I wish people would stop FREAKIN’ OUT about eBay’s recent press event — eBay is delisting auctions of game property again. Did I say again? I meant STILL. (Fucking duh, people.)
An incomplete timeline and history lesson (because although the blog never lies, back then, the blog didn’t exist):
October 1999 – EverQuest’s handlers, 989 Studios, Verant Interactive and, what would become SOE, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Inc. forbids players from selling EQ’s virtual property to other players. The collective EQ population thinks, “wtf, people are doing that? How can I do that?” Also in that article: at the time of its writing, there were over 1500 eBay auctions for EQ items and characters (possibly true) and EQ was released February 1999 (not true — it was March 1999).
April 2000 – Sony decides that “forbid” is a sissy word and BANS the sale of EQ items and characters from one player to another. The noob population thinks, “wtf, people are doing that? How can I do that?” EBay auctions are still going strong, although “Smedley (of Verant, later of Sony) said that he plans to ask eBay to pull the game items off its site. eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said eBay would likely agree to do so.”
January 2001 – EBay bans the sale of virtual items and characters on their auction site. (It’s even in fucking Wikipedia, fercrissakes.) The EQ EBay crowd moves to playerauctions.com and/or rewords their Ebay auctions to duck around the new rules (i.e. Seller is NOT offering virtual items or characters, seller is auctioning his/her time to acquire the items or to build the character).
The more casual eBayers started working with the private, professional virtual property companies (IGE, et al) — players would receive less money for their items and characters, but it was considered safer and faster than working out a private sale or sweating out an eBay or playerauctions sale. That changeover went down sometime in 2003, if memory serves. Certainly by the time Star Wars Galaxies was released (June 2003), IGE and its brethren were the preferred methods for casual sellers and buyers.
Which brings us to January 2007’s press event. Yawn.
#1. Apparently, the internet population completely turns over every few years and what was old is new again.
#2. Please people, if you want to dabble in virtual trade, seek the counsel of a guildmate or e-friend who has some experience. They can guide your noob ass through the maze that is the Virtual Goods Black Market.
#3. You can get “it” on eBay, unless “it” is virtual property. Still.
#4. When eBay announces they’re banning auctions of Vanguard items and characters, let’s all agree not to FREAK OUT. Thank you.