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The Almighty Buck

Are Micro-Transactions the Future of Online Game Business Models? 68

Last week we discussed news of Sony Online Entertainment's unveiling of a store that would allow players to purchase in-game Everquest items for real money. Massively spoke with John Smedley, SOE's CEO, about the system and what their goals were. He made the point that they were limiting sales to things that wouldn't unbalance the game. "They're fun and they're convenient. That's all they are. We're not selling power. There are a lot of respectable viewpoints on this, and a lot of reasonable people can disagree on them. Our view is that nothing here is gamebreaking." Edge Magazine has a related piece about Mytheon, an upcoming action-strategy game that will rely on micro-transactions to support its otherwise free-to-play business model. The game's producer suggests that micro-transactions are "a model that really gets us closer to the end user, and that's the way things need to be in the future, online."

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