Say It Ain’t So, Indeed

Posted: December 18, 2007 by Kendricke in LiveGamer, RMT, SOE, The Gaming Industry

As posted on the Everquest II and Vanguard official forums, Warcry’s Razorwire, and even the Wall Street Journal (and pretty much everywhere else under the sun), the RMT company LiveGamer has penned a deal with several MMO publishers to start legitimate RMT transactions within their games.

NEW YORK CITY, DECEMBER 17, 2007 – Live Gamer Inc™ (www.livegamer.com) today announced its introduction as the premier provider of a publisher-supported, secure platform for real money trading of virtual property. Live Gamer is partnering with top massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) publishers and virtual world operators worldwide, including Funcom GMBH, Sony Online Entertainment, 10TACLE STUDIOS, Acclaim, GoPets LTD, and Ping0 Interactive Limited. The company was founded by industry veterans and backed with $24 million in venture funding from Charles River Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Pequot Ventures.

-LiveGamer press release

Live Gamer has the support of publishers by promising to prevent the sale of goods by gold farmers, who are widely disliked because they tend to hoard game wealth without socializing with legitimate players. Live Gamers says players who sell goods through its marketplace will keep 90% of proceeds, with the remainder split between Live Gamer and the publisher. Sony, which allows the sale of virtual goods for its Everquest II game, said there is a need for an independently operated marketplace for virtual goods.

-Nick Wingfield, Wall Street Journal

The only real question most gamers will want to know is whether or not this will affect current games such as Everquest II, or if it’s set up for future games only.

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Comments
  1. Wilhelm2451 says:

    I read through that and some other commentary and can only say that it is all amazingly scant on details. I mean, techincally, Funcom and SOE already do RMT, and what is described above sounds a lot like Station Exchange.

    I cannot imagine SOE just turning on the tap for legitimized plat and goods sales on their regular servers.

    Say it ain’t so indeed!

  2. I will always retain my position that RMT is a wonderful thing as long as the game doesn’t emphasize achievement–in other words, it isn’t a traditional MMO. It makes my gamer guts go inside out when I think about it.

    And, if it is offered in a traditional achievement-based MMO, do NOT let people around me do it on my server. Separate us. Put the people who are willing to pay for their achievement on one server set, and everyone else on another.

    This is at least as big an issue as the PvE/PvP separation. Meaning, it must always be opt-in, 100% of the time. There’s a very good reason that most MMOs have separation between PvE and PvP now, and RMT vs. NMT (No Money Transactions) is just as big, if not bigger (just on principle, not on tangible gameplay impact).

  3. Illuminator says:

    The RMT trend dies if enough people resist it. Right now it only appears centered on ooohing and ahhhing by top brass.

  4. Kendricke says:

    As Raph Koster put it: “Will the gamers like this? Flatly, no. At least not publicly. But a heck of a lot of them will pay up quietly.”

  5. Xeavn says:

    In somewhat of a followup Massively is running a story about Blizzard turning down Live Gamer.

    http://www.massively.com/2007/12/20/blizzard-wont-support-legit-rmt-service/

  6. John says:

    As a buyer of game currency I see no use in this service. I both buy and sell my currency to a very trusted company ( http://www.ClockworkGamerDoesNotCondoneRMTLinksOnOurSite.com ) I do not have to wait for someone to bid or use a buy now feature and on top of that I do not have to pay any fees to a company. I get paid immediatly after I sell or on the flip side I receive what I paid for when I buy. These companies are releasing these platforms, yet why would a customer such as myself that has been using a trusted company switch to something not as user friendly??

  7. Scayre says:

    Unfortunately it already exists, people can by Legand of Norrath booster packs for real life cash and then sell them for plat on the servers. Personally I am against it.

  8. Lars says:

    I’m ok with RMT if the game is designed around the idea. As some have pointed out, it doesn’t work in achiever-oriented level-and-loot based games, but it can work in other contexts. While there should always be a niche for achiever-oriented games that ban RMT, at the same time, I’m excited by LiveGamer and the MMO industry’s shift towards alternate payment models (besides the subscription fee) and types of MMOs (besides the level-and-loot-based grind).

    You’ll see LiveGamer crop up in games like the (rumored to be) free-to-play casual-oriented The Agency; I wouldn’t past it for someone to try it in an EQ-style game, but it will only be a niche (just as Station Exchange servers are shunned by most players today.)

  9. Wilhelm2451 says:

    As a buyer of game currency?

    I think an RMT ad has crept its way into this discussion! See, it is insidious!

    Nice choice of names there, John. That sends exactly the right message.

  10. Xeavn says:

    I would have pulled his link but left the message earlier, but apparently I don’t get that kind of access. Maybe Kendricke can do it. It does make a fairly cleverly placed ad.

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