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Blizzard Moves To Close Gold Sellers' PayPal Accounts
Blizzard Moves To Close Gold Sellers' PayPal Accounts
January 31, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

January 31, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
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As part of its latest efforts to combat unauthorized gold sellers in World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment has asked PayPal to close the accounts of notable offenders over "intellectual properties violations".

Though many online titles allow users to purchase virtual currency through in-game shops or third-party companies, Blizzard has a strict policy against selling gold, characters, equipment, of power-leveling services for World of Warcraft. The company bans users it suspects of "farming" or selling gold, and invites subscribers to report violators.

Complying with the publisher's request, PayPal notified major gold reseller sites using its services for transactions, "You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft merchandise," according to MMO news site Curse.

The online payment processing company allows those sites to dispute Blizzard's claim and file an "Objection to Infringement Report" if they feel their products do not infringe upon Blizzard's rights. If they choose not to file a report and continue selling the unauthorized products, though, the e-commerce firm will close their PayPal accounts.

Blizzard has previously fought these companies directly, filing suit against Peons4Hire in 2007 for reselling gold and aggressively "spamming" users in-game with their wares. Peons4Hire settled with the publisher, resulting in a permanent injunction that barred it from advertising or "engaging in the sale of World of Warcraft virtual assets or power leveling services."

Last August, Blizzard also successfully sued Scapegaming for running unofficial servers for World of Warcraft that circumvented the game's monthly subscription fees. Scapegaming collected over $3 million via PayPal during the pirate servers' operation, but it was eventually ordered to pay back those profits and $85.4 million in damages to Blizzard.


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Comments


David Crooks
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I can't help but wonder what kind of impact there'd be (both in terms of the game, and Atvi's revenue) if Blizzard just set up their OWN gold shop: Just be able to buy gold and/or free XP (and low-tier/obsolete raid/pvp tokens?) at will through a marketplace that they own and maintain.

Joshua McDonald
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In-game:

Inflation is already a major problem in WoW. Back in the day, you could level a crafting profession by buying the stuff out of the auction house. Now, it's not even remotely feasible unless you pass gold down from a high level or buy it. Gold selling further increases inflation, and sanctioned gold selling would drive the already high prices through the roof.



Revenue:

Harder call. It would be really bad PR, though. Most gamers despise the idea of using real money to buy in-game power. Also, once this has been accepted, many of the business-type designers will try to push the game in a way that encourages these transactions (i.e. raise vendor and skill-training prices. Increase auction house and repair fees. Make leveling more grindy so that more people would buy leveling services, etc.) Long term, it would probably hurt revenue, even if they got an initial burst of money.

Aiden Eades
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I'm really glad about this tbh. I really cannot stand gold sellers. Both for the annoying spam of "blah blah blah cheap wow gold at w w w . b l a h . c o m" and for the disruption it causes in the ingame economy.



Power leveling I don't have as much trouble with because, in my eyes at least it only affects the person paying for the power leveling services, but when you have people selling characters / items / gold it just well... It ruins it for me.



For once with the law suits I'm in full support of Blizzard.



I'm also quite happy to watch private servers get closed down, I'll admit I do miss the good old days of playing RO on a private server, but when there's so much choice for free to play MMOs out there now, i'd rather play one of those then play on an empty, unstable wow server.


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