For several reasons, EVE Online subscriptions - "pilot license extensions" - have become an in-game item to be bought and sold among players - and stored in cargo holds of the sci-fi MMO's ships. You know where this is going.
Seventy-four "PLEXes" - these 30-day subscriptions - were in the cargo of "a lone Kestrel in in Jita" reports Massively, apparently a bad neighborhood and an underweight craft. Two pirates scanned the cargo and pounced. Though they could have stolen the cargo and used or sold it in-game with the consent of EVE publisher CCP, it was instead destroyed by the raid. Seventy-four 30-day codes amount to six years of game time, and cost more than $1,000.
Why are these things destructible virtual items? Massively says that CCP had problems with players buying in-game currency from shady gold-farmers, and commoditized the 60-day game time code as a 30-day PLEX that can change hands legitimately in the game without sanctions. This allows folks who are good at building up ISK (the game's currency) to renew their subs via playtime, more or less. Only last month did CCP enable these items to be transportable by ship. Obviously, pirates scan cargo before they attack, so one could assume any PLEX, let alone 74, makes you a high-value target in a bad neighborhood.
At current prices, 74 PLEX would command 22 billion ISK. If bought from CCP, the six years, two months worth of game time would cost $1,295. Ouch.
EVE Player Destroys Over $1,000 Of Game Time [Massively]