Blog Banter 49: Who is the 1%?

Blog Banter #49 asks the following:
What is "rich" in EVE? Is it simply having more ISK than most everyone else, is it measured in raw numbers of some other ethereal quality? Can you actually be poor? Have you ever lost nearly everything and had to claw your way back? If you are rich, how do you know and how did you get rich?
As of right now, I currently own four accounts. Across all of my accounts, I have most of my money invested into my trading alt (approximately 3-4 billion ISK) with Ageudum, my primary wormhole character, following closely behind with just under 1 billion ISK. Personally, I classify myself as the bottom of the "middle class" of Eve.

The problem with classifying myself as being in the middle class is that there's no real data (that I know of) to place anybody inside of an economic class. The nice thing about economics in the real world is that, generally speaking, it's transparent enough to determine an average income per capita. National economics are regulated so well that each country can report (to a relatively accurate scale) how much of their currency is in circulation. These two pieces of data are incredibly important, as they set the basis for what each country can call "rich" and "poor."

As of the time that I'm writing this, I do not know of nor was I able to find a resource that reported the total amount of ISK that is in circulation in the Eve economy. I also don't know of a resource that reports the average wallet size of all Eve Online players. Without these two pieces of information, it is extremely difficult to statistically determine guidelines for what is space-rich and space-poor.

Therefore, the best we can do is base our economic class on intuition. Personally, I would say that if you genuinely have to worry about how you're going to pay for your account or primary activity in-game, then you're on the poor side. If you cringe a little each time you lose a particularly expensive ship or hate checking your wallet after having to buy a PLEX for your account, you're on the lower side of middle class. If you cringe when you lose an expensive ship similarly to how the lower-middle class does, but simply because it's less surplus money you get to play with after you PLEX all four or five of your accounts, I would say you're on the upper side of middle class because you still have to worry about money, but have a relatively large amount of ISK invested in assets across multiple accounts.

And finally, space-rich. You know you're space-rich when you stop caring about money. All of your accounts are subscribed for a full year, and all of those subscriptions were paid for with PLEX. You can lose battleships left and right and not even bat an eyelash at your flashing wallet. You simply don't have to care about how much money you have, because you have enough of it to compensate for any possible losses that might inflict you.

Everybody wants to be space-rich. But sadly, only a few can be space-rich.


  1. Try searching for the old quarterly economic updates put out by CCP on the economy. the information will be old (they discontinued the series over a 18 months ago) but you would have a broad idea of the scales of ISK to measure against.


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