Amazon's 'New World' is suffering from a bizarre currency crisis

Welcome to Bezos’ deflation nation.


New World might be a hot new MMORPG on the block, but the young game still has a few problems that it needs to deal with. Chief among those is a strange currency issue that is the exact opposite situation that most MMOs face: rampant deflation.

Now, we know that terms like "deflation" and "inflation" tend to make people's eyes glaze over, but you don't need an economics degree to understand what's going on here. In most MMORPGs, the price of goods tends to spiral upward out of control, as players tend to gather so much currency that they don't have anything to spend it on, which means that there's a lot of upward pressure on how much things cost. As you probably know, this trend is called inflation.

New world problems — New World has the exact opposite situation: there just aren't enough sources of money in the game, especially at high levels, and players are starting to notice. At one blog post on PlayerAuctions puts it, when there isn't enough new money in a digital economy, prices inevitably go down, which is called "deflation." According to the post, this has created a sort of barter economy where players directly trade goods for goods, such as 1000 linen in exchange for 600 ore and 20 eggs, in order to bypass this broken economy.

While this lack of tuning might seems harmless enough right now, it could lead to serious problems for the game down the road. For example, if prices continue to go down, it could mean that buying a new weapon is cheaper and easier than repairing the one you already own. Finished goods that require player effort to build and sell will no longer provide acceptable profit, which might lead to a stagnant economy. Imagine spending hours leveling your mining skill, only to find that the price of ore has become so cheap that your hourly return is basically nil. That would be pretty frustrating, right?

Ways out — Given the ever-evolving nature of an MMO, it's likely that developer Amazon Games will be able to find a way to solve this problem before it completely ruins the game. In the meantime, however, players seem to think that lowering the high tax burden on crafting and home ownership would definitely help.

One Redditor also suggested that the devs should add NPC traders to every town so players can offload their unwanted gear and items for cold-hard cash. The fact that this isn't already a feature of the game seems strange to us, but hey, it's still a young game, right? One thing's for sure: if hoarding money is more rational than spending it, you've got a problem on your hands. Amazon knows something about hoarding wealth, so they can probably figure this one out.