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Eve developer conducting full investigation after banning real-world politician

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‘We will issue a full and frank apology for any mistakes for which we are responsible’

Brian Schoeneman screencap from Brisc Rubal YouTube video Brian Schoeneman/YouTube

Earlier this month, developer CCP Games made an unusual move when it banned a player from Eve Online. Banning players happens all the time, of course, but what made this decision so strange is who that player was: a real-world politician, and a member of Eve’s democratically elected in-game council. Now, CCP games says it’s conducting a full investigation into what happened. It’s possible that the company made a mistake.

“We have held further discussions with the affected parties,” CCP said in an official statement, “We have also been conducting an internal review to substantiate the evidence available to us and evaluate our handling of the situation. We intend to share a full follow-up statement next week.”

“As should be expected,” CCP added, “we will issue a full and frank apology for any mistakes for which we are responsible, as well as provide appropriate reparations to those affected by any erroneous actions we’ve taken.”

The news broke on April 8 that Brian Schoeneman, known in-game as Brisc Rubal, had been accused of wrongdoing and permanently banned from the massively multiplayer game. At the time, CCP said it was members of the Council of Stellar Management, a player-elected group of advisors, that turned him in. Now CCP isn’t so sure that it got things right.

“Transparency, fairness and trust is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’re issuing this brief update while also taking the time to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation,” CCP said in its most recent statement. “We understand that there are many questions lingering over the incident, and we want to assure you that we take this matter very seriously. Both the sanctity of the CSM and the relationship we have with our players is of paramount importance to CCP.”

The same day the allegations were made, Schoeneman himself went to Twitter and Reddit to proclaim his innocence.

“I categorically deny any wrongdoing,” Schoeneman said in a statement on Twitter, “and look forward to clearing my name and having my reputation restored.”

“These baseless charges have had an immediate and negative impact on not only my in-game reputation but my out of game reputation,” he continued on Reddit. “I have spent the last year working hard on behalf of the community that elected me to represent their interests to CCP. I have done so diligently, attending more than 95% of all of the meetings and conference calls that have taken place. There is no reason why I would jeopardize all of that by violating my word, putting my reputation on the line, and risking all of this to provide a fellow player with an unfair advantage in the game.”

More information is expected from CCP in the coming days.