Because we have confirmed the existence of players who are engaging in these illicit activities, we have taken the actions listed below.As someone who doesn't play Final Fantasy XIV, I don't know how much 367.7 billion gil is really worth. That's not a problem in EVE because we can easily convert ISK into PLEX. So why not convert gil into PLEX?
- Date: Sep. 12 – Sep. 30, 2013
- Accounts receiving disciplinary action for RMT site advertisements: 6,154 accounts
- Accounts receiving disciplinary action for illicit activity: 156 accounts
- Action Details: Termination from FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn
- Date: Sep. 28, 2013
- Accounts receiving disciplinary action for RMT/illicit activities: 568 accounts
- Action Details: Termination/Temporary suspension from FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn
* Accounts of egregious violators will be terminated.
- Total Frozen Gil: Approximately 367,700 million Gil
* Gil of temporarily suspended accounts will be confiscated.
The first step is to convert gil to U.S. currency. That requires visiting the gil selling sites, which I did when I first heard about the ban wave. I found 14 web sites that sold gil by reading the Google Ads that appeared when I used the search term "buy FFXIV gil". The median price on 27 September was $11.46 per million gil. The lowest price offered was $6.77 per million gil. So let's use those as our price points. That means that Square Enix seized between $2.5 million to $4.2 million worth of gil at last Friday's grey market prices.
The next step is easy. I always calculate the price of PLEX as if I were buying a 60-day GTC at full price, or 2 PLEX for $34.99. That means the value in PLEX is somewhere between 142,800 and 240,000 PLEX. I could stop there and tell everyone that Square Enix seized gil worth between 11,900 and 20,000 years of EVE Online playtime and call it a day. Or I could estimate that the value of the gil Square Enix seized was worth an estimated 30-45% of CCP's monthly revenue from subscription fees and PLEX.
But that's no fun. So as one last comparison I looked up the amount of PLEX sold in September in the four main trade hubs of EVE Online: Jita, Amarr, Dodixie, and Rens. The total amount of PLEX sold in those regions last month was 117,338. That means that the amount of gil seized by Square Enix is worth perhaps all of the PLEX transactions for a month at the low end, and twice the amount of PLEX transactions on the high end of my estimate. That's a lot of RMT going on!
As I said at the beginning of the post I wasn't going to write any more about the FFXIV RMT operation over the weekend. But looking at the numbers involved I had to try to point out just how big of a business the RMT trade really is. And remember, the gil involved was just that seized, not the total amount in the gil sellers possession.