In a recent post on Final Fantasy XIV´s Lodestone, Square Enix announced it has banned 5,037 accounts for running RMT (Real Money Trading), or participating in these activities, in FFXIV. Another 814 accounts were banned for advertising RMT online. The cleanse took place between February 25th and March 3rd, 2021.
Unfortunately, such practices are common not only in Final Fantasy XIV but in other online gaming communities as well. In 2019, Square Enix announced that it banned more than 10,000 accounts for the same reason. At the time, the servers still suffered from cases of botting, something that currently seems to have decreased dramatically, if not eliminated from the game.
The practice of RMT involves selling Gil (in-game money) or items for real money. Although most items transacted are cosmetic and don’t directly influence gameplay, these actions destabilize the game's economy, and honest players get frustrated seeing hours and hours of mining go down the drain (along with my personal dream of having a mansion in Ishgard).
At first, I was surprised when I saw a copper ore, an item easily bought by 2 Gil in an NPC, being sold on the game's Market Board for 999,999,999 Gil. Innocent as I was, I hardly knew that it was part of a scam internationally disseminated among my Eorzea countrymen.
Those who walk around the city-states can easily spot a player announcing the sale of Gil for real money. Usually, they have an abnormal name like “Lkjjflasdh Ojmnpz” and they keep spamming messages continuously: “SeLlInG 5,000,000 GIL FoR JuST $ 19.90 on gilformullah.com”. Square Enix strongly suggests that said accounts shall be reported in-game. You can easily do that by right-clicking on their name in the chat windows and selecting the menu [Report] -> [Report RMT Activity]. In PlayStation 4, the default hotkey is square.
In case you experience another type of cheating, suspicious trading, market board with exorbitant prices, or even botting, you can report within the game by going to the options [System Menu] -> [Support Desk] -> [Contact Us] -> [ Report Cheating].
Particularly, I believe that this naughtiness will not end anytime soon, but it is good to know that Square Enix is attentive and taking precautions. Although Final Fantasy XIV: The Realm Reborn has been active since 2013, it has shown itself to be just as active since it started. On April 13th we will receive the first part of Patch 5.5 ‘Death Unto Dawn’ that promises to introduce us to the storyline of the next expansion, Endwalker, which will be released sometime in 2021 fall.