As reported in JoongAng Daily (via PlayNoEvil)
the RMT market in Korea was estimated to be worth around 1 Trillion (more than US$1 Billion) Won in 2006. The biggest auction website in Korea's RMT
market, Itembay last week set a new record with a 12.5 million Won ($13,678) transaction for a set of very rare swords and armor for NHN's R2 game.
The amount is enough to buy a compact Hyundai car.
Just a week after the news that K2 signed an agreement with PlaySpan. Gala-Net, another operator of free to play online games such as Rappelz, Flyff, Upshift
StrikeRacer, Shot-Online and Corum has agreed with PlaySpan to use its in-game item trading platform for peer-to-peer exchange (via Warcry).
Gamasutra had an interview with John Young,
corporate vice president at Gala-Net about using PlaySpan for peer-to-peer trading. Currently, players either trade items between each others in game
or buy them from the company operated Gpotato.com online shop. The PlaySpan platform will provide a secure and interactive marketplace for buying and
selling items. Using the platform, the company hopes to effectively create an open economy in games. Although, the games that will be covered have not
been announced yet.
Another interesting note from the interview is the difference in the attitude towards RMT between free-to-play operators and subscription based
companies. A few quotes from the interview:
"What is new now is that players can trade via a rich range of auctions either in-game or via a web interface, and we are verifying the transactional
integrity of it every step of the way, and actively encouraging players to trade their license to use virtual items."
"The choice before developers and publishers today is whether to try to shove it under the carpet and pretend it's not happening, or to harness the
reason people want to trade and incorporate that into the fun."