August 12, 2005

‘Everquest II’ economy suffers hyperinflation [10:03 am]

Interesting to note the things that MMORPG developers have to think about — governance and regulatory instruments: Hackers slam ‘Everquest II’ economy (Note the use of the word “illegally”)

Sony claims that a group of hackers illegally created a huge amount of “Everquest II” currency over the weekend, and says the players caused the game’s economy to suffer 20 percent inflation in just 24 hours before being caught.

According to Chris Kramer, director of public relations for EQ2 publisher Sony Online Entertainment, the players had on Saturday begun using their so-called “duping bug” to make large quantities of platinum, the game’s currency. (A duping bug is a hack that exploits a weakness in online games’ code to effectively create counterfeit currency or other goods.)

The players then began trying to sell the ill-gotten plat on Station Exchange, the official auction exchange for EQ2 weapons, armor, currency and other virtual goods. “The amount of money in the game increased by a fifth in about 24 hours,” Kramer said. “We have a lot of alarms for this kind of thing, and they all went off on Saturday.”

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