Digital currency is something that’s often used in the gaming industry, especially for online games. It’s a form of financial tool that allows for online transactions. Ultima Online was the first that used a form of virtual economy in 1991. In this case, players earn gold coins when they defeat monsters, find treasure and complete quests. However, just like in real world situation, Ultima Online suffers from inflation, due to the never-ending presence of monsters in the game. EverQuest took this mechanism one step further by allowing people to trade virtual items among them. Although prohibited by the game developer, they also sell items on eBay. It is clear that virtual currencies have become a common thing and each game may implement its own currency. Virtual currency has become a kind of worldwide phenomenon and people are eager to sell items to one another. Many people even earn a lot of money by converting these virtual money into real cash using various methods.
This is especially true for players who don’t want to spend weeks or months to obtain a powerful item in a game. For many game developers, this is not a recommended thing to do, because these players simply cheat and they don’t obtain their achievements in a proper way. However, some game developers embrace this trend by allowing players to purchase powerful items legally using real cash. This is something that won’t be liked by players who play for free, but still an excellent way to earn money. In fact, it’s estimated than in 2002, EverQuest is considered as the 77th richest (virtual) nation, based on the GDP. Current games like World of Warcraft certainly has even more money. Other than selling items, people could also sell their services to other MMORPG players, making this game a full time job. People with some amount of business acumen and creative skill should be able to earn a lot of money by playing MMORPG. There are always loopholes that are not yet closed by the game developers.
Game developers have a big interest in making sure that there’s no significant inflation in their system to ensure proper level of revenue. Any player who is know to get involved only for their personal gain can be banned immediately. There should be a team to validate whether specific items or achievements are obtained legally through the item. This should be quite easy to detect, especially if developers find out that a new player has unusually powerful items, without purchasing them through normal means. It is clear that in many cases, virtual currencies tend to ruin the overall user experience. People who play for free due to budgetary issues will be at significant disadvantage, because they collect virtual coins at much slower pace. Even so, MMORPG can be a very exciting platform if people are disciplined enough and agree to follow all the rules. They could use the proper teamwork and strategy to ensure that they can achieve goals without spending too much money.