How I missed this, I have no idea. (Actually, I was at SXSW, that’s how I missed it.) Eurogamer, which is always good for a “think piece” or two, is running an exposé on gold farming, a term used to describe the buying and selling of in-game currencies (and items) in games like World of Warcraft. It’s a four-parter, and part two was just published today. Headline there: there are approximately 1 million gold farmers in China alone. Subhead: conservative estimates put the gold farming industry at $2 billion USD. Yes, that’s billion with a “b,” as hard as that is to believe. That’s officially insane.
But it gets even more insane. While conservative estimates put the industry at $2 billion USD, one gentleman quoted in the article puts it at $10 billion USD.
Let me repeat that: TEN BILLION DOLLARS! Holy smokes! Who knew there were that many people buying gold?
In all my days of playing World of Warcraft, though, to be fair, I haven’t played since Christmastime, I never even thought about buying gold; it’s just dumb. You either have a guild that hooks you up with gear, or have a friend who’s 60 levels higher than you who is willing to waste two hours killing mobs and running you though instances. That’s how the game is meant to be played, not by buying success off some kid in Asia who’s half-starving and mining all day. ::shakes head::