Last week I predicted that the size of the secondary (RMT) market for Star Wars The Old Republic would be close to $900M the first year. While there is no way to know for sure exactly how big it will be, there seems to be agreement that it will be big. A search on google for “buy swtor credits” will yield hundreds of unique websites already in place to sell game coin. Most are fronts for RMT3 agents, but I think an increasing number are also using in-house RMT2 experts (see my paper on RMT classification if I am confusing you: http://gameful.org/groups/games-for-change/forum/topic/real-money-t...).

That did not surprise me. What did surprise me was this:http://www.swtorbuyingcredits.com/Sell_SWTOR_Credits.php
Please note that I am not endorsing this business, I post this for academic purposes only. Also note that this is not the only site doing this, but the others seem to be a bit more discrete. This company is taking the next logical step for the secondary market which is to open it up so that anyone, and I do mean anyone, can become a professional RMT2 gamer over the holidays, or until they get their next job, whenever that is.

I think a good angle for these guys to give them an advantage would be to put “Buy local: All our farmers are guaranteed to farm from North America only!” or some such. Since the value of this secondary market will be close to the GDP of Liberia, this becomes a serious trade issue.

Competition in the secondary market is fierce, and with most sites claiming “lowest prices”, sellers tend to force prices down quickly as they cannibalize the virtual economy and themselves. This has a number of adverse affects on end user immersion and retention.

If you read my last article on SWTOR, you may recall that the reason this opportunity has been provided to you is because SWTOR uses an unlimited subscription monetization model which, due to the weakness of the model, has low revenue capture and makes the majority of end user game budgets available to the secondary market.

For those of you actually planning to play for fun, not as a job, I have a hint for you: You might want to make turning off world chat one of your first actions after you make your avatar.