We Are All RMTers

Many developers have recognized that “play as much as you like” is leaving money on the table, while “pay as much as you like” directs your efforts away from the unemployed and towards capturing as much consumer surplus as possible.

WoW quietly became a came with a cash shop, only the cash shop offered account/character services rather than the usual cosmetic items, bonus xp, and sometime uber loot. WoW has officially started its cash shop. The Lord of the Rings Online™ has started with the adventure pack, DDO is now a F2P (free to pay, free to play) game, but I don’t recall hearing any RMT for Asheron’s Call. Most of the recent releases have their cash shops built right in, and others are adding them. The more unfortunate games are adding core services and things that were supposed to be part of the basic package as cash add-ons. Wizard101 has been bulking up its shop.

Which games are left without ways for you to spend dollars beyond a monthly fee?

: Zubon

12 thoughts on “We Are All RMTers”

  1. Well I have shelves full of games from the 80s and 90s which have no way to give them extra money and the buy a box model is still alive.

    I assume you mean MMOs.

    It’s just about none.

    I think there’s a good reason for this too – in the first half of the decade black market RMT was huge. People bought gold bought weapons bought levelling.

    There are all sorts of good reasons why this should be legitimate and that games developers should take over what used to be trafficked on Ebay.

    For cheapskates like me we’ve never had it so good. I play Eve Online and am just about to the stage where both my accounts are paid for by farming ISK (which I enjoy and find interesting) and DDO which I made a one-off payment for that will probably last me until they shut it down. After four years of subbing to WoW I am paying less and grinding less now.

  2. Don’t forget the classic “recruit a ‘friend'” scheme for getting people to pay up boatloads for triple EXP.

    …. and the cosmetic mount.

    The correct question is ‘when will the monthly fee finally, finally be dumped en masse.’

    The answer I would hope for is ‘Guild Wars 2’.

  3. No sign of RMT in Fallen Earth but as a new kid on the block they’re still nailing down a lot of core content and two large upcoming updates.

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they roll something out by mid 2010. I’m all for it as long as it’s limited to cosmetics.

  4. Meridian 59 doesn’t offer sanctioned RMT. (People used to buy and sell in-game currency and characters between themselves, though, but we didn’t approve of it.) M59 didn’t even charge for any expansions.

    Perhaps this is related to the reason why it languishes in obscurity….

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  6. This is the latest trend: experimenting with new marketing ideas and payment options to sell your game even better to the customer.

    I hope the focus soon shifts back on making games better, not on optimizing cash flow.

    Sure, RMT works if the game suits it – DDO seems to work well with it. But what works for DDO just becomes silly and greedy if you take a look at Champions Online and paying for “respecs” in the shop, or Free Realms now charging money after level 5, or adding RMT on top of subscription-based games.

    The WoW shop just opened the doors to even more item mall style RMT in a very innocent way that will soon expand to not so innocent. They are trying to milk the customer to the point they feel cheated and then turn down the milking machine one notch… :>

  7. Frankly there are a lot of games that I would like the opportunity to give the people that made it more money, not less. Old games, games I got for free, casual browser games. If I had a Wii I would have bought Cave Story for the Wii. But I can’t because I don’t.

    So I don’t think it’s greedy at all. I’d prefer if I didn’t have to pay tons to transfer between servers on WoW and be able to play with my friends with my main no matter what server I’m on. But I realise it might be impossible to implement something like Guild Wars 1 had for server management for WoW. I just hope MMOs of the future get away from the fixed server model.

    1. Speaking of giving old games more money, I recently purchased Realms of Arkania 1 & 2 on GoG…

      …does anyone know if the original publishers see the money in any shape or form? I don’t even know if (?was it a Sirtech series? I know the Wizardry I loved was…) the original publishers are still around.

      But yes. I’d like to give money to some old games folks again. Like >.> Dark Queen of Krynn. *hangs head* Really.

  8. RMT proponents are so amusingly shallow emotionally (hence easily manipulated by game devs). You people deserve to be parted with your money.
    The “directs your efforts away from the unemployed” quote illustrates the mindset of RMT proponents quite a bit. Continually frustrated by their own perceived inability to compete with fellow MMO players for virtual status, they champion a form of meta-gaming where money, instead of merit, can buy status within the community.
    While they would have people believe their desire for RMT based games is simply about enabling them to enjoy the game in their own unique flowery way. it’s really about finally being able to show up the “unemployed” guy. Ironically the unemployed guy (who never really existed in the first place), bored by MoneyQuest™ goes and plays something where achievement is rewarded, leaving the RMTers high and dry with nobody to show off to.
    This RMT fixation indicates self-esteem and confidence issues to me. Take a break from the XP potions and zombie pandas. Use the extra money for a session with a therapist.

    Long live fiero.

  9. Oi. Everyone who thinks subscriptions are dead, or RMTs are just a fad? Get out. All I’m saying, you can no more destroy the payment method than you can an idea. Sure, in a totalitarian government I suppose you can kill everyone who supports what you don’t and destroy every archive of their history and….well, if the supposed RMT moguls can pull that off, we have much bigger problems to worry about.

    A more tangible example (Though it fits loosely) is a buffet versus a fast food joint, or conventional restaurant. The buffet concept (subscriptions) isn’t dead, in fact its quite popular amongst its patrons, its just a niche in this case. Restaurants, you might buy a meal, or just for what you specifically want.

    That’s the worst that can happen. Obscurity moves around, hybrids become more popular, subscriptions decline, or pure RMT takes charge, whatever, but the idea of anything dying completely? Absurd.

    1. I don’t think people feel that subs are dying.

      I think people feel that RMT is becoming universal which is not the same thing.

      A game can be sub-based and still run a cash shop (eg EQ2 and WoW and even Eve if you count plexes).

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