A new World Bank study sought to place a valuation on such trading. Their calculations: the global market for this trading is worth 3 billion dollars. And as much as 2.25 billion dollars of that is coming from game players that just sit in games and collect resources, waiting to trade them off later. The report also indicated that encouraging this kind of video game trading could greatly aid the development and economy is foreign countries.
Some of the most popular massively multiplayer games on the market are World of Warcraft and Lineage. The basic concepts of these games are that they allow players to collect and harvest resources and equipment in order to build more powerful characters. Now, while some of this equipment can be found on numerous 'bad guys' in the games it can also be purchased or exchanged with other players that have made or acquired it.
Players in such countries as the United States are time strapped to play the game and so are willing to pay others for their equipment and gold in order to earn stronger characters faster. Players in China and Vietnam are paid to play the game and are more than willing to sell off their in-game equipment.
As much as 25 percent of all players in these such games spend real money on purchasing in-game equipment or services. And some are even willing to dish out big bucks for their gaming needs.
Dr Vili Lehdonvirta, from the University of Tokyo, and Dr Mirko Ernkvist, from the University of Gothenburg, were the study's authors. They noted that the logistical supply chain of the market was quite complex, with profits being split between retailers, players, and in game farmers. About 30 percent went to the retailer, almost half to the farmer, and a fifth to the player. This is reminiscent of a big industry supply chain.