Elite RuneScape Player Earned $50,000 Selling Gold

By Frank Lewis,
Stokenut, a London-based RuneScape player, confesses on YouTube how he made over $50,000 selling the fantasy MMO's virtual currency before developer Jagex permanently banned his still-loaded account.

In a five-minute YouTube recording posted over the weekend, Stokenut said that since Free Trade returned last year, "I have only really played the game to make money." And make money he did.

Over the course of an estimated 18 months, he farmed and sold RuneScape Gold, earning slightly even more than the median yearly salary of a full-time British employee.

The revelation that Stokenut was particularly shocking - then eventually, enraging - to his fans who better knew him as a British vidcaster whose outtakes as a RuneScape player earned him up to a hundred thousands of views for his more popular videos. Stokenut's official YouTube video channelcurrently has roughly 25,000 subscribers with nearly 5 million total views for all his videos.

Stokenut said that he turned to real-world trading less as a means of last resort - he claims to be do fine for finances even without the real world trading stipend - but more as an opportunity that was too tempting to ignore.

"Guys, common sense OK. If you have the ability to make between 500 million and 2 billion per day - the prices I was selling at was anywhere between $250 to $1,000 per day then you would do that, regardless of how you feel about real world trading in general."

Even as he defended his decision, Stokenut makes no excuses for the effects of gold selling in RuneScape.
"My personal opinion: Real world trading is terrible. Free trade has ruined the game. But if I'm not going to do it, someone else is."

"You can't remove real world trading from a game that has free trade," he added.

In the video, we see that Stokenut received his permanent ban on August 17, with the offence cited as "Real World Trading Major (ban)" with status indicated as still "Appealable." Stokenut said he can try to appeal, but we think that the YouTube tell-all guarantees his account will stay banned forever.

Stokenut said that the banned account still had 5 billion Gold in it, which at current RS Gold prices of around $131 per 200 million Gold, could have amounted to $3,275 when sold at fair value. (More likely though is that the confiscated Gold would have sold for less than fair value at around a couple of thousand of dollars.)

More than anything else, Stokenut predicts that his banning would push Gold prices "through the roof."

"All Jagex can do is ban certain real world traders. But what is that gonna do, well all that's gonna do is jack up prices of Gold."

If true, this would mean a turnaround for virtual currency's steady decline over the past half-year. Gold prices have declined by almost half after reaching a recent high of around $230 per 200 million Gold in March.

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