Eve Online is known for its outrageous space battles, propaganda and political maneuverings, but things got real earlier this month when an actual US politician was banned from the game for alleged corruption. The politician in question, Republican lobbyist Brian Schoeneman (in-game name Brisc Rubal), was accused by CCP of breaking a non-disclosure agreement to share confidential information which was then used by another player to conduct "illicit in-game transactions".
After conducting a review of the situation, CCP has now concluded its initial findings were incorrect, and has made a formal apology.
"It's now clear that our initial actions were based on unsubstantiated assumptions," CCP stated. "While we were motivated by a desire to protect the working relationship between the CSM and the EVE Development Team with all due speed, had we taken the time to review the information with greater scrutiny, this incident could have been resolved without the disruption that has since occurred.
"We made a mistake here and we offer our formal apologies."
CCP acknowledged the episode had caused "disturbance and stress" to Brisc Rubal and the two other accused players, and will "make it up to all concerned". In the meantime, the company is restoring access to the banned accounts, along with any confiscated assets. CCP will also be changing its policies and procedures "to ensure this kind of situation does not reoccur".
So, what does Brisc Rubal have to say about all this? So far he seems happy the ordeal is over, using his Twitter account to thank CCP for admitting the mistake and "doing the right thing". The episode has caused enough stress to prompt Rubal to resign from the CSM, however, with Rubal explaining he "need[s] a break after all this".
Reddit's reaction to the news has been somewhat less magnanimous, with many asking questions about the way CCP handled the situation, and others speculating on who might have made the initial accusations. All we know for now is Brian Schoeneman isn't making a Brisc exit after all.