The echoes of World War Bee (or Beeitnam, if you prefer) continue to reverberate throughout null sec. No matter what you thought about it or any of the participants or who won, its influence continues to influence events. The roots of the recent evacuation of FI.RE, one time PAPI member coalition, from the southeast can no doubt traced back to the war and how it fell out in the end.
History is not a series of discreet dates but a continuum of connected events.
So we’re back to talking about the war today because of an announcement that the Imperium has made over the last couple of weeks regarding the bonds it issued during the war.
The war was expensive, and all the more so at the end of 2020 and the beginning to 2021 when the Imperium was not just losing structures, but had been involved in the first battle at M2-XFE which saw about 250 titans destroyed, split about evenly between the PAPI and the Imperium, which represented something close to 30 trillion ISK destroyed in an evening.
The Imperium needed to replace those titans.
It also needed to buy quantum cores, the new addition to dockable Upwell structures that CCP added in order to combat proliferation and to incentivize the destruction of those player owned structures by making them not only more expensive, but but giving them a valuable guaranteed drop when they were blown up.
All structures would require cores starting on January 12, 2021.
So the grind of war, the loss of titans, the need to core structures, along with the suppression of income with hostiles invading our space but an enormous amount of financial pressure on the coalition. In order to cope with that, the Imperium chose to issue war bonds to keep any ISK liquidity issues at bay.
The coalition used the corporation shares system in the game to setup an offering with the following parameters.
- Each share had a face value of 1 billion ISK
- Each share would pay a dividend of 10% of the share’s value per year, paid in monthly installments due on the 1st of each month (8.33M per share per month)
- Repurchase of a share by the coalition would be equal to its initial sale price
- The alliance reserved the right to mature bonds and pay out the face value of shares at any time after the 12th payment, which was due on 1 January, 2022
Members were being asked to loan the coalition ISK in increments of 1 billion for a minimum of one year at a 10% interest rate.
At the time this was roundly mocked by our foes as a desperation move by the Imperium and those investing ISK were cast as suckers being fleeced by leadership who they suggested would simply take the ISK and run.
Within the Imperium the war bonds campaign was reported to be wildly successful. I personally bought five shares and received my first dividend payment during the 31st week of the war.
On Wednesday of this week, February 1st, I will receive my 24th dividend payment, which will push the sum total of payments I have banked just past the 1 billion ISK mark.
I should do so well in the real world.
The success of the Imperium war bond campaign even inspired some of our foes to attempt similar offerings to bolster their finances in the face of CCP’s economic austerity plan for New Eden.
The war ended, having petered out over a year back. Delve has been rebuilt and with CCP finally seeing sense and loosening up the ISK faucets again, there is a sense of prosperity in some quarters. Even I have been out ratting some, feeling like it was worth my time to earn some ISK.
The Imperium too must be feeling more prosperous, because two weeks back it was announced that the coalition would begin to mature and buy back war bonds for their full face value.
The call went out on the weekly fireside to investors who had purchased a single share to step up and arrange to sell them back for 1 billion ISK each. A week later that was expanded to investors who held two shares. It was explained that the program would continue to expand to those who held more shares.
Sitting on five shares I suspect I will be able to get my initial investment back at some point. Again, in a little over two years I will have turned 5 billion ISK into 6 billion ISK with no effort on my part.
I am not eager to get paid out. I don’t need the ISK this minute and it will likely just sit in my wallet earning zero interest when I do get paid. But I understand that the finance team might be keen to use a period of relative peace and prosperity to reduce the financial burden on the coalition.
Because, of course, we need to have everything as ready as possible for the next war… because there will no doubt be a next war at some point.
This is not exactly an exciting bit of EVE Online trivia. Bonds and investments and dividends seem more like something part of the mundane real world rather than a futuristic internet spaceship games featuring immortal capsuleers fighting battles in the stars. But it does speak to the complexity of the game, and the game’s economy, that there is a team in the Imperium that handles financial transactions like that. This is somebody’s virtual space job.
And not being exciting, it isn’t something you’ll likely see written about very often. I am curious how the bonds issued by other groups during the war turned out. I’d like to which organizations kept to their commitments and who took the money and ran leaving investors in the lurch.
Another day in New Eden.
The EvE Online economy is great. :) When I used to play I ran an investment fund for my Corporation, Alliance, and friends which I’d use to play the market and then pay dividends back to the investors. Was fun and made a good amount of money for everyone. As you say, I wish I could do so well with investments and playing that market in RL as I did in EvE…
Great to here it worked out and the ISK was not embezzled. I want to say I hadn’t ridiculed the idea at the time, just a weird expression on my face because at that time I might have had 1b liquid (and maaaybe would have given it to BRAVE if we had been in the same situation) but if you don’t just have a few billion sitting somewhere…