It appears that a former Jagex employee has stolen rather a lot of in-game-currency from several players of the long-running MMORPG Runescape, with the news confirmed late last week by the developer. According to an official statement released by the Cambridge-based studio, an employee from the Old School team was dismissed from their position while a more detailed investigation, this time in cooperation with the police, is in full swing.
Over on ResetEra, the unknown man is accused of having stolen enormous amounts of in-game gold from players, as well as having access to people's security information (although Jagex denies that personal information was compromised). There are even allegations that tournaments were rigged to the benefit of a clan he was associated with. There's a lot of speculation on the forum and it seems like the studio is yet to get a full handle on the extent of the criminal activity.
In one case there is talk of a theft that equated to as much as 45 billion of the Runescape currency, which equates to roughly $45K USD in real money (we made the calculation here). The total theft of digital goods could be closer to $100K, but with so many allegations flying around at this stage, it's all speculation. What we do know for sure is that the employee has been removed from the team, gold was moved from players' accounts back into the live game, and now the police are involved.
It has not yet been made public how he stole the money and what happened to it, but we expect a clearer picture to emerge in the coming weeks and months.
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