Thousands of virtual spaceships costing real money to construct have been destroyed in the largest ever battle fought in multiplayer game EVE Online.
EVE Online challenges players to construct and manage their own spaceship, allowing them to join large teams or "corporations" in a bid to gain control over resources found in the game's virtual solar system.
This recent battle, which EVE developer Erlendur Thorsteinsson confirmed via Twitter was the largest ever fought in the game, saw more than 4,000 players battling for in-game resources in an area called the 6VDT sector.
Previously, the largest EVE battle had been the Battle of P-2TTL which featured around 3,600 players.
"The Battle of 6VDT" took place on 28 July. It was fought between two of the game's largest corporations: The Test Alliance and the CFC, also known as the "Clusterf**k Coalition." After almost five hours of fighting, the CFC emerged victorious, with The Verge estimating that more than 2,900 ships were destroyed in the fighting.
EVE is a real-time strategy game, meaning players control their ships indirectly, using an interface of commands and options.
Ships are bought and modified using players' real world currency. In July, a "Revenant" ship worth $9,000 (£6,000) was destroyed in an ambush attack after a fleet commander in the Pandemic Legion turned out to be a double-agent working for rival corporation called the Black Legion. The Revenant was one of only three of its kind in existence.
Though no estimate has been given on the total damage cost of the Battle of 6VDT, the Battle of Asakai, which took place earlier this year and involved around 3,000 players, resulted in the loss of over $15,000 worth of ships.
A full account of the battle and its aftermath has already been written by "The Mittani", a fleet commander for the CFC:
"As the CFC often does in these type of fights - as any leader of unscrupulous morals would do, given the chance - we 'decapitated' the enemy fleets by targeting their commanders.
"We made the call to 'drop the hammer'. Our capital class vessels, waiting in the wings for the first two hours of the fight, came into play with bright lights and whooshing sounds. Immediately upon seeing our capitals come into play, N3ST forces began to evacuate. Single fleets started to warp away, leaving others to their fate.
"That was the fight of 6VDT from my perspective. It was long, it was grueling, and it was bloody."