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Sony plans to open virtual games goods marketplace

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 22 Apr 2005 15:05 User comments (2)

Sony plans to open virtual games goods marketplace Sony is planning to start a new online market place that will allow its gamers to buy and sell virtual game items. The Sony Station Exchange is not expected to open until late June and initially will only allow the service for EverQuest players. They will be able to sell in-game cash, magical items and characters. The move comes as some surprise because Sony has tried to stop trading like this in the past on several sites. Sony said it was taking the move to help stamp out fraudulent sales of game gear.
The EverQuest game was released in 2004 and allows players to control characters in an online fantasy world called Norrath. These characters gain experience and become more adept at their trade, be it warrior, priest or magician, by completing quests. The game has its own internal currency and magical items are used by characters to boost their powers. Some players didn't want to build up their supplies and characters so they go looking to buy them from somebody else.

In the case of EverQuest, most items that are traded are cash, artefacts and characters; you would often find them on eBay. Sony has done it's best to try to stomp out this kind of trading and has even sued from item trading sites. Powerful characters and items can change hands for hundreds of pounds. Some estimates have put an $800m (418m) price tag on the global market in game items and cash. In a statement issued to EverQuest players John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, said it was setting up the marketplace to stop people being ripped off when they buy game goods online.

"Dealing with fraudulent transactions of one type or another takes up roughly 40% of our customer service people's time," he said in the statement. "We believe that by taking this course, we will free up a great number of resources to deal with other things for our players," The Station Exchange will only allow players to buy and sell items. Sony has no plans right now to sell any items itself.

BBC News

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2 user comments

122.4.2005 18:17

why didn't anyone think of this before?

222.4.2005 18:32

Many did actually. But as the article mentioned Sony filed some lawsuits against sites setup for that purpose - which is pretty sad! Who knows maybe they are looking to make money off it in the future!

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