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Monday, August 28, 2006
 
Interview with IGE
12:58 PM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

Whether they love it or hate it, many MMO gamers are familiar with the name IGE. Typically held up as the poster child for the selling of virtual goods for real currency, including in-game items and what is commonly known as real money trade (RMT), IGE is one of the largest and most successful companies of its type. Though typically low profile, Gamasutra recently managed an interview with James Clarke, IGE's chief operating officer in Asia, concerning the company's views, tactics, and future plans.

One of the most controversial points concerns the various EULAs of MMOS, which typically forbid the selling of in-game property for real money. The reasoning behind this is that everything in the game is owned by the parent company, though IGE believes differently:

However, it's obvious that IGE does not share that belief, with COO Clarke commenting pointedly: "We very much stand behind the concept of in-game property being owned by the players", and expressing "exceptionally high confidence" that this belief is true. Of course, U.S. and international courts have not ruled absolutely definitively on the matter, and indeed, Clarke claims that no companies have ever tried to challenge IGE legally over their behavior. But it's clear that IGE continues to find enough suppliers to allow its business to grow, despite multiple MMOs banning users for 'gold farming'.
Other issues discussed in the interview are professional currency farmers, which hold the reputation of muscling territories away from actual players, paid powerleveling, and IGE's acquisitions of popular community sites such as Allakhazam, Thottbot, and OGaming.

Gamasutra - IGE: Inside The MMO Trading Machine


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