Sony Online Entertainment has announced that it will be introducing sanctioned real-money trading to its fantasy MMO, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
The service, offered by Live Gamer, allows players to sell items, currency and characters for real cash through a secure channel, authorised by the game operator. Most real-money trading in MMOs is a "grey" market that doesn't have the operator's consent.
The Live Gamer service in the works for Vanguard is the same as that offered on two special EverQuest II servers, The Bazaar and Vox. It's kept segregated in EverQuest II because the majority of the game's player-base is hostile to the idea, believing it unbalances the in-game economy and removes a level playing-field.
There's no indication yet whether the service will be offered on a separate server in Vanguard, or offered on all existing servers, something that wouldn't please the game's small but dedicated role-playing audience.
Sony Online Entertainment recently said that it had no intention to bring its other real-money trading initiative - the Station Cash item shop - to Vanguard.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes recently scored a surprise victory over EverQuest II in the first round of Eurogamer MMO's Ten Level Test. For more on the game visit the Vanguard gamepage, and look out for a major feature series on real-money trading on Eurogamer soon.