We were told by developers and publishers over the years that real-money-trading was a scourge on online gaming and ruined the experience for everyone. Rules were added to the term and conditions for just about every game to make sure that everyone knew it was not allowed and wouldn’t be tolerated. Those that did not heed the warning would risk their account being banned forever.
It seems that in the end, money rules and no one really cares whether or not real-money-trading ruins games or not. Sony Online Entertainment was the first to allow item and account selling for Everquest and Everquest 2, but shut-down the service in early 2008. Probably because of the enormous fees they charged and sellers decided the blackmarket was better for them.
Yesterday Diablo 3 launched with it’s own RMT auction house, even though Blizzard has been railing against RMT for years. It seems the real issue wasn’t that it ruined their games, but they weren’t getting a cut of the cash.
Blizzard has been adamant about their game accounts, stating time and time again, that they are the owners of the accounts and not the players, but by allowing players to buy and sell accounts to each other, isn’t Blizzard indirectly conceding they really aren’t the owners?
What Blizzard is trying to get away with here is renting you an online account, while making you pay for the game. If I paid for the game and the game requires me to make an online account to use it, then you can’t say I don’t own that account. Otherwise I cannot gain access to the game which I paid for.
Having said that, it would be reasonable to say that since I purchased the game, and the game requires an online account, then I own that online account. Going a step further, I should then be able to sell my account to anyone I want without using Blizzard’s auction system.
Where do you guys stand in the new RMT world? Is what’s good for the goose, good for the gander? Does Blizzard have any leg to stand on when it comes to RMT and players selling their accounts and items privately? Or do you believe that RMT still ruins games?