What’s The Economy Like For Gold Farming?
Is gold farming truly lucrative? We’ve all seen the quick rise of digital currencies, but what about in-game currencies? There has always been a hot debate about the economy of gold farming and what it really equates to in the real world.
Is this a million dollar industry?
Absolutely not! This is a billion dollar a year industry that has its ups and downs – just like every other economy in the world.
World Bank Study
The World Bank conducted their very own research on gold farming. The bank reported in 2011 that online gaming has turned into a $3 billion dollar business. Where is the money found? Mostly in Asia.
Workers will play games all day long and amass virtual currency that they sell for cash to the Western World.
The study found that World of Warcraft spurred the industry in the early 2000s, with many low-educated workers playing the game and selling gold for a profit. Actual gaming studios are allowed in Asia, with many of the studios keeping 2/3 of the profit earned from the gold farmers.
This means the studios keep $2 billion.
Now, the study does not include just gold farming. The study considers the whole of the economy, which is considered micro tasks or work-for-hire. Essentially, any tasks that these workers complete and are paid for is included in the $3 billion figure. What tasks are included?
- Gold farming
- Power leveling
- Gear farming
Gold is not just sold in World of Warcraft.
Any task that someone pays for in the virtual world will be included. It is a big business, and players that do not have the time to dedicate to hours of farming are the main consumers in these online games.
Unfortunately, there has not been many new reports listed on the matter. What we can tell is that the gold selling market is still thriving. Just take a look at the gold selling sites that have been around since Vanilla WoW and still sell gold.
Gold is not just sold in World of Warcraft.
Online currency is exchanged for real money in a variety of different online games that go well beyond the reach of WoW.
Money can still be made from selling:
- Virtual currencies: Everything from Gil to gold has a value.
- Virtual items: Players that want gear or items and don’t have in-game resources to obtain them will pay real money in exchange for these items.
- Accounts: A lucrative business. Selling high-level accounts is very profitable. The older and more prestigious an account, the more money it will fetch.
- Powerleveling: Players that want to skip mundane leveling and jump right into the end game will pay power leveling services to boost their players up to max level.
There is a lot of money to be made with online games.
When RMT (real money trade) first became popular, there were a lot of people that took RMT to the next level. These entrepreneurs set up their own services, namely gold selling, and earned millions. That’s right – gold selling has led to people becoming millionaires.
Why don’t you hear about these success stories?
It is a taboo subject, and many gamers loathe these entrepreneurs that are now laughing all the way to the bank with their pockets lined with real money.
Many people want to break into this market, but they think that there is simply not enough “room” for them to succeed. This is far from the truth. You’ll find countless gold selling sites for virtually every MMORPG that is still played. Many farmers list their gold on all of these sites to test the markets. If a game’s currency isn’t viable, these entrepreneurs will choose another lucrative game.
It’s never too late to start a gold farming business.
The reports from the World Bank do not lie; there is money to be made. Take a look at the numerous gold selling sites available on the World Wide Web that have been thriving for the last 10 years. You don’t need to own a gold selling site; you need to be able to supply gold. These established sites are your platform and help you sell the gold you acquire, making it even easier to get into gold farming than in the past.
Lack of statistics is not because of a declining digital economy. Knowing just how much the gold farming industry is making in 2015 is simply too difficult for the average person to determine on their own. It would take a team of researchers with a lot of money to sit down and do the calculations.
What we do know is that many games have grown in popularity, such as FFXIV. There are also a lot of new MMORPGs that have come out since 2011, including:
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Guild Wars 2
- RuneScape 3
- Marvel Heroes
- The Elder Scrolls
These are just the notable games that have been released, and I am sure I missed quite a few. There have also been numerous expansions to games. Many games have also seen their subscriber numbers dwindle, such as World of Warcraft, which still maintains the top played MMO status despite subscriber numbers falling in recent years.
Gold farming is still a lucrative venture with many people earning a full-time income, and some making millions by selling virtual currency and virtual services. This real money trade business has a lot of opportunity, especially with new titles coming out yearly. There is still a big piece of the pie available for anyone that wants to farm gold, or currency, and start making cold hard cash.
Where do you begin?
That is the million dollar question. Start with research. What games are most popular? What currency pays the most money? What markets are underserved? All of these are great questions and some that you should ask yourself routinely in the industry.
If a new expansion comes out, you will find that it is the perfect time to sell currency as the market is the hottest with new expansions and game releases.
As you start to sell currency, you’ll find which games provide the most ROI and can expand your business from there. After all, with dozens of new games, it’s safe to say that the digital economy has well surpassed the $3 billion mark of 2011.
See also: Best 10 MMORPG for gold farming 2015