If you've noticed that it's become more difficult to buy, sell, or trade goods in an MMO these days due to the sheer amount of player-bound items, you're not imagining things. A writer for Gamasutra
penned an article in which he discusses the decrease of in-game trade and suggests that studios might be missing out on a great source of potential revenue.
First, he acknowledges why studios have moved to restrict trade. It keeps the headache of managing an economy
to a bearable amount, it cuts out duping and exploits, and it stems revenue losses that are caused by third-party traders. However, the author says that the hassle could be worth it if studios were smart and got in on the action by creating a pay-to-trade economy.
"In the real world, we pay huge sums in the form of taxes and fees to keep transaction costs low," he writes. "So here's my question for developers: How much would your players pay you in exchange for the ability to trade?"