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Sony and Virtual Sales

Sony Gets Real on Virtual Goods (thanks Mike Martinez) is a Wired story on this announcement that SOE has launched the Station Exchange for the sale and exchange of virtual items for real cash in EverQuest II, with the service slated to go live in June. Sony has previously been a strong opponent of such cross-over between virtual and real marketplaces, which will now be part of their business model.

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12. Re: regardless Apr 21, 2005, 10:23 Zathrus
why is it so bad now that sony is making it legal to sell stuff?

I played EQ for a number of years and was an officer in the uber guild on our server. Selling of gold on ebay directly affected us -- it turns out that one of the other officers was a complete asshole and was taking guild funds and items and selling them on ebay for money for himself. And not small amounts -- our best guess is that he defrauded the guild of around 1M plat (yes, at times we had GMs asking us about our mule characters, since they had a significant portion of all of the plat on the server).

Needless to say, it caused a lot of problems.

Legitimizing it will simply mean that you'll increase the level of farming of money and items for no purpose other than to convert them into real cash. How is that a good thing for the game or even the game economy? Was it happening on the sly? Sure. But at a much lower level than it will now. Additionally SOE has just opened up a huge can of worms on itself by officially tying virtual items and money with real money -- now if you lose some huge amount of in game items or cash due to a bug you could theoretically take them to court for losses -- regardless of the EULA. After all, they cannot deny that it has real value if they're the ones providing the service to convert virtual cash into real cash, and courts look upon things like that very differently.

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