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Category — Gold Farming

Blizzard/Vivendi Countersue WowGlider ‘bot Creator

Categories: Antitrust/Competition CasesBotsCheatingCopyright CasesDMCA-TPM CasesGold FarmingHackingTortious InterferenceTrademark CasesUnfair Business Practice Casses

Case Management Summary (March 27, 2007)
Text of Blizzard’s/Vivendi’s Answer & Counterclaim (Feb 16, 2007)
Text of MDY’s (Donnelly’s) Complaint (Oct 25, 2006)

Michael Donnelly created a ‘bot’ program called WowGlider (since renamed to simply “Glider” in response to Blizzard’s trademark complaints) that allows players of the wildly popular World of Warcraft (“WOW”) MMORPG to automate their game play and keep their character “playing” 24/7.

Using this bot the player can continue to level up and harvest gold 24/7 without actually having to play the game – an activity widely considered to be cheating. The use of such “bots” circumvent Blizzard’s security/anti-cheating measures and are prohibited by WOW’s EULA and terms of use.

In the fall of 2006 Blizzard (and its parent Vivendi) demanded Donnelly cease selling the bot. In response, On October 25, 2006 Donnelly’s company MDY filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Arizona seeking a Declaratory Judgment that it is not infringing any rights, copyright or otherwise owned by Blizzard and Vivendi.

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eBay Bans Virtual Property / RMT Auctions

Categories: Gold FarmingVirtual Property Cases

Hot on the heals of South Korean Gold Famers forming a lobby group, EBay has banned the sale of such virtual property on its popular online auction system – often referred to as Real Money Trading (“RMT”) of virtual goods. Many online gaming publishers prohibit such trading, while others, like Linden Lab’s popular MMRPG, Second Life, not only permit it, but encourage it and even promote it as a beneficial feature to gamers.

Specifically, the following items cannot be auctioned of on eBay going forward:

  • characters
  • in-game currency (a.k.a. “gold”)
  • weapons
  • character attire
  • online game accounts

Significantly, the eBay ban does not apply to RMT of Second Life virtual property.

This ban will be a boon to IGE, a popular site for real money trading of virtual property. While eBay is likely doing this to avoid lawsuits from online gaming publishers that prohibit RMT, it is also walking away from a huge growth “industry” with the value of such annual trading estimated to be between $200 M and $1 billion.

Sources: CNet | GamePolitics.com | Slashdot | TechNewsWorld | Gamasutra | Wired | Virtual Economics | SeekinAlpha

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Gold Farmers Form Lobby Group in South Korea

Categories: Gold FarmingTrade AssociationsVirtual Property Cases

In an attempt to legitimize their ‘business’ and lobby governments, South Korean virtual gold farmers have formed the lobby group Digital Asset Distribution Promotion Association (DADPA). The “industry” is reportedly worth $1 billion a year.

Sources: Ars Technica | GamePolitics.com | ETNews | Ralph Koster

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Japan Investigates Illicit Gold Farming

Categories: Gold FarmingVirtual Property Cases

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) intends to look into wrongdoing perpetrated in connection with online games and virtual currencies.

Source: GameSpot

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Square Enix Cracks Down on Gil-Farming RMT in Final Fantasy XI

Categories: CheatingGold FarmingPlayer Bans

Square Enix permanently suspended 250 Final Fantasy XI accounts involved in large-scale RMT operations. The users were caught using unauthorized third-party software tools, in violation of the end user agreement, to ‘farm’ for “Gil”, (FFXI’s in-game currency) and selling it for real-world money – a practice known as real money trading (RMT).

Sources: GameSpot | Square Enix’ Press Release | EuroGamer | Galbadia X

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Blizzard Bans Another 30,000 WoW Cheaters

Categories: CheatingGold FarmingPlayer Bans

In what is becoming a regular quarterly (if not monthly) purging exercise, Blizzard has banned another 30,000 accounts for cheating, gold-farming, using automated programs and otherwise breaching its Terms of Use. This is becoming so common the leading gaming news sites seemingly no longer cover it.

Sources: ars technica | EuroGamer

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Chinese Gold Farmers Documented on Video

Categories: Gold Farming

This six-minute video is a teaser for an upcoming documentary that examines the controversial practice of hiring low-cost Chinese labor to farm virtual goods for sale in richer nations.
Source: Joystiq

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Square Enix Moves To Stop Final Fantasy XI Gold Farmers, Hyper-Inflation

Categories: Gold FarmingPlayer Bans

In a similar action to that of many other MMOs such as Blizzard’s World Of Warcraft, which has been particularly proactive on the issue, Square Enix’s PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 MMO Final Fantasy XI has announced that it is banning the accounts of many in-game ‘gold farmers’, following economic problems in the online game.

Source: Gamasutra

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TERRA NOVA: How a Gold Farm Works

Categories: Gold Farming

TERRA NOVA has written a terrific piece on how Gold Farms Work.

Click here to read it.

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Why PC Gamer Kicked Out Gold Farmers

Categories: Gold Farming

In its most recent issue, PC Gamer announced that it would no longer accept advertising from Gold Farming agencies.

Source: Next Generation

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18,000 World of Warcraft Suspended for Terms of Service Violations

Categories: Gold FarmingPlayer Bans

“Gold farmers” were the main target in this latest purge. Gold Farmers are high level players that sell rare in-game items to other users on eBay.

Sources: Gamasutra | GameDaily | Gamespot | IGNIQ | CVG | Inquirer | Hexus

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Blizzard Bans 1,000 World of Warcraft Accounts Over Gold Farming

Categories: Gold FarmingPlayer BansPolice Actions

Blizzard has taken action against over 1,000 World of Warcraft accounts, instituting permanent bans for violating the game’s terms of service.

Sources: Gamasutra  |  GameIndustry.biz

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Blizzard Cracks Down on World of Warcraft Item Selling

Categories: Gold FarmingPlayer BansPolice Actions

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.

Source: Gamasutra

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