Wow, There Are A LOT Of Gold Farmers Out There

Gold farming is the practice of harvesting crap in online worlds with the aim of selling it for real-world money. Most developers frown on the practice, but that's not stopping an estimated 100,000 people from doing it.

A report from the World Bank reckons that, across China and Vietnam, "up to 100,000 people" are toiling away in online gold farms. Interestingly, these human farmers only account for around 30% of the global market in virtual goods, with the remainder split between "bots" that play games automatically and revenue gained from the theft of legitimate accounts.

As the report states, that kind of money of that kind of scale means that, while gold farming is a pain in the arse for the developers of online games, it can actually have a beneficial effect on the development in certain regions by bringing in cash.

Virtual sales provide aid to poorer nations [BBC]


Comments

    It doesn't change the fact that trade of virtual goods is against the EULA on most MMORPGs and is therefore a breach of contract

      A breach of the EULA which at worst...could end in account closure or having to buy a new licence/CD-key for <$50. Quite the deterrent.... =|

    The problem is, most gold farmers actually use stolen credit cards to pay to play, normally resulting in costing the company more, rather than bringing in money.

      Hmm, where's the evidence for this?

      This sounds interesting. Link please.

    They all need a punch in the face

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