From Square-Enix: Since the end of last year, item values have risen astronomically on all Worlds due to the manipulation of prices by a small percentage of the player base. The development team and the GMs carried out a detailed investigation of this problem, and discovered the existence of a group using illicit methods to produce large amounts of gil that are later sold in the real world (Real Money Trading). We would like to take this opportunity to outline the measures that have been taken to correct this issue.
Based on the results of this investigation, more than 700 accounts among those found to be involved in large-scale RMT operations have been terminated. We will continue to monitor accounts suspected of dealing in gil created or obtained in an unfair manner.
Thanks to these measures, more than 300 billion gil has been removed from circulation, and the overly inflated prices of items have begun to fall to more realistic levels.
Furthermore, emergency maintenance has already been performed on all worlds for the purpose of implementing RMT countermeasures. This maintenance took place over two stages, starting on January 17th.
As has been previously stated, acts of RMT will not be tolerated in FINAL FANTASY XI, and any violations of the user agreement will be dealt with severely. We would like to assure our players that all efforts are being made to ensure a fair playing experience.
We hope to have your continuing understanding and cooperation in creating a Vana'diel that everyone can enjoy.