1,000,000 gold farmers based in China
In-game currency investigation reveals that 70% of all trade is in World of Warcraft gold
In a revealing profile of the gold-selling industry conducted by Eurogamer - the second in a four-part feature series on the trade in in-game currencies and services - the number of gold farmers in China is estimated at one million.
A spokesperson for the gold-selling company SwagVault makes the claim in the report, saying that larger gold-selling firms, of which SwagVault is one, use up to 1000 farmers to generate their product in-game.
"The yearly turnover for all these enterprises combined is estimated at over 10 billion US dollars," says the trader, 'Benjamin', trumping the USD 2 billion figure quoted in last week's piece, where it was also said that 30 per cent of all MMO players buy gold.
"World of Warcraft players make up 70 per cent of this real-money trading activity. So Blizzard really creates a miracle! I really can't believe that a game can generate such a large market."
The feature also includes an interview with a young Chinese gold farmer, alongside a British private seller of gold who automated his own operations in Ultima Online and EVE Online.
Part one of the Eurogamer report is also available now.