LotR Online Boss: Cash for items not out of the question

Eurogamer spoke to Turbine executive producer Jeffrey Steefel yesterday about the development of a "secondary market" for Lord of the Rings Online. The term "secondary market" refers to the exchange of game characters, items and coinage for real-world money.
"The 'secondary market' is a huge topic of conversation across the industry, and we're watching it really closely," Steefel told Eurogamer. "Our position is pretty straightforward right now. Our responsibility is to the subscribers of the game, to deliver to them the experience they expect. So we certainly do not support people farming or taking advantage of the system in that way. It's against our Terms of Service and we do try and enforce that."

"But, we all know that something will happen in the next two to five years to business models in general, so we're paying attention to what's going on; watching what's going on with Sony Station whose servers support and manage this."
Steefel concluded that, while there were no plans to introduce a secondary market into LotR Online in the foreseeable future, Turbine would keep a close eye on other secondary markets to see how they perform.

One such secondary market is Station Exchange, an official service provided by Sony for the auctioning of Everquest II characters, items and coinage. The justification is that this allows gamers with less free time than others to experience the full reaches of the game's content. The counter-argument is that the secondary market rewards players with more money, rather than players with greater skill, or who devote more time and effort to the game.

You can read the whole interview over at Eurogamer. So, what do you think? Is cash for in-game advantage a fair system?

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Natasha is a political science student, a gamer, a writer, an armchair philosopher, and a geek. Her first cRPG was Castle of the Winds.

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