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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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16. Re: No subject Apr 24, 2005, 04:53 Awesome Spume
 
I completely disagree with you Bill. I think it is very likely that all online games of the future will incorporate this functionality.

Which is what Ted said. The point is EQ2 isn't one of these future games. Games designed from the ground up to allow people to purchase in game items are going to have to address item farming from the get go. EQ2 just broke itself.

 
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15. Re: regardless Apr 21, 2005, 17:20 natx
 
They actually did their homework and consulted with their lawyers about the liability:

Will I now own EverQuest II characters, items and/or coin?

No. The User Agreement and Software License, to which you agreed when you installed the game and to which you agree every time you launch the game, makes it clear that you have no ownership rights in characters, items and coin -- what you have is the right to use them in accordance with the license agreement, the rules of conduct of the game, and SOE's terms of service. When SOE launches Station Exchange, SOE will permit you to "sell" and "buy" that right to use characters, items and coin. In "lawyerese," you will be buying and/or selling a limited license right, not an ownership right.


So before you guys all get your panties in a bunch and spreading rumours try reading the post from sony.

"In addition to the issues listed above, you may ask, "What about farming?" The simple answer to this is that we're going to continue to heavily enforce the rules of EQ II, and those rules don't permit players to monopolize spawns or in any way harm the play experience of another player. We will continue to enforce these rules, but we also think that by providing a legitimate way for players to buy and sell the use of virtual goods, there will be fewer problems on the non-Exchange servers."

Additionally all the uber spawns are already camped as it is.

 
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14. Re: regardless Apr 21, 2005, 17:15 natx
 
The items and coin are still the property of sony. So you can't sue them for loosing items, it's still sony's property.

 
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13. Re: regardless Apr 21, 2005, 13:28 Creston
 
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.

Bingo. Next time a server outage causes you to lose playing time (ie, sets you back 20-30 minutes or so), take them to court over the item and gold you lost, since that item could have represented an xx amount of dollar value. Hey, it's only 20-100 bucks or so, but if 20000 players do that, Sony's MMORPG is going to down the tubes.
I am absolutely STUNNED that Sony's lawyers haven't predicted this, and haven't put a stop to it.

Fuck, I'm going to register www.suesony.com

Creston


 
Avatar 15604
 
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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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11. Re: No subject Apr 21, 2005, 09:57 Bill Borre
 
I completely disagree with you Bill. I think it is very likely that all online games of the future will incorporate this functionality. Sony can always put limits on it if it results in customer uproar. What puzzles me is that I recall reading about something like this implementing player-generated quests in SWG. I guess Sony decided to forego SWG.

 
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10. Re: No subject Apr 21, 2005, 03:33 Bill Nakano
 
This will kill EQ2.

I don't play EQ2 but I'm aware of the anger against gold/item farmers in WOW. Up til now there has always been the threat of losing your account over an out of game transaction now the floodgates have been opened. Sony obviously sees the advantage of having a few thousand extra subscribers from China on their US and European EQ2 servers. But when every spawn is being aggresively camped by farmers noone will want to play, and when the paying customers all go so will the farmers. This utterly smacks of desperation on the part of Sony.

 
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9. Re: No subject Apr 20, 2005, 20:36 Bill Borre
 
It would be an interesting development if it ever got to the point where people could charge other players real money to join with them on raids. People could offer their services as mercs.

 
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8. Re: No subject Apr 20, 2005, 17:34 Fantaz
 
They should have had this looong time ago. But now eBay is rich instead.

 
Avatar 571
 
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7. No subject Apr 20, 2005, 16:49 nightfend
 
It is cool how the items and characters are automatically transfered by SOE. So no one can take your cash and never deliver on the items. But honestly, why doesn't SOE just sell gold directly to players? $50 for 5,000 gold or whatever.

 
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6. No subject Apr 20, 2005, 16:33 space captain
 
its not bad - im just laughing at how stupid, shallow and greedy SOE is

hey if you can make a living as a gold farmer - be my guest, more power to ya... make sure to program a /pizza macro tho

so much money, where does it all come from? we're paying for democracy, never mind the bomb... so much money, what does it do? it puts them in power where they shit on you

- Subhumans
 
Go forth, and kill!
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5. regardless Apr 20, 2005, 16:27 natx
 
this has been happening for years on ebay and other services. why is it so bad now that sony is making it legal to sell stuff? they realize its going to happen one way or another so why not cash in on it.

 
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4. bound to happen Apr 20, 2005, 16:12 Mega Fantasy Sci-Fi PostApocalyptic MMORTRPFPS 9000
 
Let's face it, the market has always been there, so why not have it available in-game rather than using a 3rd party?

 
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3. No subject Apr 20, 2005, 15:50 space captain
 
yeh - theyve seen the light of diminishing profits

so much money, where does it all come from? we're paying for democracy, never mind the bomb... so much money, what does it do? it puts them in power where they shit on you

- Subhumans
 
Go forth, and kill!
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2. eeenteresting Apr 20, 2005, 15:09 FourPak
 
Is this Station Exchange a FREE service?
(ie no Extra charge to players who already play EQII)

While it's effect on everyday gameplay may be minimal for most players, this announcement is a fairly significant milestone in online gaming cultural evolution, sorta akin to the RIAA suddenly embracing the old free Napster and p2p models and saying "we've seen the light, we now endorse the free exchange of intellectual property."

Of course if SOE -charges- for use of Station Exchange then they're no better than the kapitalist exploiter fatherrapers at IGE.com.

edit: hmmmm http://stationexchange.station.sony.com/faq.vm#HowIsItGoingToWork
The “seller” will be able to list the item or character on the Station Exchange website, and will be charged a nominal listing fee. ... Once the Exchange server has completed the transaction with the seller’s PayPal account (minus a percentage of the transaction price) , the item or character will be transferred to the buyer’s game account.

had the service been FREE i wouldn't have had a problem with it, but becasue they're going to be making a Profit from it...
This comment was edited on Apr 20, 15:26.
 
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1. Who didn't see this coming... Apr 20, 2005, 14:08 Zyrxil
 
Yet another reason not to play EQ2.

 
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