Black Markets in The MMO Gaming Industry
The Danger of Being Hacked
Hacking has hit all around the world and it does not look like the threat is going to stop anytime soon. With all of our private information stored online, we are all in danger of being hacked. No industry is safe and even the online games industry is constantly under attack.
Hackers look for holes in online games that they can exploit to make money. The most commonly exploited games by hackers are MMOs and there is even a black market. This started in the early days of MMORPGs when players realize that they could make money by selling resources such as Gold which was in huge demand. It did not just stop at selling Gold as rare items were also in demand due to the amount of time it took in the game to gain these items. It created a huge marketplace once this format of gameplay became mainstream with players willing to pay top dollar.
To maximize the amount of money they could make, hackers developed sophisticated scripts that enabled them to mine gold faster along with gaining rare items. Over the last decade as these games became more popular it has become extremely profitable which has led to developers trying to stop it.
To run scripts to cheat the game system takes a lot of time and computer resources. Due to this hackers looked for easier ways to get resources quickly with the easiest been-to-hack-player accounts to steal them. One of the most popular hacking methods was via websites set up to give the player the impression that they would be able to cheat the system or boost their resources. However, when they entered their account details, they got everything stolen.
The MMO hacking did not stop at stealing players’ accounts as hackers found ways to hack the game script to be able to create as much gold and resources as they wanted. By creating and adding code it meant that they could make a fortune on demand and still to this day it is an ongoing battle between developers and hackers.
Black Market Growth
The most popular MMO is World of Warcraft with millions around the globe playing it on a daily basis. Due to the huge popularity of MMOs, it has created a parallel Black Market economy because of the amount of money that can be earned. With millions of dollars at stake, it has meant that developers have had to change their strategy and invest heavily in security to attempt to stop it but hackers are constantly coming up with new ways to scam the system.
All MMO games are vulnerable to black markets and even when the game has no way to exchange resources from players to play in the game, it is still open to having the account stolen and sold. At present, while there is demand, hackers will continue to develop ways to cheat the system so they can make real money via selling resources. Due to the popularity of the games, it makes it almost impossible for developers to keep track of every interaction and action of the players so it looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future. It is why some developers have started to integrate these black markets into the MMO game. As the saying goes, if you cannot beat them, join them.