'Elden Ring' Players Have Already Created A Black Market
The wild fever dream of a game that we call Elden Ring is one of the greatest games of all time, but it contains a surprisingly small amount of "all fun and games" inside its game package. It's a rewarding experience, sure, but one that players must suffer through for a while before they get to start reaping the rewards. Like previous games in the Dark Souls series, Elden Ring players too depend on gathering and sticking little tiny MacGuffins up someplace in their bodies to become stronger. Elden Ring's runes are hard to obtain, and, unlike in most other games where you can take experience points for granted, they can be lost (and very easily). Players don't all have the same amount of time and skill to spend on the game, which makes the possibility of obtaining more mystical thingies that make you better equipped to deal with the game a very desirable thing. Not even a full week after the game's release, more skilled players have already set up an illegal rune market on eBay.
From Software made the direct transfer of items impossible in the game, but they didn't prevent players from invading other players and just casually leaving items for the host, so Elden Ring ends up doubling as a safe alleyway drug acquisition simulator.
These kinds of markets aren't even a new thing. They have already made millions of dollars for the likes of people like Steve Bannon. What's new here is that players aren't getting a competitive advantage in an online game; they're just going around the way this single-player game is meant to be played. That raises some interesting questions regarding the game's difficulty and the much-asked-for easy mode. Turns out that, as with everything in life, the souls series too has an easy setting, and it's unlocked by just having money. From Software has already started cracking down on stores as well as on accounts that buy/sell runes, a move that seems more complicated and expensive than just reducing the health bars of enemies for people who just want to experience the game's plot.
That's it; that's what most people would need from an easy mode. If you want to be really awesome, though, create more accessibility options.
Top Image: Bandai Namco