Author Topic: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?  (Read 3593 times)

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Offline Jayce

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SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« on: April 20, 2005, 12:35:14 pm »
In a move that prompted me (and many others) to seal the cancelation of my account by deleting my characters SOE have announced that they are setting up their own broker system where players can buy and sell in game items for real world money.

All the info is on the forum below which anyone can read but it seems there is some confusion as to how people feel about it. SOE say they have polled people (though they polled people in EQ I and are implementing this in EQ II  :o ) and the majority are for it yet the majority of people on the forums seem to be against it  ???

Anyways, have a read and post what you think.

I guess the big question really is would you enjoy playing a game where the playing field is dictated by how rich you are in the real world?

http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board?board.id=stex



Offline Lord Janos

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 02:08:06 pm »
People on forums tend to be very vocal and contraversial - the people who don't go on forums and just get on with playing are the majority, and they tend to be the much less vocal etc.

Offline Cend

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2005, 04:37:18 pm »
Janos is right, also, it's much easier to complain than to praise. And everyone on forums loves to rant it seems...

Personally, I think it's a dumb idea. It's just another form of cheating, but now you gotta pay for the codes. It'll ruin games, both their dynamics (economy, etc) and their fun value. What can the companies do though? Seems like no matter what there is an ebay economy in all mmo's. So I suppose rather than give money to customers (gasporz!) the companies figure this way they'll get the money.

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Offline Scipion

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2005, 03:37:53 pm »
If you play any MMO for long you realise going to the forums is a waste of time because it's filled with people who can't stop complaining.  Some times there are a few people who are the voice of reason, but mostly it's garbage.
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 07:05:00 pm »
This is actually a very interesting move. And even more interesting is that I saw John Smedley the President of Sony Online Entertainment speak today about this very topic and their reasoning behind it. Very interesting, I'll talk about it more in the next podcast (wow, this podcast could be a juicy one!)
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Offline Tr0n

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005, 02:58:53 pm »
Well, the real world is generally decided by how rich you are.  It's just going to be a mess, because our American capitalism is going to spread to that worl more than it already has.  The rich will get more powerful and the poor will just have to actually play the game.  After several years on EQ1, a year or so on SWG, and an attempt at EQ2, I have completely given up on MMO games because of the widespread idiots, sh*t talkers, exploiters, and 13 year old demi-gods.  It'll never change because normal people don't have the time or will to put their lives into an online game.  MMO's in general have ALL left me bitter and angry.  The only recourse I had was to watch some of the stupid people in East Commons tunnel (on EQ1) cuss at me while I destroyed all of my items and made sure everyone knew about it.  Juvenille, yes, but highly satisfying.
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Offline CustodianV131

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2005, 02:58:37 am »
Well was to be expected.

Its has its up and downsides.

Currently people with a lot of time rule in MMORPG's (Mostly youngsters)
With this new move people with more money rule (Mostly oldies)

I'm very interested to see where this will go. Micropayments are the future and you can be sure we'll see a lot of them in MMORPG's quite soon. After that other genres will follow. Extra maps for your FPS... new adventures for your RPG ect. Its starting already with NWN and others.


Its (going to be) the new buzzword and it  might bring a lot of good for gamers…. And a lot of bad also… Lets hope the light side will prevail victorious :D
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Offline Tr0n

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2005, 10:36:37 am »
I believe you forgot about "youngsters with daddy's credit card."  There are more out there than I thought at first.  The oldies are also sensible and probably won't fork over 50 bucks for a single item, where the kids will spend 200 dollars making their character "ub3r" (since they don't have car payments or rent or a mortgage).  It's a fairly common trait in many young MMO players to be THE ULTIMATE.  It's not the community aspect they care about, it's asserting their power upon those who rule them in real life (e.g. parents, bigger kids, and teachers).  I read a fascinating paper about this a while back, and I even wrote one for my psychology class in college.  I'll see if I can dig it up.
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2005, 03:35:42 pm »
I can probably do an entire podcast on just this topic alone, but here are a few items to consider:

1) One of the very biggest expenses running a MMORPG is running the upkeep, specially a call-center to handle customer care issues. You could have a MMORPG developed by 75 people and yet need over 750 people in a 24/7 call-center handling the upkeep and maintenance of the "basic" issues, like billing, bugs, tech support and the like. Right now Sony spends 40%-50% of their time taking care of problems which relate to other people selling items from player to another. So this problem is costing Sony money big time, not allowed by Sony's ULA (which everyone ignores), and other people are making tons of money from Sony's product.

2) Now this has been going on since MMORPGs have started and will not go away no matter how hard Sony tries.

3) So rather than trying to police a problem that will never go away and spending millions of dollars trying to police it, Sony finally "got with the program" and figured it was time to embrace it. So now instead of losing money they'll be making millions and get to control the market.

4) Something else to keep in mind is that in other countries this practice is not frowned upon (selling your own in-game items or getting a cut of player transaction). And in the long run (heck, even in the short run) the number of people playing MMORPGs in other countries will far far far outpace the US. Everquest has never had more than 500,000 people playing it at one time, and it's considered the best-selling MMORPG game of all-time in the US. In China and Korea their MMORPGs have millions of people playing them, several millions. Even the "less popular" ones easily outsell Everquest.

Sony is just doing what everyone is going to do in the long run ... even Blizzard one day I'm sure. It is simply impossible to prevent and police, but you can very easily control and monitor it ... and make money from it. Everyone will be doing it.
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Offline CustodianV131

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2005, 03:06:46 pm »
If you can't beat them join them. If you can even make more money doing so... well what are you waiting for?

This is going to happen. Just a bit ago people were complaining about the monthly payments ect with MMORPG's (And newcomers to the genre still do) People got used to it and saw that is also has its benefits. Same will happen with micro payments.
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Offline schragnasher

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Re: SOE do a 180 on selling virtual items, is this the future?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2005, 05:43:42 pm »
From what i know people are blowing this WAY out of proportions.
The plan by SOE is to make SEPERATE servers for this, give ppl a chance to move to them and then leave the current servers alone. This wont force anyone into a world of buying/selling you have to make a character on one of those servers to do it.