Warcraft's Richest One Per Cent Control 24 Per Cent Of Azeroth's Gold

With wealth distribution being a hot topic in the real world, one demographer/World of Warcraft enthusiast tried to derive what the income inequality is within Azeroth. The results of his survey of nearly 2500 players — with an admittedly great margin of error — is that the wealthiest one per cent in the game control 24.25 per cent of its gold.

In America, the figure is something like the wealthiest one per cent have 40 per cent of the wealth. However, the lower 75 per cent of World of Warcraft players control just 14 per cent of the game's gold. That leads the survey taker to conclude that:

The whole ingame economic system is an extremely top-heavy one, leaving large sums of gold sitting idle in the top players pockets kept isolated from contributing to the economy, which is especially detrimental if one considers that a server economy is the simple flow of gold and materials. One can argue however that by holding such large sums of gold such players can more easily influence and correct markets, keep inflation in check by keeping the sums of gold out of the hands of the masses and provide buyers for big ticket items such as TCG Mounts.

The survey was conducted over a month (October 9 to November 5) and, despite the obvious caveats ("trolls" being one hazard accounting for a large margin of error), it appears the guy who conducted the examination knows how to do so scientifically. There is a great deal more detail at the link.

Image: Shutterstock

Report: World of Warcraft Wealth Survey [The Golden Crusade via WoW Insider]


    Occupy Azeroth!

      Yes! Let's all spend long amounts of time together in great horde not doing anything and being angry. Oh wait...


    valley of AFK gets burnt down in 4.3 hopefully this fixed all you lazy green pig mens! Avast Manbearpigeth be coming

    Not too surprising. I'm sure every serious WoW player has at some stage noticed that his server's AH is being controlled by a handful of players who each dominate a specific niche (herbs, ores, purples, other craftables etc) and don't do anything BUT play AH. Since Blizz has released the AH-apps for phones, this has made it even more lucrative.

      One INCREDIBLY easy way to make money in the wow Ah is to read the patches notes. If you see something like recipes will need twice as much essence of shadow next patch.. or (more likely) the drop rates for shadow will be majorly nerfed.. go onto ah, buy all the shadows for like a silver each or some crazy low amount, then sell it for 10 times as much after the patch.
      This is easy becasue
      1. Very few wow playesr than ahead with purchases and materials.
      2. Blizz is always making mistakes, like making stupid drop rates for some mats, and then fixing it later. Buy big before the fix.

    I only played Vanilla and BC and although the servers I played on did indeed have a different economy each one was always constant, was amazing how it worked. For example, when I was playing Vanilla, I was on Blackrock to start off, the biggest money makers were wool and silk. Stayed that way for the year I was there. Then i moved to Bloodscalp, (again Vanilla) for close to year and Leathermaking was the key to quick and easy money on the AH. Come BC I was on Aman'thul and hell, did armourkits (specifically Knothide) and Essence of Air rule that AH. Which was perfect for me being a Hunter with LW as my main trade, hit up Nagrand for a few hours and make 1000+G easy all the while levelling up and finding random weapons etc which was great for my Enchanter.

    Playing the AH was a great way to spend time outside of guild activities.

    Obviously not surprising. This is how capitalism works. This is how it always has worked, and always will work. If you don't like it, you can go live in a communist country.

      Exactly. Because Communism and Capitalism are the only two choices we as people can make. Any new ideas or improvements on old ideas don't and will never exist, please stop trying to advance the human civilization - we have obviously reached the pinnacle of it.


    Dey Tuk R Jarbs!

    2500 players really isn't a good sample size when you consider the amount of subscribers to WoW, and that's in addition to the several major errors the linked site describes.

    Not to mention - and this is a very important thing - people who are less good at the game (with less gold) are less likely to renew subscription than those in the 1 percent. Real life 99%ers can't simply leave the economy, /these guys can/.

      Also, there's no mention of whether surveyed people were told to account for assets or not. Some may have considered only liquid assets, whereas others may have included mounts, helms, etc. If people only included actual gold, then it's not the actual 'wealth' being considered here.

      Interesting idea for a survey, it just seems like there are too many flaws to state the statistics as fact.

    I'd really like to see this done for EVE.

      That, I think, would be very interesting. WoW isn't based entirely around the economy, but I've never read anything about Eve that didn't concern money.

    Ok ok ok.. I APOLOGISE in advance, as I generally don't do this.. But FUCK that's some nerdy fucking shit right there.. Studying the economy in WoW, and we wonder why people say gamers are idiots.. Jesus fucking Christ!

    Get over yourself, the economy in WoW is in itself a completely seperate game to some people. Their not idiots for wanting to explore it as it can be quite interesting depending on your viewpoint. You might not see it that way, but that's no reason to act like a dick about it.

    not even virtual worlds can escape the free market and the corruption of the 1%.....lol

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