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Australian site opening virtual goods market

MMGN.com formalising trade of in-game items

Australian games site MMGN.com is attempting to become a 'virtual eBay' by formalising the trading of virtual in-game items via a marketplace.

Trading of various in-game equipment and perks, for titles as diverse as Farmville and World of Warcraft, already takes place on the site's forums, but site founder Roy Hui hopes to turn that trading into a business model.

A nascent virtual goods market already exists on eBay, but Hui thinks that a specialised market would be more suited to gamers' needs.

"eBay is very generic, it won't be very tailored to gaming specifically," Hui told Gamesbeat. "We want to create a specialized eBay that actually tastes like gaming."

"Initially we're looking at the more hardcore gamers, they really want the super-duper noble 21 platinum horse. They've been trying two weeks to get it but there isn't an efficient way to get that horse - we'll give them a more efficient way of getting it."

Longterm, Hui plans to charge $2 a transaction, but realises that the low-value of many items might mean that this is untenable. For now, and for the next few months at least, transactions will be free.

Key to the venture's success will be staying on the right side of game owners and publishers, many of which have explicitly banned the trading of in-game objects and currency externally in compulsory terms and conditions.

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