Online Wares Mean Real Life Cash

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It’s something that’s been reported many times before but I’ve never really believe people made serious cash from it. Fortune did a report on “Paul” who is someone who “plays” EverQuest full-time and earns a comfortable living – pegging his yearly income between $150,000 and $1M. The twist Paul adds is that he doesn’t play the game, earn the in-game currency and items, and then sells them (that would be too slow) – he actually buys the characters of retiring players, sells their items within the game for in-game currency, and then converts them to real dollars through Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE). IGE is an entity that has sprung up that facilitates game currency conversions. Paul left a corporate law partnership in Dallas (to do this) and currently drives a Porsche 911 Carrera, his wife rolls in Lincoln Navigator.

Paul has about 20 EverQuest accounts, he says, and keeps at least seven avatars trading “24/7.” Each can be programmed to sell up to 80 items at prices he sets. The most he’s ever received for a single item, he says, was about 3 million plat, which might fetch between $840 and $1,200, depending on where plat is trading against the dollar.

I don’t see why Sony, makers of EverQuest, would really have a problem with this considering this just increases the popularity of the game. At first they seem miffed but they’ve soon joined in offering their own currency conversion system – taking 10% off the top of course.

In July, Sony set up its own RMT service, called Station Exchange. In its first three months of operation — limited to a small fraction of players in just one game — Station Exchange hosted $540,000 in real-money trade, with Sony taking a 10 percent commission on every transaction. Sony has said it will now expand the service to most of its other games.

{ 2 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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2 Responses to “Online Wares Mean Real Life Cash”

  1. dan says:

    Isn’t it a little shady for Sony to offer their own service, considering they control what’s being sold? They could slowly start flooding the market with high-value items; these items would slowly be sold off for higher prices, generating a bunch of cash for Sony, before people realized that they’re no longer “valuable”…

  2. jim says:

    I think the service they provided was the money conversion service, transfering money from in-game “plats” to out-of-game dollars…. selling the items themselves would be shady.

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