SOE has announced a deal with Live Gamer, a third party provider of systems that support and secure virtual item transactions, to support all such transactions in EverQuest II. Currently, two EQII servers are on the Station Exchange and this service replaces it.
WarCry will have more information on this, including interviews with SOE CEO John Smedley and Live Gamer President Andrew Schneider, later today.
Live Gamer Incorporates Sony Online Entertainment's Pioneering Station Exchange™ Technology to Create the New "Live Gamer Exchange"
SOE's popular MMORPG EverQuest® II to be enabled with Live Gamer™ Exchange.
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 7, 2008 - Live Gamer, the premier operator of a publisher-supported marketplace for real money trading of virtual items, has entered into an agreement to utilize Sony Online Entertainment's (SOE) Station Exchange technology, the industry's first proven, fully legitimate platform for secure buying and selling of virtual items. The resulting new, independent service, called Live Gamer Exchange, combines the Web-based accessibility of Station Exchange with Live Gamer's proprietary Wall-Street-developed in-game application, giving players a flexible and convenient way to access the virtual marketplace anytime, anywhere.
Live Gamer will enable Live Gamer Exchange with EverQuest II servers currently using Station Exchange. In addition, SOE and Live Gamer will work together closely to provide a smooth migration for existing EverQuest II Station Exchange users to the web-based Live Gamer Exchange service.
Sony Online Entertainment launched Station Exchange for EverQuest II players in June 2005 as an industry-first service for players to securely trade virtual game items for real money without the risk of fraud, illicit practices and poor service rampant in black market real money trading (RMT).
"Station Exchange was an enormous success for us. It quickly established trust, acceptance and viability as a real money marketplace, significantly reduced customer support calls, and offered a way to combat gold farming," said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. "The Live Gamer team is distinctively qualified to grow this market to its full potential. We also believe that because the Live Gamer service will be supporting other publisher's games, it will be uniquely able to fight farming with a sanctioned secondary market service."
"Sony Online Entertainment took a very proactive approach in addressing consumer demand for real money trading of virtual items and an important step in combating gold farming, fraud and regulatory issues by launching the Station Exchange," said Live Gamer co-founder and president Andrew Schneider, "Live Gamer can now leverage SOE's experience and offer an independent market-tested, secure and proven solution for gamers and the game community at large.
"We especially look forward to continuing to service the loyal EverQuest II community who has opted to use a safe and secure solution for real money trading, rather than the chaos of the illicit black markets," continued Schneider.
Additional details concerning transition from the EverQuest II Station Exchange to the Live Gamer Exchange, which is expected to be complete by March 31, 2008, will be provided directly to the EverQuest II community. More information can also be found at www.stationexchange.com/livegamer or at www.livegamer.com
Founded in February 2007, Live Gamer protects publishers and developers from the distorting impact of illicit trading on their intellectual property and provides a safe alternative for consumers around the world who spend millions of hours in-world every month. As the industry's premier operator of a publisher-supported marketplace for real money trading of virtual items, Live Gamer is currently pursuing an aggressive integration path to bring both hardcore and casual massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) and virtual worlds onto its platform.