GW2 Update on Economy
John Smith, the resident Arenanet Economist has an update on the GW2 economy going forward.
Hello everyone, I’m John Smith, the Studio Economist for ArenaNet. We’ve kept pretty silent about the economy recently, but today I’m here to talk about our current strategy.
Guild Wars 2 has an amazing economy, one of the largest and most active in-game economies ever created. ArenaNet takes pride in offering players an ever-changing world that lives and grows with them. As the game develops, the economy must develop as well, and that’s one of the many reasons we’ve made hundreds of changes to economy balance throughout the lifetime of the game.
For the most part the continuous monitoring and balancing has led to an incredibly stable economy with sustainable growth and reasonable inflation levels. However, we’ve noticed a disturbing side-effect of that continuous balancing: For many markets we’ve accidently set the idea of a price, rather than the market setting the idea of a price. Flax is a great example of a market where the prices weren’t really reflective of input or demand, but rather the idea of a value. Eventually players recognized that there was an abundance of flax and the price began to trend in a positive direction. We’ve noticed that a large number of markets are exhibiting this behavior in both directions—resulting in their being underpriced or overpriced—and their prices no longer reflect the average wealth or income of players.
To address this, we’re taking a step back from the standard amount of economy balancing we’re doing; in fact, we’ve actually already started doing that. We hope to see many markets adjust their prices to match the current state of the economy. We do recognize that there are some markets moving to a place where we aren’t looking for them to be; once we see the economy moving we can reassess the markets and make improvements, as we have in the past.