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How the Grinch Stole Christmas EVE

James Egan

"Curzon Dax stole Christmas." Words I never thought I'd be writing here, but there it is. EVE Online player and forum personality "Curzon Dax" -- perhaps best known for his many song parodies of the game and its players -- has unveiled his in-game IPO for what it really was: a multi-billion ISK confidence scam. Curzon made the announcement on Christmas, no less, and placed the scam at 374.4 billion ISK raised.

While the players who were taken for those billions will certainly be less excited by this news, Curzon accomplished something that's becoming less and less common in the game. For every player that uses cunning to profit in New Eden, there is a horde of player alts who resort to copy-paste scams in local chat at most any mission and trade hub in EVE. As these players simply try to profit from mislabeling items in contracts or spam local chat with the ubiquitous "I'm quitting EVE. Send me ISK and I'll send you 10x back!" garbage, Curzon aimed much higher and cultivated an image which he used to draw his marks in.

He was already known for flying pimped battleships with expensive officer modules, but his resources were far less than what most assumed. He said, "To be honest, I've never been worth hundreds of billions of ISK, as most folks think I was. I've been a billionaire, but never the fantastically rich person that I've made myself out to be. It was just an image."

Once Curzon had secured 50 billion ISK with his IPO, he used it to rope investors into giving him even more ISK. He revealed how he pulled it off: "My initial 50 billion ISK offering got me a list of investors. Over the following weeks and months, I got in touch with most of them in person (in addition to other people) and worked out private deals, where each person thought they were going to privately fund a 'shortage' in my IPO in exchange for one of my officer-fit ships. The bulk of my fund-raising came from that."

"There's a lot of folks who thought that they're getting an officer-fit Golem, or a Paladin, or a Guardian-Vexor today," he stated on Christmas. Clearly, this was not meant to be.

Ironically, unlike the small-time scammers who always claim to be leaving EVE, Curzon actually is leaving the game. Perpetrating a scam was one thing he'd never done in the nearly six years he had played EVE Online -- his 374 billion ISK haul is also his swan song.

Beyond what he's already given away to players, Curzon is passing on this wealth to another player (who he hasn't named). He said, "While I'm leaving EVE, and the parodies will disappear, all the wealth and officer gear I've acquired isn't going to waste - an unidentified recipient who knows who he/she is already is going to get... well, everything. They've worked hard to make EVE a great game, and my riches are going to be a salary for them that is long overdue, although they're probably rich enough already to make it pointless."

Curzon Dax's statements indicate that he acted alone.

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