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Requiem For A Gold Farmer

Julian Dibbell writes in Wired on the decline and fall of IGE.

At the same time, the so-called free-to-play model—no subscription fees, revenue derived entirely from direct sales of in-game items—has made inroads in the Asian MMO market and is being embraced by no less a gaming giant than Electronic Arts in the upcoming Battlefield Heroes. But both these models, in their blunt rejection of IGE’s third-party retail model, only underline what Pierce himself implicitly conceded when he sold out to Yantis: There is no future for his once-bright dream except in the dimness of what is plainly now a permanent gray market.