Monday, February 14, 2005

MMOG secondary market: the bad and the ugly!

As reported earlier today on Slashdot,'s Garthilk managed to get an email interview with IGE president, Steve Salyer. Head over for a quick (and dirty) read on some real hard questions and answers (unless it gets too hard ) on a practice that has all camps fired up.

At the end of the interview he asks one innocent question (or loaded, depending on your point of view) that illustrates quite vividly what virtual goods and character sales does to a game. Whichever camp you're in, this debate is far from over, and it's likely to get uglier before it gets resolved. If it ever does.

Personnaly, I'm not in favor of, either the sales of goods, characters, or currencies, simply because:
  • it destroys the delicate balance of the virtual market economy that was created be the developpers and the players;
  • it puts an unfair advantage on those who have (or are willing to spend) real life money and use it to get ahead in the game;
  • it brings real life elements into a virtual world that is trying to dissasociates itself from it.

How would you feel if you had spent hours, weeks, and months in your VW (virtual world) and had build up your character to something very impressive, only to see all your effort (and fun) wasted when you see some newbie kill/destroy off your character/ship/avatar with his uber character he just purchased on eBay? Or try to answer Garthilk's Monopoly question. And do it honestly.

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