GameSkinny

Why Square Enix Should Officially Sell Gil in FF14

We put forward a case for the unthinkable: Square Enix approved gil selling!

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Real Money Traders (RMTs) are a royal pain in the backside. You'll find them in most MMORPGs, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (FF14) is no different. RMTs, or in FF14's case, "gil sellers," take players' hard-earned real life cash in exchange for currency inside the game. You may think, "What's wrong with that? That's a player's choice and prerogative."

But unfortunately, gil selling is not so benign a practise. It causes all sorts of problems such as hacking other players' accounts to steal money and items, or use hacks and programmes to gain advantages over other players to acquire the gil to sell on, which can actually break the game. So what's a developer to do?

The homepage of one of the many FF14 gil selling sites.

The War So Far

Square Enix (SE) have made a concerted effort to combat RMTs. Many players might feel that they're too slow to act, but better late than never, no?

The biggest help thus far as been actually making the items that RMTs were monopolising significantly more easy to come by. It's been by far the most effective measure yet tackling the problem at its root by out-supplying the demand, making gil selling much more difficult a process.

Yet they've not completely disappeared by any means. These activities are still happening, although to a lesser extent. Less of it is definitely good, but eradicating all gil selling is the ultimate goal. But how can that be achieved?

A YouTuber gives advice on where to buy FF14 gil.
WARNING: We do not endorse or recommend you use any of the websites suggested in this video.

A Case for Official Gil Selling

The reason the problem hasn't gone away is because the demand for it hasn't gone away. To be blunt, it never will. It does seem bonkers that people seem bent on purchasing a game only to not play it properly by buying their way to the top, but it happens. As long as people will use real life money to progress quickly in-game, RMTs will always be around to take capitalise on this. So why not just pander to these particular type of gamers and sell currency officially? By doing so, SE could potentially wipe out RMT activity

Wouldn't it Make the Game "Pay-to-Win"? 

No, because the way FF14 is set up means that is not possible. A lot of the end-game content and gear is literally priceless: it simply can't be bought, it must be won. What officially selling gil will do is make it "pay-to-progress". The thought of SE officially facilitating this does seem unsavoury, but the truth is it's already happening through current RMT activity, so it will just make it more visible rather than worsen the problem.

So How Will it Eliminate RMT Activity?
"Gil sellers are all about getting that real life moolah...If Square Enix starts selling gil at a rate that isn't profitable for them to compete with, then they simply won't do it."

It boils down to SE having the greater resources, meaning they can sell gil at a rate that severely undercuts RMTs. Gil sellers are all about getting that real life moolah through what they do. If SE starts selling gil at a rate that isn't profitable for them to compete with, then they simply won't do it because it isn't worth their time.

It will mean that a lot of in-game economy and resource rebalancing to make sure that it doesn't make buying gil a better option for everyone or complete unbalance the in-game economy.

Other Benefits

Official gil selling will also make gamers' accounts more secure. SE can then better protect the accounts of those who want to buy gil by making them go through their own security measures.

It could also generate a nice bit of extra income for SE, meaning they can (hopefully) re-invest more money into FF14's longevity in terms of future new content.

http://www.belial.pt

Player Belial Nomoar of Moogle server shows off their end game gear.

Will It Solve All RMT Activity?

Unfortunately, no. RMTs will find other methods of plying their trade. "Power Levelling", where gamers leave their character with someone to quickly make them reach the top level, or offering to aid players through more difficult sections of the game, like "The Navel (Hard Mode)", are already happening. But at least these "services" pose less of a threat to the integrity of the game and do not inconvenience other players as much.

Acquiring and selling is the most basic and damaging of RMT practices. By playing them at their own game could be an incredibly efficient way to deal with them.

http://worldoftanks.eu/

Will It Work?

In many cases it already does. Free-to-Play MMORPGs are doing just that. Good and successful "Free-to-Play" games have gotten the balance right between letting players progress sufficiently without forking out money against enabling others to get as far as far ahead as their wallets will allow them.

World of Tanks is a great example of just that. You can play the game fairly comprehensively without ever spending a dime, but if your really want to get that extra edge then the option is there for you to get an in-game gold boost should you want to, but it won't necessarily make you a better player for it.

Are We Tackling The Wrong Problem?

"Square Enix's efforts are effective, but only to a point. They'll never win the war against RMTs, so if you can't beat them, why not join and better them?

The more you look at it, maybe it isn't a question of "how do we fight RMTs?" Maybe the question is more about the sustainability and suitability of subscription-based MMORPGs. "Free-to-Play" seems to solve the problem by allowing players to interact with the game how they want to from the outset, thus obliterating a significant part of the RMT market.

SE's efforts are effective, but only to a point. They'll never win the war against RMTs, so if you can't beat them, why not join and better them?

For more information about Final Fantasy XIV:A Realm Reborn, visit http://www.finalfantasyxiv.com.

End game gear screenshot courtesy of http://www.belial.pt.

Originally Published Jan. 6th 2014

Featured Columnist

Bearded British game-bear. Likes his JRPGs accompanied with a G&T. Lives in London, UK. Also writes a lot about theatre and film. *jazz hands*

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Comments
  • 66
    Ashley Shankle 7 months ago
    Associate Editor
    "They'll never win the war against RMTs, so if you can't beat them, why not join and better them?"

    Because RMT is an issue in almost any MMO (but not literally every), and officially selling gil while being a sub game would be a shithead move. Excuse my language, but the very concept brings my blood to a boil. Selling in-game currency, in any instance, is reprehensible.

    The real problem is the lack of gil the game is giving players. Dailies, levequests, and dungeons give a fair amount but by no means is it enough for someone to save. Your richest players on non-Legacy servers are crafters because they work for it, and it's obvious most of the playerbase just doesn't have the time or steel will to craft for hours. SE just needs to increase gil rewards all around and keep putting down the ban hammer.

    FFXIV's RMT problem is a lot better than it used to be, and it's leagues better than the RMT issue in many other F2P MMOs. It will get sorted, but the game's economy itself is a total mess and needs intervention.
  • 55
    Stephanie Tang 6 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    I saw this article pop up in the quote sections and came in to say pretty much that. It is a freemium move, a huge step into the grossly-popular pay-to-win market, and you will not win any favors from players for doing it.
  • 5
    Myles Ives 6 months ago
    Featured Contributor
    I completely agree. If Square Enix started selling gil in XIV, I would be tempted to quit the game. It completely devalues my money in-game and justifies the idea of pay-walling features (imagine if you could spend $50 and buy your Free Company the largest plot of land?).

    My biggest issue with the RMT problem in XIV is more that I'm spammed by bots whenever is in-game and it's clearly working too, as I haven't seen them slowing down by any means.

    If we cut down on the amount of grinding needed to gain large amounts of gil in the game even by a quarter, I could imagine it negatively effecting the RMTs, as less players would be interested in buying gil.
  • 1
    tiantianco 3 months ago
    They'll never win the war against RMTs, so if you can't beat them! i saw the site http://www.dpsvip.com/ffxiv in the game public dialog control... it is really annoying!
  • 1
    mmocake 2 months ago
    Square Enix sell ffxiv gil will breake the game.they can sell items in the cash shop.http://www.mmocake.com
  • 11
    Cortalia 2 months ago
    Contributor
    I see you point, but I disagree.

    FFXIV selling gil to its customers will in fact devalue the game. It may seem like win win but its not, it would destroy the games economy.

    Square Enix has done an amazing job by making the got to have gear purely obtainable via quests and dungeons, you can only get so far off of Auction House gear. If you want the good stuff you have to find it on Hard Mode dungeons, or slowly save up your allagran tombstones from completing dungeons and buy it from the vendor NPC.

    Selling in game currency, or other forms of it (Like wildstars plan to sell subscription time in game) typically winds up being more of a plan for the company to try and cash in on the RMT market, rather than fight against it. While Square Enix is still fighting the good fight, doing active monitoring, banning players and accounts, adding in what I call "anti bot" monsters. FFXI they added in a slew of extra goblin mercenaries to run around the shore lines and popular fishing spots that would aggro lower level players, so if you wanted to fish somewhere you had to be able to fight or not aggro the goblins in the area.
  • 1
    Roni_8509 2 months ago
    No SE will not sell money because its unfair to the gameplay. You pay alread for the game, theres no necessity of paying something extra. Also I'm totaly against RMT, and both the sellers and the buyers should be banned from the game. If I see a bot player or any RMT seller I make a complaint right way. Its like FFXI, what counts is your ability to play and not your money that makes you great in the game.
  • 1
    John Smith_3606 4 weeks ago
    Square-Enix selling in-game gil officially is a terrible idea. Simply put. You fail to mention where they would get this gil from. Would they take it from players? The only way to keep a service such as you suggested from bloating the economy to hell would be to sell the gil that's already making it's rotation through the economy. Unless they make the "gil-sinks" cost astronomically more than they do; which is also a bad idea.

    Let's face it, "Official Gil-for-Real-World-Money" services would be akin to post world war Germany frantically printing money to pump into their own economy and causing an ungodly amount of economic inflation. Gil would become as worthless as the Reichsmark did.
    Last edited 4 weeks ago
  • 1
    Xavier_9513 2 weeks ago
    Square Enix should learn from Eve online by selling game time card on the market board.