Real Money Trading Unfairly Stigmatized?

by Kevin Ross on September 9, 2009

If you are an experienced gamer, chances are you have gotten your fair share of in-game gold spam. If you are just starting out, you might wonder what is driving the continuous spam. It's about money (which is what usually drives advertising) and it's coming from shady companies that happily break the law in pursuit of their own greed.

What laws are they breaking? Anti-spam laws. Why do they continue to spam services in-game? Because they are able to find customers, gamers who don't realize that by supporting spammers, they encourage the practice and the entire community suffers.

Legitimate Real Money Trade service providers, like and have been waging war against these fly-by-night hooligans for years. And it's beginning to have a positive effect. Fewer players are supporting spammers as they become more aware of the issue and how to effectively fight back. Don't all RMT service providers spam? No. Are RMT service providers and spammers synonymous? No.

In his latest post, official blogger Chris Coker discusses how RMT, the act of buying and selling in-game items and currency for real money, and in-game spamming are two completely different things. However, many would lead you to believe that all RMT service providers spam. Why? Because it suits their agenda, which (once again) is mostly about money. John Smedley, CEO of Sony Online Entertainment recently remarked that players spend as much as $2 billion annually on RMT services. That's a lot of loose change. More than enough to attract the attention of game publishers, service providers, and hooligans alike.

Surprisingly, many misconception surrounding RMT and in-game spam are being propagated by mainstream media. In an article published in the Reuters UK site on September 3, 2009, RMT providers are demonized and deemed not to be trusted by consumers. “What Reuters has done is essentially promote an agenda; they've colored the news and led the reader to a conclusion,” writes Chris. What happened to real journalism? Is getting the facts straight a thing of the past?

According to statistics noted in the EpicToon blog, the RMT industry thrives because of the significant number of players who are involved. Recent trends show that more and more gamers are refusing to buy from in-game spammers, and are in fact, regularly reporting such activities to game publishers. As Chris notes: “Perhaps publishers ought to seriously consider some sort of accreditation or approval process (effectively legitimizing credible RMT service providers). It would help to establish standards, reduce opportunities for abuse by shady characters, and provide needed protections for game players, publishers, and trusted service providers alike,” he suggests.

I completely agree. What about you?

If you want to read more about this issue and Chris’ rant about Reuters, go to is a premier gaming resource that provides gamers with many ways to customize and improve their gaming; through readily available virtual currency, in-depth game guides, industry news and informative posts. is not affiliated with any game publisher and developer.

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