Sony Jumps Into Online Auction Market

San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment announced this morning that it has launched an official auction site, geared around auctioning items from Sony Online Entertainment Games. The company's new Station Exchange puts an official blessing on selling characters, items, and virtual money for its EverQuest II massive multiplayer game. That game allows players to build up characters, property, and money and has spawned a healthy secondary market. Players have been willing to pay real world money for hard to obtain items such as character skills, castles and other property, and found items. A spot check of a popular gaming auction site showed numerous characters for sale for $100 to $400, and there have been reports of properties on sale for $700 to $1500 (real) dollars. Sony estimates that there was a trading volume of $100 to $800M last year on online gaming items, with 20% of that trade based on its EverQuest and EverQuest II online games.