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Real-world money trading, 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, power leveling, and even entire accounts and characters.
Square Enix bans RMT in 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 Square Enix only banning the sellers, but never punishing the buyers who get to keep their illicit purchases.
Response from playersEdit
Most players are indifferent to or outright hostile to RMT, but do not believe Square Enix is willing to do much about it. Many believe anti-RMT actions do more damage to players than RMT itself.
Notable incidents and impact on gamesEdit
RMT is perceived to impact the game in many ways:
- RMT adds new money to the economy on a continual basis, as it generates money selling goods to NPCs continuously and automatically.
- RMT may drive up prices on goods.
- RMT may accelerate inflation. One notable example of this was the RMT Christmas Sale of 2005, in which prices at the auction houses skyrocketed.
- RMT offenders may manipulate the markets by selling items between player characters to lower the prices. When legitimate players sell those items, they buy them 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 provides a market for accounts stolen by hackers. Using an authenticator can prevent having accounts stolen and sold. Stolen accounts will be held for ransom or stripped of valuable goods and then either used for RMT purposes or resold to other players.
- RMT offenders may 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 offenders may "monster player kill" legitimate players to steal their Notorious Monsters or camp sites.
- RMT offenders often advertise their services in-game, producing a barrage of noise that can't be blocked out.
- By exploiting easy ways to make money, RMT offenders ensure that Square Enix will patch them out of existence.
The counter-argument is that making money is boring and shouldn't be a big part of the game, and that RMT allows players with little free time to enjoy the game.