Market Intervention: PLEX Price Controls

December 13, 2012

Over on Jester's Trek, I posted a comment explaining why CCP can't control PLEX prices by just spawning and selling PLEXes willy-nilly. I do think CCP needs to take action to bring the ever-increasing PLEX prices we've seen in the past year under control, but it needs to be done intelligently.

CCP might not be able to create PLEX from nothing without losing money, but they can certainly create isk from nothing. This means they could act in the market without needing to worry about the profitability of their activities – which is exactly what they should do.

Under the cover of a new in-game agency – let's call it the CONCORD Central Bank – CCP could use their stockpile of PLEX seized from botting and RMT operations(1) to intervene in the PLEX market in the major trade hubs, selling low (to drive the price of PLEX down) and buying high (to replenish their supplies of PLEX without losing real money). It could even be automated so that their sell orders would adjust downward again once they've been undercut by a certain amount – the goal is to influence the behavior of the market, not crowd out the other participants.

Buy orders would be a little more tricky. Automating them to periodically reset to just a bit more than the current highest buy price seems sensible, but the refresh time should be a bit slower than for sell orders, and any given buy order should only be for 5 or 6 PLEX in total.

It's been a while since I studied economics, but I believe these actions would have a downward influence on the isk price of PLEX; once it gets to a point where CCP like it, they can suspend the CONCORD Central Bank's market activities and see what happens – and have the possibility of renewed operations to hopefully help keep people from getting too exuberant immediately afterwards.

(1) They could even sell the other seized assets on the market as well, creating more of the isk sinks they want so badly.

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