SOE releases white paper on Station Exchange

Yesterday, Sony Online entertainment (SOE) announced the findings of a white paper on their official EverQuest II virtual property auction site Station Exchange. What’s interesting, there are now verified numbers of RMT available. The findings of the paper are based on data collected during the first year of operation of Station Exchange: from its launch in June 2005 to June 2006. From the numbers in the press release, it seems that most of the transactions were quite small, and most of the virtual assets were sold with a set price instantly. Interestingly, the paper also reports that most of the players who earned money in Station Exchange did so by selling items they had quested or crafted in EQII, not by buying items and selling them at a higher price. The total transactions amounted $1.87M. Some traders seemed to make a hefty profit selling virtual items, two traders reaching profits over $37k. Apart from the top sellers, the paper reports that “many more” players earned between $200 and $500 per month during the year. The average spending in Station Exchange was little over $60. There is also some data on the user base of Station Exchange. The 34-year-olds were the biggest buyers, while 22-year-olds were the biggest sellers. The traders turned out to be mostly males, though the average consumption did not depend on gender very much. Perhaps, as a very rough generalization, a typical buyer would be a little older player who needs something for e.g. a quest asap, and a typical seller would be a little younger player who makes relatively small profit (covers the subscription fee plus some more) by selling assets accumulated during game play. More information can be found in the SOE press release. Edit: commentary & the white paper can be found at Gamasutra

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