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Pay-to-trade could change the landscape of MMO economies


If you've noticed that it's become more difficult to buy, sell, or trade goods in an MMO these days due to the sheer amount of player-bound items, you're not imagining things. A writer for Gamasutra penned an article in which he discusses the decrease of in-game trade and suggests that studios might be missing out on a great source of potential revenue.

First, he acknowledges why studios have moved to restrict trade. It keeps the headache of managing an economy to a bearable amount, it cuts out duping and exploits, and it stems revenue losses that are caused by third-party traders. However, the author says that the hassle could be worth it if studios were smart and got in on the action by creating a pay-to-trade economy.

"In the real world, we pay huge sums in the form of taxes and fees to keep transaction costs low," he writes. "So here's my question for developers: How much would your players pay you in exchange for the ability to trade?"

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