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Blizzard on Live Gamer: No way, no how

Mike Schramm

I've been reporting on our sister site Massively (just like WoW Insider, but for all MMOs) about Live Gamer, a startup that claims to be legitimizing RMT (real-money trading, which is spending real money on virtual items) in MMOs. But while there are a few big names supporting them already (Funcom, which is making Age of Conan, and Sony, which makes lots of different MMOs, including all the Everquests), there is one name that's missing from their supporters: Blizzard.

And now we've heard that that's not going to change anytime soon. A "Blizzard rep" says in no uncertain terms that they're not interesting in RMT at all, in a sanctioned form or otherwise. "Not only do we believe that doing so would be illegal," they say, "but it also has the potential to damage the game economy and overall experience for the many thousands of others who play World of Warcraft for fun." Wow. Tell us how you really feel.

If I can be biased for a moment, that's great to hear. Blizzard has definitely been taking steps to make RMT obsolete rather than legit (by doing things like adding in daily quests and requiring things other than gold-- reputation, turn-ins-- to buy virtual items). There's no question that there's a lot of money to be made in RMT-- every day, virtual items seems to gain more and more real world value. But it's good to hear that Blizzard is invested in making their game fun, not selling the virtual items they create.

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