Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Global War On Illicit RMT: Charity Case

If I had to name a game whose economy has suffered the ravaging effects of botting and illicit RMT, I would name Runescape.  Despite banning 1.1 million bots and seizing 3.7 trillion gold pieces1 in the first nine months of 2013, Runescape suffers from a serious inflation problem.  Jagex introduced Bonds, a version of EVE Online's PLEX.  But Jagex still needed to institute additional gold sinks in order to absorb all the currency that bots had introduced into the economy.

In November, Jagex opened up the Well of Goodwill, which allowed players to turn in gold and bonds to raise money for seven charities.  And one of the benefits, besides helping worthy charities?
"A second benefit of adding the Well of Goodwill is that it will also act as a massive gold sink for the game: something we promised with the launch of Bonds that's still needed, which will have a huge impact on improving the game's economy."
That's right.  Jagex turned a charitable event into an event that could help heal the ravages of botting and illicit RMT.  But I won't knock the Runescape communities efforts, as they helped raise over $90,000.  The fact that players also donated over 544 billion gold pieces and 7,000 bonds also helped remove some of the excess currency that was injected into the economy by the bots.

Quite frankly, I'm glad that Runescape has an external page that I can do lookups of bond prices every week as part of my research into the effects of PLEX-type systems on the price of secondary market RMT.  If not, I would have had to actually start an account and start playing in order to get information.  When the game company puts out figures that 40-50% of players in any given month patronize a secondary market RMT site, that's a game I want to have no part of.  Hopefully Jagex's latest plans will help bring the RMT problem into some semblance of control.


1.  Using Sunday's bond price, 3.7 trillion gp is the equivalent of over 19,700 years of game time.  In EVE that is the equivalent of over 237,000 PLEX.  As a comparison to EVE, in October and November of this year, 186,779 PLEX were sold in The Forge, home of EVE's main trade hub Jita.


  1. Interesting note on the price of bonds, there in game cost has increased by about 25 percent over the last two days when Jagex announced that the premier club (a 3/6/12 month subscription plan with additional benefits) would be payable with bonds this year.