Here's what $200,000 of real money being destroyed in a game looks like

In EVE Online, a video game about outer space, players managed to obliterate about US $200,000 (€146,000) worth of pretend spaceships this week – and that's real-money value we're talking about.

EVE is notorious for being a cut-throat game, with massive battles on this level happening every few months – but this is the biggest yet. Here's what happened:

Groups of players in EVE, called corporations, control areas of space. One corp, N3, was using a space station as its staging area - but they forgot to pay the rent on the station using in-game currency.

That meant it was up for grabs - if another group could take it by force.

So, in came an alliance of two other groups - CFC and Russian coalition - to take the station. They were noticed by the original owners, who called in backup. So did the attackers.

Eventually, there were thousands of players in the same system, bombarding each other in one gigantic wargame: the battle of B-R5RB.

But how, you ask, could people lose so much money playing a game? It's simple.

The game costs a certain amount of money to play, to run the computers every player logs into online. It's about €14.95 a month, with a bit of a discount for buying in bulk.

Within the game economy, you can buy and sell products for play money, called ISK – or buy game time from another player in exchange for that play money. So basically the cost of a a month of play time can be found out in both real and fictional cash.

Every dot in this image is a ship:

Using that calculation, and the fact that 75 of the ship's biggest, most powerful, and most expensive ships - called Titans - were destroyed, the best estimate is that whopping $200k figure.

Developer CCP is still crunching data on the exact number of ships involved.

By Dave Molloy
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