Paid content packs and new billing forms

“WTF about the poor chinese guy?!”


New billing forms and way’s to battle the RMT (Real Money Trading) market is on a “all time high” in the mmorpg business right now. Out of the blue the companys have suddenly realised a huge amount of players just don’t wanna grind endless for money to buy overpriced items from a collapsing ingame economy they can’t control anymore.

I don’t know what bothers me the most in over 10 years of playing mmo games. The goldsellers or the same old discussion among the community in EVERY game i have played, if I have to think about it I prolly been spending more time reading threads about “goldselling”, listening to various OOC chats where everyone is an expert on RMT (Real Money Trading) then I spent time on getting ingame /tell’s from goldsellers *sigh*.

Paid content packs
I love new fresh ways to make mmo’s more enjoyable. Funcom’s latest idea with Paid content packs is one of thoose things. Their next update will contain a series of great new vehicles that players will be able to purchase individually or as an entire pack. I just love this, why not make more ingame content buyable? Now this is a real way to battle RMT. Some people have the time for endless grinds and some have the money to buy their stuff. Make more game content buyable! What’s the difference, paying a chinese guy for gold or powerlevel your character or buying your stuff from a ingame vendor paying with your VISA?

RMT is big business
and there’s no mmo company not having people in there “Think tank” trying to figure out a way to cash in on the fact that many, many players buy gold or sell gold to goldfarming companys. Some of them even try out system of their own to cash in on it allready.

I respect the fact that some players really have a problem with this, my point is we really have to get out of the little pond and realise there’s really a lot of money in this, this is not about peoples little gaming experience or ingame economics, this is on the world million dollar business scale – this makes it sensetive, as the game companies, publishers etc. can see a huge profit to be made here if they take control of it. To think this is about “taking charge and ban accounts” is really naive.

The Sony Station Exchange
Out of pure luck I stumbled on John Smedley’s (CEO of Sony Online) comment this morning on a White Paper they released about the subject on trading currency for in-game currency, items, and even characters. As some of you might know they since 2005 have a service called “the Sony Station Exchange” doing just this, legaly. The amount of money generated in this business will not help this go away and we will probably se this taken into gamedesign in the future in one way or another. There allready games out there way ahead on this like Project Entropia where real money can be drawn into the game from your VISA in seconds when ever you need.

qoute: To me the idea that an out-of-game economy can exist and people can make money by participating in a game they love is amazing. However, I have to emphasize that I think it’s important we design with this in mind. If it’s non-game impacting and just plain cool, I suspect people won’t mind it.. and if they get a tangible benefit out of it (not paying a sub-price for example) I think people will actually like it. The key is to design games in such a way that “farming” just isn’t possible or beneficial. Make it about creativity. Make that the source of rarity. Then I think we’re on to something huge.

SOE’s Station Exchange – The Results of a Year of Trading

So what im trying to say is, get used to se some change in future mmo’s cuz it’s comming wether you like it or not. I can asure you banning players for buying gold has nothing to do with the RMT problem (or opportunity for some) and it would only hurt a game in the long run.

One thought on “Paid content packs and new billing forms

  1. Pingback: The shady side of the mmorpg business « /Blackmoore

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