eBay bans Online Auctions of Virtual Game Booty

The San Jose, California-based Internet auction site has decided to bar sales of virtual goods in video games due to "legal complexities" regarding ownership. The policy has been in place for the past few weeks: the company frequently removes virtual game related auctions. Enterprising young gamers have earned livings playing games like WoW and selling their weaponry, armor and other items. eBay has decided, however, not to ban the auctioning of items from virtual societies. ebay spokesman Hani Durzy compared this ban to the firm's decisions to bar sales of alcohol or tobacco, which are lawful products controlled by complex governmental regulations.

"We decided it was best to just not allow sales of them. We are not saying they are legal and we are not saying they are illegal. Right now, Second Life is not considered a game so we are not applying the restriction to it. Remember, our policies are ever evolving. We will change them if the communities, state of the culture, or laws dictate such," said Durzy.

News source: Physorg

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17 Comments

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LVirus said,
EVE-Online allowes legit buy and sell of ingame currency :cool:
yeah Eve's awesome game, the best MMORPG I've seen
you pay monthly with ingame currency - this is something

Nope, Second Life encourages people to buy/sell in-game land/items for real money. They just told eBay that they don't object to items being bought/sold via auctions.

If you ban one sort of "stupid tax" you inevitably get another. Stupid people need to be taxed, it's just a question of how, not if or when.

Good for the games themselves as 'playing for profit' takes the fun out of it for others who try to enjoy it. I guess there will be a backlash with more people ingame spamming gold selling websites but to be honest Blizzard doesn't care much from what I've seen.

They don't intervene fast enough to discourage this behavior as it should be easy to an audit to find the accounts of gold sellers (all they need do is purchase some gold from a website and cancel where it comes from).

Glad Ebay is at least taking a stance although it's out of 'legal complexities' than against playing for profit because they wouldn't care otherwise

MrCobra said,
I once sold 134 ectos in GuildWars for $150.

I have no idea if 134 "ectos" is alot or not, but that sounds pretty crazy. Who buys this stuff!?

RiVaLSSJ said,

I have no idea if 134 "ectos" is alot or not, but that sounds pretty crazy. Who buys this stuff!?

Ectos in GW are special and rare drops that only happen in a couple of select places in the game and at the time I was selling them were worth $7,500 in game gold. They are also used for crafting items in game. You had to go farming for these items and it can take a long time. The 134 I sold took around a month to get.

A lot of people buy/sell game items simply because some of the better items rarely show up. I have a sword/shield set that goes for $125K in game (if you find someone willing to part with them). $15 actual money bought myself a cool $500K in gold. I purchased that weapons set plus a couple of other items.