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In this week's edition of Richard Aihoshi's Free Zone, Richard asks "Is RMT Inevitable?" Sure to be a hot topic among our community, who we know have passionate arguments about this issue, Aihoshi nonetheless dares to argue that it is.
Just to be clear, RMT and free to play are not synonymous, although they do overlap to a substantial degree. By my definition, the former is simply the ability to buy in-game items and/or characters using real money, whether directly or indirectly via the step of purchasing a virtual currency. Personally, I don't care if it's possible to cash out or not, although this obviously matters a lot to anyone looking to make a profit.
Basically, it seems like a matter of free enterprise founded on exchanging time for money and vice versa. When you play a subscription game, you pay a flat monthly fee, then progress your character based on the number of hours you invest. It's not a completely linear function. To use myself as an example, I tend to explore and try new things quite a bit rather than grinding for experience and/or farming items all the time. As a result, there are periods, sometimes lasting quite a while, when my advancement is slow. If I happen to decide I want to pick up the pace by buying a better weapon, some bonus XP potions or whatever, I really don't see that as constituting a problem for anyone else.
Read it here.
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios