Sony Online Entertainment's official auction system for the company's Massively Multiplayer Online RPG, EverQuest II, has made more than $180,000 in transactions for its first 30 days of service.
Station Exchange, which is an online auction system where players can buy characters, currency and weapons using real-world money and their PayPal accounts, has proven to be a huge success, with reports from SOE saying the average participant spent more than $70 during the system's first month.
Sony takes a ten per cent commission from each sale, charging a $1 listing fee for currency or other virtual items sold, and a $10 listing fee for characters. Experts observe that it could soon become a $4 billion-a-year industry if each gamer from the pool of around 5 million that currently plays MMOs, spends $70 per month.
The system previously came under attack earlier this year by Mythic Entertainment CEO Mark Jacobs, who criticised Sony for taking a percentage of all sales as a service charge and saw increased fraud, tax implications and legal difficulties as potential problems.
Sony currently has no plans to increase Station Exchange's reach into its other titles, such as Star Wars Galaxies or the original EverQuest, but is considering the system for future MMOs.
Further Reading:Mythic slams Sony's EverQuest II auction site