That’s right 40-50% of all Runescape players buy gold from black market sellers every month. Based on that figure that most likely means that the percentage of RS players who have bought gold and one time or another is much much higher. I mean if half of your player base is buying gold every single month, then you’re probably looking at 80-90% of Runescape players that have bought gold at least.
To combat this Jagex has just announced Runescape Bonds, similar to Eve Online’s PLEX system. Basically players buy bonds for real money, then can use those bonds to pay for their monthly subscription. Players that make lots of gold can buy bonds allowing them to play for free. Bonds are also freely tradable so you can also use them as a currency to buy items from other players.
Jagex is hoping this will kill the gold farming business that has thrived for so long and improve the economy for all.