First of all we’d like to thank evenews24.com for giving us some airtime here. Most of the visitors to our website already know what happened, but to be sure: The 12th of August 2011, we revealed the true purpose of Phaserinc.com. We always knew that that day would come. We never intended to be a real investment corporation or anything remotely like similar. Phaser Inc. was designed as a so-called Ponzi Scheme right from its inception.
We have already published our reasons for doing it on our website (www.phaserinc.com) but this seems to be a good moment to give a more in-depth view. We have both played Eve for quite a while – though not under the names Eddie Lampert and Mordor Exuel of course. We PVPed a lot and, like everyone else who does, we needed ISK to do it. We used to earn money by trading and ratting which burned quite a lot of valuable PVP time. That’s where it all started.
We went through the possible options to earn ISK and decided a scam would be the most profitable thing to do. The downside of a scam, however, is that other players lose the ISK that we gain. This was, at first, a rather large moral obstacle for both of us. We talked it over for quite a while and came to the decision that we could live with it. The main reason being that scramming people’s money is allowed by CCP. The game rules support – maybe even encourage – scam and fraud. It’s actually as much allowed as two players shooting one another in low and nullsec. Simply put: it’s part of the game.
If one players destroys another (with the loss of ship, pod and implants), the victim also loses ISK. Some may be angry for a while while others have learned to accept the loss of ships as a part of the game. There’s not really much of a difference between that and what we did. The only marked difference is that shooting each other is more common – more players are willing and able to shoot other players than can pull off a scam. We think the desire to run an involved scam is present, but the knowledge and drive to commit to a long-term, complicated, and time intensive scheme isn’t. Along with this, we don’t want to forget to mention an important downside of shooting each other. It might be more common, but there is also a lot of ISK wasted. The ISK that is lost by the victim is usually significantly higher than the killer gains so there is a substantial amount of ISK thrown away in PVP.
Surprisingly (we have to admit), at the end of our eight month run, we received much less “hate mail” than we had expected. More specificly, 90% of the mail we received has been positive “”Thumbs up.” “We love you guys.” “Well done,” and so on) including messages sent by people who lost billions. We think that confirms the truth of our statement that scamming is as much condoned as shooting one other. The one thing we did not expect is that so many people would be on the same page as us. So to all players that gave us kudos after we closed Phaser Inc., we are sorry we underestimated your ability to put all this in the right perspective.
Let’s flashback to November 2010 when the decision was made to craft a scam. We realized quite quickly that a Ponzi Scheme would be the best way to gain a lot of ISK. However, we also decided to do something significant – maybe even historic. When we PVP, we want to be good or even the best (which we are NOT by any stretch of the imagination but that is our goal). But, setting that goal establishes a standard for improvement each time we go out. So, it naturally follows, this goal must be carried into the scam we were about to start. The scam had to be the real deal. And not only the real deal, but it must also have its own standard for achievement. We did our research and read extensively about scams on the internet. It seemed that for EVE, 800 billion was the record for being the biggest scam in game history. Our goal, therefore, was to reach 1 trillion and all our plans focused on that as a target.
We began by spamming local chat channels slow and easy. We received private convo invites surprisingly fast and it took only a day or so to get our first client. We were processing everything manually initially. Unfortunately, we soon discovered we would never reach 1 trillion in 10 years if we continued in that fashion. So we started automating things. Step-by-step we developed a fully-automated process for handling deposits. We used the API service to check our wallets and update the balances of the online accounts (Every client had an online account). The only actual work we did was fly around annoying people with our ads in local, process mail, and do the payouts. Registration, depositing, resetting passwords and changing payout schemes were all done automatically. I would also venture a guess that seeing the management process and the website evolve lent credibility to our enterprise. (Major thanks to our site developer – also an EVE player. He/she did a wonderful job with this and did not know the real purpose of Phaser Inc.)
Slowly we increased the volume of ad presence in local chats, and ceased accepting private convo invites. It turned out to be more efficient to continue spamming than to accept convos. That one potential investor who ran away because we didn’t accept a convo wasn’t as big of a loss considering spamming ads brought in more people for the time spent. In addition to that, we hired an editor (also an EVE player) to polish the text on our website giving it that extra, professional touch that became crucial since there was no, or very little, personal contact involved. (I’d like to thank our editor for the quality of service provided – also without knowing what we were up to.)
Finally, at a certain point, we reached the area of 1 trillion. We still had momentum to continue. We could easily have reached 1.3 or 1.6 trillion but we decided what we had was enough. In eight months Phaser Inc. took more time than PVP (the reason we started Phaser Inc.) but we now have enough ISK to play EVE for a very, very, very long time, and will probably never have to worry about ratting, mining, or anything else to make ISK for our PVP expenses. But still, it did become a second job. It was at the point where we were spending as much time and effort advertising as we were in our RL employment that we said, “Enough is enough. We’re done.” We reached our goals. We didn’t feel a need to squeeze anything more from it. We didn’t want to drag more people into it, as well. At that point, the decision was made to close down Phaser Inc. on the 12th of August 2011.
Once again, thanks to Eve News 24 for the opportunity to cast a little light on the dark corners of our possibly nefarious but quite profitable enterprise. Though it involved a lot of work in the end, it also got us to where we wanted to go.
Good luck and best wishes to everyone.
We remain yours sincerely,
Mordor Exuel & Eddie Lampert
P.S. We would also like to thank those that have continued to deposit even after we took down the site. About 1.5 billion isk has been deposited in the last two days.