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Trading Online Game Items Between Players for Real Money!Follow

#1 Jan 10 2012 at 10:18 AM Rating: Default
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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.
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ADDITION:

there is also a scenario I have thought about, but that are just my thoughts (and fears).

Scenario:

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
#2 Jan 10 2012 at 10:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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The act itself is legal in that there are no federal or state laws prohibiting it. It may violate the EULA but that's a civil matter left for the game owners to pursue. This is ignoring secondary things like credit card fraud in purchasing items.

I'm against the RMT thing on a personal basis but it's a losing battle. Game companies decided to embrace it and incorporate it into their systems via cash shops rather than put serious effort into stopping it. I have no idea what the rules for Realm of the Mad God are.
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#3 Jan 10 2012 at 10:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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I think it depends on the country, but given that some games explicitly allow exchanging items for money, this transaction is not illegal by law in most countries.

The morality of the issue though? Generally, people hate and despise this type of trading as it tends to cheapen the value of playing the game.

Edited, Jan 10th 2012 11:28am by xypin
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#4 Jan 11 2012 at 9:01 AM Rating: Decent
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ok thx for your replies. Yes I also don't like this kind of trade. In connection with cheating to gain rare items, in my opninion its scam to sell those items to other people.
#5 Jan 11 2012 at 9:08 AM Rating: Good
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So, a 1 poster creates a thread about RMT. But it's actually a real question, and it gets serious responses.

I feel like this is the bizarro forum.
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#6 Jan 11 2012 at 9:55 AM Rating: Default
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What gets me is the title has an exclamation mark, which makes it seem even more that he just wants to initiate a trade. Silly people actually reading posts...
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#7 Jan 11 2012 at 9:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Personally I don't think RMT is bad per se. I don't see an issue with group (guild/linkshell/corp, what have you) selling items to others for out of game profit. It is their time and money (technically) they invest to provide others a service they should be able to charge others as they see fit, in game currency or real life currency.

The issue with RMT is when it effects the ability for others to enjoy and have an equal shake at the game. RMT is fine as long as the products stay between those parties involved. The issue the arises is not so much the money for an item, but it is what that item can become. Most often it is the currency in the game, in which turn is sold for money.

The issue with largely increased currency is rampant inflation, which drives prices up and almost forces yet further reliance on RMT uses for currency. Thus more purchasing of rare items which get sold at ever increasing prices and so on and so forth.

Then comes the additional accounts which monopolize other resources such craft mats, or rare drops. Which further neuters in game economies.

The most glaring example of this is in FFXI which RMT were capable of taking the Merc/Mats/Rare item sales by force. Prices on everything increased dramatically and continued to do so throughout 2004 it wasn't until 2008/9 when SE finally bit that in bud.

In WoW I remember when the material markets were insanely over priced, ore, plants, etc to the point where it was almost worth paying 20 bucks to a Gold site to get the gold to buy the mats. Considering the same RMT were monopolizing the materials sources too.

I don't despise RMT, as long as it stays between the buyer/seller. When it comes to non rare/ex (or soulbound) items that is cool, but once markets for monopolization of the marketplaces open up (Gold/Gil sites) I disagree with them. Hence why I used to camp fish bots in FFXI and MPK them.
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#8 Jan 30 2012 at 12:41 AM Rating: Decent
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I think it depends on the country, but given that some games explicitly allow exchanging items for money, this transaction is not illegal by law in most countries.Yes I also don't like this kind of trade. In connection with cheating to gain rare items, in my opninion its scam to sell those items to other people.

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Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 1:15am by mandykk
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