developer Jagex claims that it has managed to reduce illegal gold farming in its free-to-play MMORPG by a notable 81 percent in a single month, through the use of a "Bonds" real-money system.
were introduced into the game on September 26, and act as a purchasable in-game currency that can be traded with other players, and redeemed for memberships and other items in-game.
Part of the reasoning behind Bonds is to make it more difficult for gold farmers to illegally sell gold to players. Since players can now purchase Bonds legitimately and safely from other players, the hope is that gold farmers will find their business shrinking.
According to Jagex, it's working even better than the company had hoped, with the amount of wealth injected into the game's economy by illegal gold farmers falling by 81 percent in the last month.
"While we anticipated that the launch of Bonds would impact the flow of illegal wealth into the game, we are thrilled the initiative has resulted in such a strong and immediate impact," Jagex COO Riaan Hodgson said today.