Live Gamer Offers Publishers Sanctioned Virtual Goods Trading

Live Gamer Offers Publishers Sanctioned Virtual Goods Trading

Live Gamer today announced its introduction as the premier provider of a publisher-supported, secure platform for real money trading of virtual property.

Live Gamer is partnering with top massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) publishers and virtual world operators worldwide, including Funcom GMBH, Sony Online Entertainment, 10TACLE STUDIOS, Acclaim, GoPets LTD, and Ping0 Interactive Limited.

The company was founded by industry veterans and backed with $24 million in venture funding from Charles River Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Pequot Ventures.

Live Gamer estimates that virtual trading represents $1.8 billion in real money exchanged annually among MMOG players and virtual world inhabitants who buy and sell rights to use in-game goods, services, and characters. To date, such transactions have usually meant braving an unstructured, unsanctioned marketplace in which players lack protection from unethical traders, and do business in violation of the publisher's terms of service. By introducing a fully transparent, secure, publisher-sanctioned marketplace, Live Gamer helps protect content creators 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.

"Virtual item trading is already transforming the way people experience MMOGs and virtual worlds, but in its traditional underground context, the impact could be as easily negative as positive for a given player or world. An economy this large clearly needs a legitimate trading infrastructure that serves the needs of each of its millions of participants," said co-founder and president, Andrew Schneider. "Live Gamer has developed a platform with all the integrity, security, and professionalism of any real-world marketplace, and we're working hand-in-hand with publishers to ensure a positive experience for every player."

"Virtual trading has the potential to open an entirely new dimension for the player experience in some games, but it has also caused endless grief through the actions of gold farmers and fraud artists, as well as the generally poor quality of service to participant", said Trond A. Aas, CEO of Funcom. "Live Gamer makes it possible for publishers to satisfy players' growing demand for this type of activity in selected future games by providing a legitimate and balanced outlet that protects their experiences. We really look forward to offering this opportunity to players in our upcoming casual MMOG."