New World is currently being affected by a deflationary currency crisis so bad that on some servers, players have started bartering raw materials with one another instead of spending their increasingly valuable coins.
As per an article by Player Auctions, Amazon's latest MMORPG is currently facing a troubling time with deflation. Unlike other MMOs, which often have to combat inflation caused by players generating more money through grinding out quests and amassing small fortunes, New World is facing quite the opposite problem.
According to the article, the game's primary methods for distributing New World's currency to players across the land – through monster drops, salvage, and completing quests – aren't offering enough coins to keep up with the rate that they're exiting circulation as players spend their hard-earned coins. As circulation in the game decreases, this has resulted in prices on in-game items such as crafting materials falling "not necessarily because there isn’t enough coin to afford them, but because the value of the currency is so much higher than the value of goods".
While the issue of deflation poses a number of problems to players in-game, the falling price of raw materials alone could affect the way that fans play the game in the future. As prices lower, this could potentially disincentivize players from leveling up certain skills in order to generate income. For example, if the price of raw materials fell sharply enough, then players may be less likely to sink time into mining them as the return for ore being sold would become so negligible that it wouldn't be worth their time.
In some servers, Player Auctions reports that the value of the currency is now so high that players have regressed back to a barter economy where resources are being traded instead of coins. Players are now seemingly entering into transactions like "1000 linen, for 600 ore and 20 eggs, or star metal tools for 40 steel bars," in order to be able to hoard the coins that they have. While perhaps an apt way of trading in terms of the game's setting and environment, for New World's players this only further exemplifies the problems that deflation causes in the game.
How New World developer Amazon Games will look to address the issue remains to be seen. However, with the effects of deflation likely set to worsen should the issue be left untouched, players will be hoping that potential solutions to its currency crisis arrive sooner rather than later.
For more on New World, make sure to check out this article where we sent a virtual war reporter into the game, to tell us what life is like for each of the game's warring factions.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.