- Sep 30, 2005
- Reaction score
German stock exchange to launch marketplace for video game objects
Germany’s Deutsche Börse plans to launch the world’s first marketplace for virtual objects by the end of the year, in a venture inspired by a group of video game enthusiasts working at the exchange.
The idea for Swapster came to Höptner and his colleagues, financiers by day and video game enthusiasts by night, after they noticed that illegal sites already existed online where players could exchange real money for virtual objects. Such black market sites are immensely popular among fans of multiplayer role-playing games like the World of Warcraft, where a user’s fate is often determined by the strength of his or her weaponry.
“We’re going to offer the first transparent and regulated global market for this type of goods,” Höptner explained.
Cor blimey what a world we live in.But by creating a marketplace for virtual objects, Deutsche Börse runs the risk of introducing speculation and a certain kind of professionalisation to an industry that is above all meant to be fun.
Höptner has dismissed such concerns, arguing that Swapster will primarily give players the opportunity “to draw maximum benefit from a passion and, sometimes, hundreds of hours spent creating an object”.