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Rift to build new virtual stock exchange in wake of free-to-play shift


Trion Worlds are introducing something quite curious to the new, free-to-play Rift: Rift Exchange items, or REX. They’ll form the basis of a new in-game stock exchange that Trion say will provide an avenue for free players to obtain items and services from the Rift store without the use of real money.

The new system will see REX items purchasable for real money on the new Rift store, where Trion will limit their sale to players in “good standing”. To be proven as such, you’ll need to have purchased something on the store previously, and shown none of the telltale signs of the spambot (enlarged penis, audible thirst for bank details).

Other players can then buy REX using in-game platinum in the Auction Hall, and convert it to Credits usable in the Rift Store – thereby bypassing the need for RL cash altogether.

“The in-game platinum price is set by the player who bought the REX,” say the Rift dev team. “Trion has nothing to do with it. We expect there will be a robust economy around these items.”

Trion will control the flow of their new economy via a Bitcoinish system of artificial scarcity, limiting the availability of REX items on the store to retain a balanced economy.

“It’s also worth noting that spending real money to buy REX just to turn into Credits for yourself is always the wrong choice,” point out Trion. “You’ll get more Credits by purchasing Credits directly through the RIFT Store.”

Additional incentive to enter the REX economy will come in the form of Loyalty, earned by free players when they spend Credits obtained from REX items. However, Credits can’t be converted back – REX items will only be purchasable with real money.

It’s a clever system, with notable precedent in Eve – where some players are able to fund their own subscriptions via in-game cash. Do you think it’ll work?