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Live Gamer's Andy Schneider on legitimizing RMT in games and virtual worlds

James Egan

Most mentions of real money trading (RMT) in massively multiplayer online games and virtual worlds conjure up images of virtual sweatshops and the resulting blitz of gold spam. Despite how loudly many protest against the idea of RMT in games, the fact remains that there is a market for this and people spend a lot of real world money on virtual goods every year.

Live Gamer is a company that aims to legitimize real money trading, creating a way for players to spend their cash without the risks inherent in dealing with shady gold and item sellers. It also ensures that money spent on virtual goods is going back into the pockets of the game companies. While services such as Live Gamer don't end the debate on whether or not RMT should be permitted in the first place, it's clearly here to stay, and some game publishers are getting proactive about real money trading.

Steven Crews from MMO Gamer recently interviewed Live Gamer's co-founder and president Andy Schneider. He talks about his company's operations and some of the misconceptions people have about RMT. "When I talk about legitimate RMT, it's about a publisher supporting the notion that people want to buy and sell virtual items for real money," he tells Crews. "They have decided to proactively support that notion and give their player-base a way to do that [...] within the terms of service of the games, within the end user license agreements, and moderated by a trusted party, Live Gamer, with everything totally transparent and authenticated. That's legitimate RMT, versus what most people think of as "gold farming," which is obviously not supported by the game publisher."

The MMO Gamer interview with Schneider also hits upon how Live Gamer works from both a player's and publisher's perspective, the debate as to whether RMT unbalances games, and the shift towards microtransactions in the Western gaming market.

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