First, the WoW Token, after a brief climb to 31,218 gold on the first day, settled into a range between 20,000 and 24,500 gold starting on 10 April. That range put the Blizzard-approved price of WoW gold between $24.50-$30.00 USD for 30,000 gold.
When I've discussed CCP's approach in its War on Illicit RMT, I've described the price of PLEX as part of the "top down" element of its strategy to make illicit ISK and PLEX sales as unprofitable as possible. With the introduction of the WoW Token, gold sellers now have to compete directly with Blizzard when selling gold. Worse, from the gold sellers' point of view, they have to offer a substantial discount due to the possiblity of Blizzard catching buyers and taking action against them, such as seizing all of the purchased gold. I call the difference between the official price and the price gold sellers offer the "hazard discount".
|WoW gold prices on Earthen Ring (Horde)|
After looking at two weeks' worth of data, I still can't determine the answer. The price of illicit ISK has fallen the last 12 days. The only price pressure that the WoW Token has put on the gold sellers is existing. But that's enough, because the gold sellers are still attempting to find the sweet spot. Or are they? I get the sense that the gold sellers are losing a considerable amount of business to Blizzard. But are the gold sellers still competing with Blizzard, or are they competing with each other over winning market share of a reduced clientele?
One thing enabling illicit gold prices to continue to decline is that the gold farmers/botters have not decreased their activity. In a thread on the Honorbuddy forums, one gold farmer was complaining that prices offered by wholesalers had declined to $0.12-$0.14 / 1000 gold. From what I gather, that is an extremely low price. The prices are getting low enough that some farmers are getting frustrated.
|A disgruntled gold farmer|
At this point, Blizzard appears well-positioned to knock a lot of RMTers out of the business. But even then, that is only a first step. With less competition, those remaining can sort matters out and create a new price and supply equilibrium. Remember, the WoW Token, just like PLEX, is not a quick fix to the problem of illicit RMT. But with enough time, Blizzard can hurt the wallets of the gold sellers.