Here's where it gets interesting: They have an auction style marketplace where people can exchange these magical items for play money gold or REAL MONEY. There are people buying and selling these items as much as 250.00 real dollars! By the way, the game itself cost about 60.00.
Why so much? Because it's a terribly illiquid market with totally uninformed participants. The real money side of the market opened about a week ago. We know from the stock market that there is a period of price discovery that is unfolding. No one in this in game market has time to wait. They immediately click the "But It Now" button rather than wait to see if a much lower bid can win the item. Again- Imaginary item.
Certainly this bubble will pop. Probably as soon as the parents see their credit card bills. People who bought things for 20, 50, 100 real dollars will find that no one is there to take these items back off of their hands.
I gave some consideration to buying the game just to essentially rob these poor kids. But Karma could be real, so I'll just observe. Blizzard Entertainment, on the other hand, charges a 15% fee on every transaction.
My son plays that game a lot. You need to know a little about the history to understand whats up. I don't know if they do it now but you used to be able to sell items on Ebay. Then some hackers got into it and not only learned how to steal the items from your character, they could also duplicate (dupe) items. Blizzard just about shutdown the Diablo II online when this happened saying they needed to fix those issues. The game today has some amazing graphics and new ways for the monsters to attack you. There are a lot more items as well.
The inherent value for the items, assuming that they can't be duped any more, is that it saves you a lot of time building your character. It may take 50 hours of an experienced player's time to capture a rare item. You are right on one issue, players will get very upset if all their items become worthless because of their inability to stop hackers.
God forbid the magical items in a computer game became worthless!
Bayou Steve said: ... players will get very upset if all their items become worthless because of their inability to stop hackers.
On a more serious note, I might have to pick this game up and play it while I work. Heck I'm sitting at the computer enough time (watching futures) that I could easily pull a solid 400 a week alone from selling items.
My son has the game you mentioned, but I haven't played it yet.
This requires correction. They charge a 15% fee on completed auctions on the virtual auction house.
doougle said: Blizzard Entertainment, on the other hand, charges a 15% fee on every transaction.
On the RMAH (Real Money), they charge $1.00 per completed transaction. No charges for putting an item up for sales.
Some friends of mine said that most items are only a few dollars, and even then, people will make money on it.. Farmers will set in and sell lots, lowering prices even more.. So Blizzard will be making lots of money, and the gamers buying items will only be paying $1-2 per item. Which isn't bad compared to the black market prior to an in-game real money AH, where people would spend so much money on eBay (I've seen $800+, but heard about more), to get the item they have been wanting so direly.
In this setting, Blizzard doesn't mind farmers, because they get their premiums, and as the Diablo series is not pay-to-play, they are making residual income from a game they've previously had to maintain for lowly ad revenues from their battle.net servers. (They still run the ads in Diablo III's battle.net space, but now with the added revenue of an in-game real money AH).
Blizzard has changed the way you have to play the game by requiring a player be connected to battle.net, for decreasing the amount of freeloaders who didn't actually buy the game themselves, and this may or may not help the farmer's market.
Ill see some friends who play tomorrow, and ask them about it again:)
Here's an article by a guy who claims to have made 10,000.00 selling imaginary Diablo items.
My first thought is, "silly me trying to make money selling iron condors". But then when I think about it, the iron condors a kind of imaginary too.