Eve Online developer retracts accusations of wrongdoing, reinstates banned politician

Eve Online developer CCP Games has retracted its allegations against Brian Schoeneman, a real-world politician and a democratically elected member of Eve’s in-game advisory council. In addition, the Icelandic developer says in a blog post that it will be “returning any confiscated assets and providing rectification as appropriate.” In a joint statement shared with Polygon, Schoeneman says he accepts the apology.

Known as “Brisc Rubal” in the game, Schoeneman made headlines when he ran for a seat on the Council of Stellar Management (CSM), Eve’s advisory council. His elaborate campaign video, leveraging his experience as a professional lobbyist and life-long Republican politician, helped him get elected. In June 2018 he began a one-year term alongside nine other player representatives. Those same representatives eventually turned him in, presenting CCP with evidence that he broke the body’s elaborate non-disclosure agreement and shared confidential information with other players.

Now CCP says it got the facts wrong.

“We made a mistake,” wrote George Kelion, senior manager of communications at CCP Games, in a blog post last week. “We offer our formal apologies. First, to Brisc Rubal and the two other players involved, both for making the allegations and for the disturbance and stress caused by the way in which we handled this situation. Second, for not collaborating with due care with the members of CSM 13, who have acted responsibly throughout. Lastly, we owe our sincere apology to the Eve community for this error. We take full responsibility for any confusion and mistrust caused by our initial assessment of the situation.”

A joint statement issued by both CCP and Schoeneman, sent this week to Polygon, makes it clear that both parties are eager to move on.

“CCP Games apologizes to all involved parties and retracts the allegations,” CCP said in the statement. “All information provided leading to the initial action declaring wrongdoing was unsubstantiated. CCP Games will be providing reparations, including the reinstatement of Schoeneman’s Brisc Rubal game accounts in Eve Online and rescinding the one-year bans placed upon the other two players.

“Brian Schoeneman has accepted CCP Games’ apology,” the joint statement continues. “Schoeneman understands that while CCP’s response was in error, it was not conducted with prejudice or intent to harm, and Schoeneman holds no ill-will or residual acrimony against CCP.”

On Twitter, Schoeneman appears glad that CCP has taken definitive action to clear him of any wrongdoing.

“Thanks to CCP Games for doing the right thing,” Schoeneman tweeted, before indicating that he will not be returning to finish his term on the CSM.

“Since folks are asking,” he tweeted, “I’ve chosen to resign from the CSM. There’s not much time left in the term, and I need a break after all of this. Maybe in the future I’ll consider running again, but this has been tough for me and the [family] and I could use the time off.”

Rather than pursue the matter further, the lobbyist said that he’s opting to turn the other cheek.

“I know it would be easy to be angry and want to go after whoever accused me,” he said on Twitter, “but I’m not going to be vindictive. It was a mistake, it’s been rectified and I don’t want anybody else impacted by this — I know how bad it was for me, I can’t in good conscience do it to somebody else.”

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