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Editorial: Real Cash Buys Game Items

Posted Aug 25, 2005 by Dana Massey

Editorial: Real Cash Buys Game Items

Jon Wood is back with an editorial that examines the officially sanctioned sale of in-game items for real world cash. It has been a hot topic for debate lately, and with the recent announcements of success from SOE's Station Exchange, the debate has never been hotter!

Right now, this is one of the most hotly debated issues on the internet. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft strictly prohibits profit from in-game products. Sony Online Entertainment, on the other hand, encourages the practice (albeit within the confines of their own “Station Exchange”). Should it be done? Of 3956 votes tabulated (as of August 24th, 2005), an overwhelming majority of 55.7% answered that it ruins games, while only 5.7% felt that it was “wonderful”. Why is it then that it happens at all? Should it happen? Is it wrong for players to buy an edge over non-buying players?

Sony Online Entertainment recently announced the first month’s figures from “Station Exchange”, their own forum for the sale of in-game goods. According to SOE, over 45,000 characters from EverQuest II have been active on the exchange and have spent over $180,000 USD. In ONE month. Over half of the items that go up for sale end up selling, and 60% of those end up selling for $20 or less. The monetary limit over there in the Exchange is $2,000. Someone met that price when one user paid that much for one character (Iksar, level 50 Fury/ level 50 Sage).

You can read his full article here.

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