Sage Sundi spoke at the CESA Developer's Conference in Yokohama and had some harsh words for Real Money Traders (RMT). He mainly focused his talk on experiences dealing with them in Final Fantasy XI, calling them "criminals" and saying there is "no way we can coexist." Sundi also went over some of the history behind the game of cat and mouse the Special Task Force (STF) and RMT play with each other.
There was also some talk about Final Fantasy XIV and how the efforts of the STF will transfer to the new MMO. Through years of experience, the STF has developed a solid profile on RMT, their location (centralized in China) and the tactics they employ. The One-Time password and Security Token system are set to be used for Final Fantasy XIV and already 100,000 units have been sold and implemented since their inception in April 2009. In addition, the STF will expand its roster to cover the game directly. Sundi makes it clear that although RMT pay money for accounts they are not considered customers, but criminals that will be eliminated from the get-go with new techniques that directly target their methods.
In addition to the One-Time Password, Square Enix's recent introduction of 3D-Secure to the payment system is another way they intend to cut off RMT. It turns out this was in response to the RMT's latest and most damaging tactic: the theft and illegal use of credit cards. RMT would make illegal charges that had to be rectified once the victim discovered them. This created a huge hassle and loss of money across the board. The swift action of Square Enix to implement 3D-Secure to combat this has shown their dedication to protecting their customers, yet left many players frustrated and confused due to poor timing and lack of information.
There have been many concerns raised amongst denizens of Vana'diel regarding Final Fantasy XIV. This year we were faced with some sudden, jarring changes in credit card policies and seemingly random bannings of legitimate players. However, as Sundi shows us, it has all been part of never-ending efforts to keep players and their information safe. Are you reassured by knowing Sundi and Special Task Force will be watching over Eorzea? Do you feel they have effectively combated RMT activity in the past?
Tell us what you think on the ZAM forums.
*Sage Sundi's presentation can be viewed in its entirety on Game Watch