPC corporation as a valid one, they do still want to give players a nudge out into the wider EVE experience. They're doing this by establishing an 11% tax rate, which may be adjusted over time.

Whether or not this actually provides incentive for players to venture out further and join player corporations -- and get more involved in the game -- remains to be seen. He points out it's been a tad unrealistic to have an umbrella from war and tax haven wrapped up in one, at no ISK cost to players, and this is going to change soon.

CCP Soundwave writes, "Remember this: while you may escape death in EVE, taxes will still get you."

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