Art by Quendan Comari
CCP has reversed its 2018 permaban policy and announced that moving forward all alleged violations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The changes came in a September 16 post, which added that players who have been permanently banned can write CCP to seek to have their ban lifted if they are “are willing to acknowledge they have made a mistake and demonstrate a genuine willingness to change.”
CCP said that “there have been instances whose outcomes did not reflect the good intentions we envisaged when we first implemented this policy. One of the pillars of EVE is that while New Eden is cruel, it is also fair. We want our in-game policies to reflect that fairness and, in the same way that Capsuleers do not have only one life, those EVE players who have violated some of our policies should not always be subject to our harshest punishment at strike one.”
Players might still get a permanent ban for a variety of violations, CCP cautioned, including personal harassment or doxxing, trading for real money (RMT), botting, using racist language or hate speech, exploiting the game through abusive practices, and the catch-all “other serious, malicious activities” referred to in the official Real-Life Harassment & Threats Policy. While this policy change allows permabanned players to rejoin the game, CCP said it will “monitor their progress to ensure they comply with our policies.”
CCP’s 2018 permaban was a harsh penalty that had been used very rarely. Perhaps the best known permaban was the one used on one of the game’s most polarizing figures, gigX, three years ago this month, in September 2017. The controversial player and leader of the alliance Circle-of-Two (CO2) threatened another player in real life, after a betrayal that made news even outside the confines of the game.
In April of 2019, CCP again used the permaban on a very well known player, Brisc Rubal, who was a member of the CSM (Council of Stellar Management, Eve Online’s player-based advocacy group), stating he had used confidential information gained through his role on the CSM to affect in-game transactions. The ban created a storm of controversy, as Rubal denied all charges. Later that same month, CCP retracted all charges, reinstated Rubal and two other characters permabanned over the incident, apologized for the accusations, and provided reparations.