(Graphic by Autumn Mariano)

As most gamers know, video games are a form of investment. We invest our money and time with a return of several hours of entertainment.

However, video games are starting to step over that line of a $60 one-time fee to monthly subscriptions. Games like Riot’s “League of Legends” may be free, but players (me included) throw their money down on Riot points for champions, skins (different champion looks) and boosts.

Blizzard’s “Diablo 3” implemented an in-game auction house where players could use real-world currency to buy and sell in-game items, and just like in all virtual in-game auctions, the house always takes a cut. This allows Blizzard to utilize more aspects of the game to skim money from players.

Video games have become a multibillion-dollar money-making machine. Although companies like Blizzard have made fortunes off of our entertainment addictions, CCP Games’ “Eve Online” has made more money from 21 hours of gameplay from approximately 4,000 players at once.

“Eve Online,” which launched in 2003, is a futuristic game set in space. Players can pilot customized spaceships through a vast universe consisting of over 7,500 different star systems. Characters build and level through real time. That’s right, no easy street in this game. Skills that take little to no time at all to level take actual real time to master in this game. That’s not the only thing that takes time. Spaceship customization and building your ships take time.

Players can exchange real-world currency for in-game currency, which they are able to use to buy materials for their ships. The current going rate for a Titan ship in the game? Approximately $3,000, give or take a few bucks. Not to mention time and the manpower it takes just to get the ship going.

The Battle of B-R5RB has gone down in history as the largest virtual battle in the 10 years since the “Eve Online” launch in May of 2003.

The battle began when a space station failed to pay their in-game maintenance fee, which signaled players from both alliances that this front was open for grabs. It would allow for the perfect advantage point in the war. Both alliances brought players into the systems.

The battle waged for 21 hours of real time, with more than 4,000 players taking part in the epic bloodbath. CCP Games had to slow their megaservers down just to keep the servers from going down.

After the 21 hours and hundreds of ships, characters and droids destroyed in the game, the grand total of damages was 11 trillion ISK (“Eve Online” in-game currency), which converts to anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 that players had spent to build their ships.

Comparatively to Blizzard’s monthly fees, Riot’s “League of Legends” Riot points seem to be a more sound investment of time and money than spending thousands of dollars on a ship that can be destroyed by other players. Think of all the time it took to even build the digital ship, and it was gone in less than a day.

By my calculations, CCP Games wasn’t the only one to make money on players from the Battle of B-R5RB. I’m going to assume there was a rise in the need of relationship therapists and divorce lawyers afterward.

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