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General: Live Gamer Brings on Virtual Economist

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Live Gamer, the RMT company that is partnering with MMORPG companies like SOE to bring sanctioned item trading to MMOs has announced that they have brought on Noted Virtual Economist Vili Lehdonvirta.

NEW YORK, NY – July 23, 2008 – Live Gamer, the premier operator of a publisher-supported marketplace for real money trading (RMT) of virtual items, today announced the addition of preeminent virtual economy authority, Vili Lehdonvirta, to the company’s advisory board. Lehdonvirta is a respected expert on virtual consumerism, defined as the phenomenon where people spend significant sums of real money on virtual property, such as game items.

Live Gamer, through its publisher-supported marketplace platform, is the leader in real money trading for virtual assets within MMORPGs and virtual worlds. The addition of Vili Lehdonvirta’s vast expertise and knowledge to Live Gamer’s veteran staff of gaming, entertainment and finance experts expands the company’s ability to help guide the growth and impact of virtual economies on game design, player experiences and online communities, in close partnership with publishers and developers.

“I was extremely impressed by Live Gamer's resolve to take control of the RMT phenomenon in a way that respects the nature of each MMO and benefits both players and publishers, and I believe it is the company best poised to do so,” said Lehdonvirta. “As member of the advisory board, I will help Live Gamer leverage academic research on virtual economies, player motivations and virtual item market dynamics to best meet this objective. Some of the leading research in the area is conducted at our institute, HIIT. “

Lehdonvirta is a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), a joint research institution of Helsinki University of Technology TKK and the University of Helsinki, which conducts world class research in future information technologies. Since 2004, HIIT has carried on a multi-disciplinary research effort into virtual economies and is today recognized as one of the leading institutions in the area. Lehdonvirta’s research focuses on what motivates virtual consumerism and to what extent it can substitute physical forms of consumption in the future. A former game developer, Lehdonvirta is currently also a doctoral student of economic sociology at Turku School of Economics and a visiting researcher at Waseda University, Tokyo.

“We’re honored to have Vili Lehdonvirta, a pioneering thought leader in virtual economics contribute to Live Gamer’s efforts in developing a safe and secure marketplace for the real money trading of virtual assets,” said Andrew Schneider, president and co-founder of Live Gamer. “Vili’s experience in virtual consumerism adds a new dimension to our knowledge and skill in this area to the benefit of our publisher partners and gamers.”

More on Live Gamer here.

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


  • gathgath valongoPosts: 424Member

    What is this diferent from a "sindicalism" Gold Farming...?


    Senhores da Guerra

  • savagegoosesavagegoose para hillsPosts: 41Member

    its dif because the game company gets a cut from the gold farming trade. an unacceptable situation, that had to be remedied.

  • krytenkryten tunafish, MNPosts: 131Member


  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,236Member Uncommon

    WTF is a virtual economist? You mean he's not really an economist ? He's a simulated economist?

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,253Member Uncommon

    "preeminent virtual economy authority, Vili Lehdonvirta"

    You could probably count on one hand the people that have heard of him, even the Eve economist is more well known.

    I don't see any the prominent games signing up for this service at the moment beyond SOE and that is only on select servers.   I just hope that continues, letting players buy their way through the game just grates on me.

    Some challenged firm published a study they had done saying that 98% of none MMO players prefer the free-to-play games to the subscription models.  I can flat out guarentee you they did not explain the difference between them very well.  So their conclusion was that the subscription model was dead.

    Nothing worse than a study done to slant the outcome, it seems this industry is rife with them, just like the medical establishment.

    Pretty hard to do a survey asking MMO specific questions to a crowd that does not understand the content to start with.

  • RedwoodSapRedwoodSap Fenwick Island, DEPosts: 1,235Member

    Live Gamer is basically a bunch of goldfarmers just like IGE. They are really trying hard to gain respectability by joining with game companies and hiring so called academic experts.

    It's no surprise that sleazy Smedley would be one of the first to hook up with them. What happened to SOE's anti RMT stance when they asked Ebay to remove all Everquest auctions? Suddenly it's no longer bad for the game if they get a slice of the pie. Hypocrites.

    You don't beat em by joining em, you fight the good fight like Blizzard does.


  • FlummoxedFlummoxed San Jose, CAPosts: 591Member
    Originally posted by zymurgeist

    WTF is a virtual economist? You mean he's not really an economist ? He's a simulated economist?

    lol sorry but it sounds like a bunch of made up game names -


    Name: Vili Lehdonvirta

    Profession: Level 80 trainer in Virtual Economics

    Location: The balcony of HIIT University  in West Freeport. 

    Quest:  Trainer Lehdonvirta will send you to speak with university president Logopolis Castrovalva ...

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