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 Apr 27, 2005 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
* on "Station Exchange"

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft is weighing in on the ups and downs of Sony's "station exchange" setup, where Sony becomes the venue by which the "farmers" in EQ2 sell their wares.

IGE is well known for its involvement in selling virtual items for real world cash, being the leader in online gaming sales. Purchasing items from third party companies is as simple as deciding what you want to buy, giving your payment information and meeting someone in game, sometimes as fast as 5-10 minutes after purchase. This is a fast money making market, that's rapidly growing with more MMO's hitting the shelves each year.

One of the most disturbing problems that has arisen, is so called Sweatshops, where people are being paid very little wages to play upwards of 6 characters at the same time (otherwise known as "Botting"), to create in game money that can then be sold online. If this is as John Smedley says, a $200 million dollar market, then Third Party Company's such as these can put up some healthy figures.
The problem, of course, is that they annoy the hell out of the real players and degrade the game experience.

I left FFXI because of them, and have no plans to go back.

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