- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Online Wares Mean Real Life Cash

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” [3] 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.