Ever wondered who's actually winning when it comes to The Gold Farming War? The developers or the actual farmers or perhaps the players of said MMOs?. Well, it can't be the players, unless you (yes you who's reading this right now!) condone buying virtual currency.
MMO companies complain and battle gold farmers in their games, in the press, in their forums, and via their live support teams. The question is - how are they doing and who's winning?
A certain gold farming site provided me with some long term data on average currency prices across all of the server shards in several games. If anti-gold farming initiatives were effective, gold prices should go up as the cost of business increases for gold farmers. (NOTE: This assumes that demand is fairly constant. If game companies could actually convince their players not to buy gold, than prices would drop with a glut of gold on the market and no one to buy it. I've not been able to get volume data from any gold sellers, but my sense is that their customers are not going away.)
World of Warcraft has a lot of price volatility. Whether this is due to anti-gold farming activities or other effects is hard to determine without more information. If anything, it looks like the US gold farming market is getting increasingly competitive while the European market is simply volatile. Additional data on actual server populations as well as volume of gold transactions would be very helpful.