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SOE / Live Gamer Deal Explained

Posted by Jon Wood on Feb 07, 2008  | Comments

SOE / Live Gamer Deal Explained -

Today we learned that SOE will be replacing their Station Exchange program, a program that helps players sell in-game items for real life cash (RMT), with a third party company called Live Gamer. Managing Editor Jon Wood spoke to both SOE President and CEO John Smedley and Live Gamer Inc Co-Founder and President Andrew Schneider to try to clear up misconceptions that people might have about the announcement.

Back in December, published an article titled, “Live Gamer RMT Sales Partner With SOE, Funcom and Others”. In that article, we learned that Sony Online Entertainment, along with Funcom and a number of other MMO publishers had partnered with a company called Live Gamer Inc., a company that provides RMT (real money transactions) services.

From the original article:

“During a brief conversation this afternoon, Courtney Simmons, the Director of Corporate Communications for SOE, told that while SOE was indeed a partner, “to what extent [the company will be involved] has not been determined.” During the same conversation, Simmons pointed out that SOE’s current Station Exchange runs at a ratio of 28 non-RMT servers to the two that currently sanction the practice.”

Today, we learned the extent of the partnership in a press release issued by SOE:

“Live Gamer, the premier operator of a publisher-supported marketplace for real money trading of virtual items, has entered into an agreement to utilize Sony Online Entertainment’s (SOE) Station Exchange technology, the industry’s first proven, fully legitimate platform for secure buying and selling of virtual items. The resulting new, independent service, called Live Gamer Exchange, combines the Web-based accessibility of Station Exchange with Live Gamer’s proprietary Wall-Street-developed in-game application, giving players a flexible and convenient way to access the virtual marketplace anytime, anywhere.”

The press release goes on to say that the partnership will see current Station Exchange customers being migrated to the new Live Gamer system, called Live Gamer Exchange. During a phone interview on the subject, Sony Online Entertainment President and CEO John Smedley stated quite strongly that the Live Gamer partnership will be limited to the current Exchange servers in EQII only, and that there are no plans to spread beyond that. When asked if other games would become active in the partnership, Smedley answered that they are starting with EverQuest II and will see how it goes from there.

Read the whole article here.

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