Hello, I want to describe the following issue and would like to know if it's legal at all or not. I would like to hear your comments and advices, please.
My question is about trading online game items between players for real money and its legality.
The concerned game is "Realm of the Mad God", "a massively co-op action RPG". It's an multiplayer online game.
In the official forum (Trading | Wild Shadow Forums), there are running trades between players for items and real money. The value of a single traded item there is sold from 0.20 $ to up to over 100$, depending on its value and rarety.
One of the things I don't like, is that there are many underaged kids playing this game, and probably some of them actually buying those items from other player for real money via PayPal.
On top of that, some days ago, the game community revealed, that there are many players who are cheating in a way so they can easily and very fast get rare and worth items in the game.
I suspect those cheaters create multiply forum accounts in the official forum to sell those items earned through cheating. Like this, they earn very fast and easy money.
Here is an example to illustrate the dimension:
There is an item in this game of big value, its worth like 80 to 100$ (thats what I have seen in the forum topics)
With the mentioned cheat, those cheaters can earn 80 of these worth items in like 20 gaming hours. They cheat in groups of like 5 people. (this is a group of people that call themselves MAFIA!)
If they sell this item in the offcial forums for 50$ now (actually its even worth 100$ what I have seen in the forums...), they earn 4000$ though this cheating actions. So for 1 cheater its 800$ in 20 hours. (--> 40$ per hour!!!).
They can make a very, very good living through this cheating actions.
The developers of the game, an independent group of like 3 to 5 hobby developers, don't attend any of those trading for real money topics in the offical forum, its like as if they are making it possible.
Is this everyhting legal at all? Are the developers allowed to make such trading for real money topics possible in their offical forums anyways?
I have a very bad feeling about this issue and really dont like seeing this, espcacially with the fact that also underaged children are buying those items...
Also what I have read in the game forums, apparenty the devlopers are aware of those cheating actions for a longer time already.
Thanks for any answer.
there is also a scenario I have thought about, but that are just my thoughts (and fears).
The Developers call their friends and family and give them a big amount of the most valueable items in the game. Those friends/famaly members then, open a topic in the offial forums and start trading those items for many dollars to unknowing players. That would be racket.
This would make the Developers and their friends very reach and this in a short period of time.
Since "Wild Shadow" are a group of independent developers, there is no board of directors to control them and any illegal activities.
Edited, Jan 10th 2012 11:20am by Krayzieb