8. November 2011 14:47
Recently I read a Neal Stephenson book call Reamde that partially takes place in a fantasy based MMORPG that was designed with real money trading in mind. This along with the recent announcement by Blizzard that Diablo III will feature real money auction house got me thinking that it’s about time that major MMOs embrace real money trading (RMT)
Here are my reasons why real money trading should and will be adopted my MMOs:
1. Real Money Trading happens anyways, attempting to stop it is impossible unless you prevent all player trading. Catching a small percentage of the population does not help the issue; it just pisses off the small percentage of players that get caught.
2. One of the largest issues with real money trading is the fact that often the buyer becomes a victim of a security breach or fraud. Formalizing RMT by providing a secure in game RM Auction House would severely improve account security and prevent the majority of fraud related to RMT.
3. It provides real value to your achievements. Let’s face it many of us are loot junkies, we feel some kind of achievement for finally finding that rare raid item. Giving rare loot a real world value could increase that sense of achievement for many players, even if they don’t elect to sell the item in the auction house.
4. RMT would provide an additional and stable revenue stream to MMOs. Rather than relying on vanity items F2P and P2P games could simply take a small percentage of every transaction in the auction house. I would argue that Blizzard could earn almost as much revenue from the RMT Auction House, as it currently does from monthly fees.
5. It would drive new players to MMOs. The majority of the human population does not live in first world countries. There are many economies where a person could make a living selling virtual items. The first MMO to successfully implement this would see a huge influx of players that would farm gold and items with the purpose of earning a living. Certainly many players that currently could not afford to play would elect to use the RMT auction house to offset their cost of gaming.
6. It is going to happen anyways. Sooner or later someone will adopt a RMT auction house and the floodgates will open. I believe that Blizzard is currently testing the water with Diablo III. I would not be surprised if World of Warcraft or Titan were the first MMOs to implement RMT.
I know this is a touchy subject for many players. If you agree or disagree with me, feel free to post a comment. I for one am looking forward to Diablo III and the start of the new era of real money trading in games.