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Why Selling In-Game Currency for Real Money Became a Big Deal

Gamers often struggle with one thing when playing online games: in-game currency. In-game currency, in whatever game, is an important factor in progressing through the game. With such demand skyrocketing, it then created a market for player-to-player traders to sell in-game currency for real money. Online MMORPGs, specifically, have had this kind of demand for a very long time. Due to the abundance of trinkets and whatnot to earn for, players, who are understandably frustrated with the vicious cycle of these games have just to get the currency. Eventually, they turn to different sources that can provide them what they need without the extra hassle they have to go through within the video game.

The Different Types of Currencies Often Sold

Unbeknownst to some, there are actually different types of currencies that exist depending on the video game. Not all have them and instead focus on just one type, but some games even use more than three types of currency! Delving into all of them isn’t at all practical, but three main types of currency are generally used. Be it for purchasing gears to upgrade their old equipment or elixirs for their next dungeon crawling, in-game currency has a lot of uses in video games that gamers often take for granted. The cumbersome process of having to repeatedly farm a certain area in the game can certainly take a toll on anyone, so it’s no surprise that there are potential buyers who would rather go with an alternative.

Here are some of them:

  1. Gold

    Gold can come in many different shapes, names, and forms. This seems to be the most popular currency of every game out there that has been released. Gold is vital to the continuous churning of products in and out of online games that has an in-game economy to uphold. Even offline games also use gold for players to get better gear and in turn become stronger than before to progress through the campaign. This can be seen in games like The Last of Us 2, Animal Crossing (although this can also be played online optionally), and many more single-player games across all platforms. Truly, this is the king of all currencies; even premium currencies are no match for the might of gold.

  2. Premium Currency

    Like gold, premium currency is also flexible in a way that it can be regarded in many different names, shapes, and forms. While not found in all video games, premium currency is most common in online free-to-play mobile games that utilize at least two types of currencies. Premium currency lets players purchase exclusive cosmetic items and equipment/weapons for their character or their team. Gear that can be purchased with this type of currency are oftentimes insanely overpowered and players can clear the entire game with ease using them. However, there’s a catch. Premium currency can’t be obtained through the usual means. Instead, players must use real money to acquire them. Game developers usually stock these in their in-game store in packages where players buy them from. There’s almost no roundabout way that gamers can take to get the premium currency for free. Although these games give them out for free at a minuscule amount when players claim their daily rewards and whatnot, they have to spend hundreds of hours playing the game and logging in every day just to get the amount that they need to have the best items/weapons in the premium currency store.

  3. Energy Currency

    Energy type currency is mostly used in free-to-play mobile games like Fire Emblem Heroes and Clash of Clans. This is essentially the “stamina” currency which is used to progress through the story or upgrade something. For example, in Fire Emblem Heroes, players must use their Stamina (this is the Energy currency of the game) to roam around the map. The higher the difficulty, the more Stamina it will consume. Energy type currencies replenish over time, but it takes hours to do so. This type of currency isn’t made to be sold and only the game developers reap the benefits from it, so sellers generally steer clear of this and turn to the previously discussed currencies instead.

    While currencies like gold are most frequently sold by online sellers, there are some instances where premium and energy currencies are sold too. Premium currencies tend to be much more common in mobile games and are rarely tradeable. This means that it’s difficult for sellers to trade mobile premium currencies. The same applies to energy currencies which are normally sold by the game developers rather than third-party sellers.