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Samhain's Zergwatch

Samhain's Zergwatch is a blog that started in 2006 on a different gaming community server and has since evolved into, a place to gather my twisted thoughts on the whole mess. Explore the oozing underbelly of gaming with me.

Author: zergwatch

Why do MMORPG publishers REALLY hate the Chinese Gold Farmer?

Posted by zergwatch Friday April 11 2008 at 5:30PM
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In their press release and community announcements, MMORPG publishers tell us to beware of the Chinese Gold Farmer. Ok first, people always give me shit about saying things like Chinese Gold Farmer and Uncle Li when talking about gold farmers. Until somebody can prove otherwise, most gold farming is done in China and the most popular Chinese surname is Li, so piss off unless you're arguing that most of them are not uncles.

Anyway, company bulletins tell us that the evil Chinese gold farmers are out to hack your accounts, steal your credit cards, ruin their merchant status or completely and utterly destroy the game economy and that to protect the game they will ban both you and Uncle Li if they catch you. Be realistic, if you do happen to buy from those companies and you're not buying from a well established company like IGE, then you deserve to have all that stuff done to you. The more prominent companies would not remain in business if they were stealing information and hacking accounts left and right.

The truth behind the matter might have something to do with the integrity of the in game economy, but the most prominent reason they are so aggressive with gold farmers is because somebody else is making money where they could be making it. It goes beyond gold farming. Look at Blizzard trying to cash in on WoW glider revenue. They don't care about the program, they care that somebody else is making a buck and Vinny TwoFingers didn't deliver a brown envelope to them. They are not suing to just end WoWGlider, they want a piece of the WoW Glider pie. If it was a lawsuit in defense of righteousnous, legal compensation and a cease and desist would have sufficed because its doubtful that Blizzard will ever be able to factually prove that the program hurt such a thriving business enterprise. Instead, Blizzard wants to turn a buck on the case.

If the companies were so worried about games being tainted or economies being ruined, why are so many performing research on and developing their own publisher backed RMT services?

It's because they realize a money train when they see one. While their own revenue projections and subscriber base flounders, they see these foreign sweatshops raking in the cash hand over fist. SOE currently offers Station Exchange servers which facilitate offline item purchases between players in which SOE takes a small cut of each transation. Other companies are experimenting with RMT.

Most MMORPG's already have RMT transactions in the form of collector's editions. When you buy a collector's edition you are already engaging in a RMT for an in game item, but its ok, because the publisher gets your extra $20-50 for that pet, garment or weapon you paid for.

There aren't that many mainstream MMORPG's offering RMT services at this point, but the seeds have been planted and as MMO publishers continue to fail to meet their financial projections and realize that their half assed hack of an MMORPG is not going to be the next World of Warcraft, we might see a more aggressive trend towards publisher backed RMT services either on top of subscription based MMORPG's or to fun free to play MMORPG's.