GamesBeat

Aussie gaming site to launch a marketplace for virtual swords (exclusive)

MMGN.com, a video gaming website in Australia, is launching an online marketplace where gamers can sell virtual goods across multiple video games, the site’s founder told VentureBeat.

The site already hosts a number of these kinds of deals in its discussion forums. But the latest move is a way to formalize those discussions into an actual marketplace. It will essentially become an eBay that specializes in gaming, said Roy Hui, the company’s founder. While eBay already sells some virtual goods, such as accounts for online role-playing games like World of Warcraft, it hasn’t been effective enough, he said.

“eBay is very generic, it won’t be very tailored to gaming specifically,” he said. “We want to create a specialized eBay that actually tastes like gaming.”

MMGN’s marketplace will give gamers a way to make money off of some of their extra exploits across video games, or trade the virtual goods for things they can use. World of Warcraft players, for example, typically pick up pieces of equipment like swords and armor that they cannot use or don’t need. They can jump onto MMGN’s online marketplace and post those items for sale.

Those virtual goods can range from equipment in online role-playing games to perks in Farmville, Hui said. The site has to tread some careful ground to make sure the site does not violate the terms of service for some online games. Most games consider the virtual goods within the game as personal property that cannot be traded or sold by gamers. World of Warcraft is well-known for cracking down on “gold farmers” who sell gold, the game’s virtual currency, for real-world dollars.

MMGN will charge $2 per transaction, Hui said. For smaller transactions and virtual goods, it probably doesn’t make sense to charge that much, so the site will figure out a more reasonable model. But for the time being, the marketplace will be free to use — at least for the first three to five months, Hui said.

“Initially looking at the more hardcore gamers, they really want the super-duper noble 21 platinum horse,” Hui said. “They’ve been trying two weeks to get it but there isn’t an efficient way to get that horse — we’ll give them a more efficient way of getting it.”

The Australian gaming site already attracts around 500,000 monthly unique users and can hit around 1 million users during peak times — such as before a holiday.


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