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Sony’s In-Game Auctions Launch

Station Exchange, Sony Online Ent.s official site for secure in-game player auctions, has officially launched. Station Exchange is going live for EVERQUEST II on two all-new servers (The Bazaar and Shadowhaven). EQII players will be given the option to have their characters moved for free over to the new servers or they can start up brand-new characters there. Players who do not wish to participate in Station Exchange can continue playing on their current servers.

SOE recently concluded a two-week pre-launch trial phase where it only allowed a very small number of EQII players in to help fine-tune the system and get feedback on the user experience. The service was live for pre-launch, which meant that all of the users were exchanging U.S. dollars for the rights to use virtual goods, characters and coin within the game.

During the trial period, each participant spent an average of more than $14 per player on various auctions. Hot auction items included Pristine Teak Box, Pristine Strengthened Leather Backpack and a Queynosian Small Wooden Barrel. These items were big sellers because they provide players with lots of extra storage space on their character to collect loot. Nearly 1/4 of all the auctions begun on Station Exchange ended in a sale. The highest price item during pre-launch was a stack of money (20 platinum, 35 gold, 40 silver) that went for $315. The average price for 1 platinum piece was $20.41 Average price for characters were $65.92. Total amount of virtual cash auctioned during the two weeks, across multiple sales was 117 platinum, 74 gold, 78 silver and 14 copper.

Sony Online Ent. Inc. (SOE), a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Digital Inc., is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Headquartered in San Diego, with additional development studios in Austin, Seattle and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge online games in development.

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