It’s been a well known fact that MMO’s have always generated true economies around themselves. Not only taking into account the economy from within the game, but rather considering the real world money generated and “moved” around by the said game and its content.
Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is probably the MMO with the most trades occurring in and outside of it. Starting with game characters sold on auctions or on certain MMO related pages, moving on to items or gold being sold within the game for real money, WoW, can generate to a user with enough resources over 2000 or 3000 US dollars a month in revenue. The cost of achieving such revenue is very small and as you can see the profits are rather large.
In an effort to reduce the large wave of gold trading in particular, Blizzard has contacted PayPal in regards to this issue. As such, Blizzard is claiming the “Intellectual Proprieties Violation” clause for the in game gold sales made through the webpage. This generated some issue with Curse Gaming as well, which is advertising this “unorthodox” method of obtaining in game currency. According to GamezIndustry, the gaming portal received a message claiming that “You were reported to PayPal as an Intellectual Properties violation by Blizzard Entertainment Inc. for the sale of World of Warcraft Merchandise.” Pretty harsh words, but you have to be fair about it, they are selling something which isn’t theirs.
Still this has been a known fact for many years and it seems to me that Blizzard fails to realize the magnitude this has already reached. There are plenty of other pages which will help users in exchanging money for gold. Surely this will slow down the gold traffic for a while, but PayPal is losing money no matter how you look at the issue. As for anyone debating that you are giving real money to game money I ask you – what is real money? Is it’s reality defined by the fact that you can hold it in your hands? This can lead for a very long and boring discussion referring to the concept of money as an abstract means of determining value, yet I do consider that Blizzard is overdoing the witch hunt.
As I previously said, this will slow the traffic of gold down somewhat, yet this is an issue which Blizzard will not be able to completely eradicate. The simple reason can be found in smaller and poorer countries where the minimal wage is around 100 dollars a month, so a user playing WoW and selling gold in it for real money can generate a larger income with less physical work. Is it worth it? Apparently to some users it is and as long as those users will consider that this is the most efficient method of obtaining some cash, Blizzard won’t be able to stop the flow of cash in any direction and of any form. Until next time, stop trading gold because Blizzard might just ban your account!