Recently, a large number of accounts in Final Fantasy XI have been suspended and terminated, Square Enix announced. The terminations were the end result of an investigation into what Square Enix termed as "Real Money Trading," or RMT, and the discovery of "a group using illicit methods to produce large amounts of gil that [were] later sold in the real world."
"[I]tem values have risen astronomically on all Worlds due to the manipulation of prices by a small percentage of the player base," Square Enix said. Over 700 separate accounts were terminated as a result of the investigation into the RMT transactions, and over 300 billion gil was removed from circulation as a result. Already the over-inflated prices of certain items have begun to fall, as well.
"[A]cts of RMT will not be tolerated in Final Fantasy XI, and any violations of the user agreement will be dealt with severely," Square Enix warned. Emergency maintenance to counteract the RMT had taken place over two separate periods from January 17 onward, and further efforts in the same vein can be expected if more violations are found in the future.