Think about this a moment: people are actually paying money to experience less of their games. Every day. Probably all day. These are often games that they've already purchased and, in effect, pay someone else to play for them. The existence of RMT and power-leveling services isn't exactly breaking news, but it makes these aspects of MMOs no less bizarre a notion. The thriving business built upon such tenets of how online games should operate is a matter of some concern to Jesse Henning, a writer at GameCyte.
Despite the can of worms it can be,"from a business standpoint, subsidizing RMT is a fantastic move," Henning writes. If players will buy items and currency outside of the system anyway, what company wouldn't prefer that cash to enter their own pockets? "From a design standpoint, however, RMT is a treacherous path to walk," Henning cautions, and goes on to look at the pitfalls of game design that incorporates RMT. Conversely, the writer then discusses the level-disparity design problem in World of Warcraft and how it actually encourages players to buy gold and use power-leveling services. Henning also looks at how the ancillary services operating within and around a world pull in more revenue than the world operation itself, citing Raph Koster on the issue as well. Have a look at the piece at GameCyte, which discusses how RMT affects console gaming as well as MMOs, and just how inescapable it really is.