Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
SAE Superman

Legality of MMORPG Item/account selling

This topic is 5015 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm not sure how I think about this. My initial reaction is that this is crappy. It doesn't hurt companies at all. Here's the article since you have to be logged in to see it through the link: http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=4688 Blizzard, a company notable for going after online cheaters and pirates in its blockbuster PC titles Diablo II and Warcraft 3, is tackling another sore point for Internet-focused games developers: offline trading of items for real-world money. An email sent out to users of PC MMO World of Warcraft now states: "The World of Warcraft Terms of Use clearly state that all of the content in World of Warcraft is the property of Blizzard, and Blizzard does not allow 'in game' items to be sold for real money. Accordingly, Blizzard Entertainment will take any and all actions necessary to stop this behavior." Although not unprecedented (other MMOs, including EverQuest, have cracked down on item/money reselling in the past), "any and all actions" involves some fairly strict penalties: both the characters and accounts of offending sellers will be deleted, and Blizzard may go so far as to take legal action against the vendors. Buyers get off with a lighter sentence but still not unscathed: the items they purchased will be deleted, and there's the possibility that their accounts will be suspended as well. Offline retailers of MMO items and accounts have gone to surprising lengths before to make their profits, including hiring a team of unskilled Mexican laborers in Tijuana to grind levels all day. In light of such unsavory practices offline, it's perhaps understandable why Blizzard is pursuing offline item retailers as vigorously as they are, although many users maintain that they should be able to resell items they gained through hard virtual work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Maybe Blizzard is just upset that there's a market in items they create but that they can't profit on.

I consider this kind of metagame market one of the appeals of the personal-property-oriented games. I guess they disagree.

-David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It partly arises from a desire to avoid liability. If virtual items have a monetary value (which it inherently would if trading were to be allowed), the company could be sued (it has happened already) for items that get stolen, lost in a crash, etc. It also opens opportunities for money laundering. And if virtual items have a real-world value, I'm sure real-world governments would love to tax them somehow...

Huge can of worms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Fruny
If virtual items have a monetary value (which it inherently would if trading were to be allowed), the company could be sued (it has happened already) for items that get stolen, lost in a crash, etc.


Source please ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It occurs to me that Blizzard, among other online gaming distribuitors, wish for the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' within the game not be defined by anything outside of the game. Even if you're a paraplegiac homeless blind man, (despite the fact that you probably WOULDN'T own a computer, let alonw WoW...) you should still have as much chance of success within the online environment as anybody else.

Buying outside of the game also defeats the very purpose of the game... being Role Playing. If you are playing a role within the game, it would be impossible for that character to go and purchase an item off of the internet... their economy is based within their environment, not yours.

I'm totally against cheaters and offline traders, and fully support Blizzard in any way they wish to deter these offenses. If they state in their EULA that all property within the game is theirs, that's the way it is. Your opinion that it's unfair isn't worth a damn; you agreed to abide by all rules set forth by the EULA (whether you read it or not, since you are always supposed to) before you started the game, and have no right to complain.

Try playing the game to get what you want...

As ever,
***Cosmic***

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, it is screwing with the MMORPG's virtual economy. Selling some uber-good items for real-world money is like giving it for free in the game. It unbalances the economy and the game as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Fruny
I'm sure real-world governments would love to tax them somehow...

Huge can of worms.


No can of worms at all: US (and UK - and even some Europeans IIRC) tax law automatically covers this. If it's got monetary value, it's *automatically* covered by tax: most things transferred these days are not "real", so the whole "virtual" nature counts for nothing.

Of course, this tax law was largely inventd to stop people getting around the old tax laws by more complex forms of:

"I give you 1 million pieces of paper and then you sell them at a loss" (if you buy a million pieces of paper, give them to someone, then they sell them at a loss of 10%, it's still cheaper than paying 40% tax...)

...only it was being done with virtual stuff, so that you didn't actually have to sell the paper yoruself, and I didn't even really have to buy it. So...I just gave you money and you didn't pay tax. Ha.

The only surprising thing is that the govt's haven't started demanding cash yet. In particular, sales tax...I imagine they just haven't quite got around to it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Cosmic One
Buying outside of the game also defeats the very purpose of the game... being Role Playing. If you are playing a role within the game, it would be impossible for that character to go and purchase an item off of the internet...


No, only a small minority of people who play MMORPG's want to roleplay. This is widely known and well documented (google for it).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!