This news from GameStudy.org, sent to us by Unggi Yoon. Not surprising that IGE would buy a substantial stake in the Korean RMT market, which must comprise a significant share of the $1b the IGE execs told us constituted the RMT world market. Surprising that a company in what's supposed to be a huge and exploding market, with huge profit margins, would go for $5m. From what we've been told, that's about the size of IGE's janitorial bill at its palatial Manhattan offices.
To me, that's three signs now that the RMT market is changing, in ways that bode well for us roleplayers.
1. A big player in the Korean RMT market goes for a small price.
2. IGE has closed it's gold-buying market. I checked yesterday; IGE was not buying gold on a single WoW server. To understand the significance of this, realize that IGE makes money on throughput. If they are closing the incoming doors, it can only be because they are not selling enough. Inventories are too big.
3. Blizzard recently banned 50,000 accounts associated with gold farming, and I've heard no uproar from players.
Some other things in the background: rumors coming out of Korea that government agencies are considering a tax policy in the RMT market; developers talking about RMT-proof economy designs; none of the really big internet companies have bought IGE; Sony' Station Exchange continues to function.
Don't get me wrong, there will always be RMT. But the era of single-company dominance of a market that had a negative effect on many games, may be coming to an end.