Real-Money Trade, or RMT for short, refers to the practice of exchanging in-game goods or services for real-world cash. Such goods and services commonly include gil, powerleveling, and even entire accounts and characters.
Square Enix's ReactionEdit
Square Enix bans RMT in both Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV. Nevertheless, RMT has had a significant ongoing presence in, and impact on, both games. This presence is likely due in part to the fact that Square Enix only bans the sellers, but never punishes the buyers in any way. They even get to keep their illicit purchases.
The Players' ReactionEdit
Most of the players are indifferent to or outright hostile to RMT, but do not believe Square Enix is willing to do much about it. There is also a certain belief, not uncommon, among players that poorly thought out anti-RMT actions do more damage to players than RMT itself.
Impact on the GameEdit
RMT are perceived to impact the game in many ways:
- RMT add new money to the economy on a continual basis, as they make money selling goods to NPCs continuously and automatically.
- RMT drive up prices on goods, as players who "earned" their gil by making a simple credit card transaction value it less than people who actually worked for it. As a result, they are willing to pay ridiculously high prices without a second thought.
- RMT are widely believed responsible for much inflation. The infamous RMT Christmas Sale of 2005, when prices at the auction houses skyrocketed across the board, is still remembered and spoken of whenever the topic comes up.
- RMT manipulate the markets by deliberately selling items between their characters to lower the prices, then when legitimate players sell those items, they buy them all cheap. Once they've cornered the market, they'll then sell to each other to send prices through the roof and unload their hoarded goods for a fortune.
- RMT provide a market for accounts stolen by hackers, thus fueling this activity. Fortunately using an authenticator can prevent having your account stolen and sold. Stolen accounts will be held for ransom or stripped of all valuable goods and then either used for RMT purposes or resold to other players.
- RMT use cheating tools to unfairly monopolize game content, from claimbotting Notorious Monsters that drop valuable items to dominating crafting markets to teleporting around underground and stealing resource nodes before legitimate players can reach them.
- RMT will MPK legitimate players to steal their Notorious Monsters or camp sites.
- RMT advertise their services in-game relentlessly, producing an irritating barrage of noise that can't be blocked out.
- By exploiting easy ways to make money, RMT ensure that Square Enix will patch them out of existence, angering legitimate players by destroying their income.
The counter-argument is that making money is boring and shouldn't be a big part of the game, and that RMT allow players with little free time to enjoy the game.