Sometimes, a video game’s economy has real-life monetary value. Players will spend their hard-earned real-world dollars and exchange them for virtual money in their favorite games. It’s a little odd, but it happens so much that some online games have economies that have become incredibly inflated.
A new study conducted by Japan-101 reveals which online games have the highest real-world currencies. Furthermore, the research analyzes official and illegal channels for players to buy in-game currency. Some of these games, such as World of Warcraft, allow a legal way for players to buy in-game gold for money. Other games, however, don’t. This means that players much use risky third-party sites to purchase in-game money at the risk of their accounts being banned.
The following are the ten MMORPGs with the highest real-world currencies.
Path of Exile
The Divine Orbs of Path of Exile comfortably tops the list. The action RPG features an in-game economy that translates to $1 equalling five Divine Orbs. This is a conversion rate that easily outclasses every other game.
Guild Wars 2
Your real-world dollars won’t go as far in Guild Wars 2 as they do in Path of Exile. Still, you can turn your hard-earned dollar into 23 gold. That’s not a bad conversion rate at all!
World of Warcraft: Classic
An interesting note is how the Classic version of World of Warcraft features a higher real-world currency than the current live version of the game. One big reason is how you can legally buy gold in World of Warcraft today; you can’t do that in Classic WoW.
In Classic WoW, $1 can get you just over 400 gold.
A popular MMORPG in Asia, Lost Ark, made its way locally in 2022. However, it also brought with it an inflated economy. For example, $1 translates to over 1,600 gold in-game.
Despite still being in early access, Star Citizen makes the list of the ten online games with the highest real-world currencies. The controversial online game has an exchange rate of $1 to 6,662 in-game units.
World of Warcraft
Unlike Classic WoW, modern World of Warcraft allows players to spend $20 and buy gold directly in the game. Blizzard‘s decision has affected the conversion rate between real-world money and in-game gold.
Currently, $1 translates to just under 20,000 gold.
Final Fantasy XIV
The Square Enix MMORPG continues to enjoy a healthy player base. The conversion rate, however, is one of the worst. For example, in Final Fantasy XIV, $1 converts to 1,147,551 gil.
Old School RuneScape
Another classic game, Old School RuneScape, appears on the list of online games with the highest real-world currencies. $1 translates to 2,267,891 GP.
Inflation is the name of the game in modern-day RuneScape. If you thought the Old School RuneScape conversion was a lot, check this out. $1 is 20,645,080 GP!
That’s nothing compared to the final entry on this list of online games with the highest real-world currencies. Maple Story’s inflation is a sight to behold; $1 equals a whopping 56,688,622 Mesos!
Analyzing the Results
“The findings of this study show the unique and dynamic nature of virtual economies, where player behavior and activity play a significant role in determining the value of in-game currencies,” a spokesperson for Japan-101 said. “This highlights the importance of player engagement and the impact it can have on the virtual economy. The study provides valuable insights into the fascinating world of MMORPGs and the intricate relationship between virtual and real-world economics.”