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Gold Farmer Site Bought for $10 Million

khartokhar3khartokhar3 HannoverPosts: 486Member

Quote:

Gold Farmer Site Bought for $10 Million

Investors drop loads of real money on company that sells virtual currency.

By Dustin Quillen, 01/29/2009

World of Warcraft

Despite the best efforts of MMORPG developers like Blizzard, gold farming services continue to rake in serious dough in exchange for virtual currency. There's probably no better example of that than My MMO Shop -- a seller of in-game money that, Yahoo Finance reports, was just purchased for a cool $10 million.

Acquired by My MMO Inc. -- a company established by a private firm in 2008 for the sole purpose of buying My MMO Shop -- the service reportedly ranks third in overall sales among other gold selling sites. Though the buying and selling of in-game currency is explicitly forbidden in almost every MMORPG out there, My MMO Shop offers their services to players from virtually every popular game in the genre, including World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XI, Warhammer Online, Everquest II, Age of Conan, and many, many others.

Why, in these uncertain times, would anyone invest in a company that basically sells pretend money? My MMO Inc.'s Hunter Crowell reiterates the controversial theory that certain aspects of the gaming industry are recession proof. "This is a risky time for any kind of traditional investing," explains Crowell, adding, "People are staying home more and choosing less expensive forms of entertainment, like playing video games."

Just keep that $10 million price tag in mind the next time you're inundated with gold farmer spam. Somebody paid damn good money for that guy to stand in Stormwind and repeatedly shout advertisements in your face.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3172532

 

well well. i thought gold sellin is illegal...

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Comments

  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,474Member Uncommon

    Kinda was hoping they bought it for 10.mil and shut it down. MEH, a man may dream, may he not?

  • Timberwolf0Timberwolf0 Corvallis, ORPosts: 424Member

    Profit is the overwhelming motivator.

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon

    I suppose MMOs shout start using the same system as Chaos Online regarding Gold Farm bots. If you are the first to report a gold farmer, his account will be banned and you will receive 10% of all the gold the bot had accumulated on his account. Probably the only good thing about this game though. Would be a good idea to close those sites but it will probably never happen.

    ------
    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by khartokhar3



    well well. i thought gold sellin is illegal...

     

    i guess u thought wrong. Against company policy != illegal.

    Plus, illegal != enforceable.

    I report my share of gold selling spam to blizzard too .. but i don't think it is going to go away, as long as there is the demand for it.

  • iamspamicusiamspamicus Phoenix, AZPosts: 83Member

    It makes me feel all warm and happy inside to know that someone paid 10 million   just to ruin my gaming experience. How sweet.

    I hope they die in a fire.

     

    Games really should start awarding incentives  for players to want to get rid of spammers. I am so sick of people being  apathetic and  telling everyone to "just ignore them". This solves nothing and allows them to continue harassing  everyone else.

    For me, just the thought of knowing that  the spammers I report get banned, and have to buy a new copy of the game in order to advertise,  is reward enough. 

    That idea to give players  a percentage of the spammer's fortune is a decent idea. How well does it work? t might be enough to motivate all the apathetic fools into reporting  the spam they normally just ignore.

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by iamspamicus


    It makes me feel all warm and happy inside to know that someone paid 10 million   just to ruin my gaming experience. How sweet.
    I hope they die in a fire.
     
    Games really should start awarding incentives  for players to want to get rid of spammers. I am so sick of people being  apathetic and  telling everyone to "just ignore them". This solves nothing and allows them to continue harassing  everyone else.
    For me, just the thought of knowing that  the spammers I report get banned, and have to buy a new copy of the game in order to advertise,  is reward enough. 
    That idea to give players  a percentage of the spammer's fortune is a decent idea. How well does it work? t might be enough to motivate all the apathetic fools into reporting  the spam they normally just ignore.

    Curious. Where is this company located? If it's in the U.S. and has its drones spamming WoW, Blizzard may have a chance at whacking the mole.

  • demalusdemalus ~, NHPosts: 401Member

     Wait, if selling gold is illegal...then how is a serious investment of an illegal operation not raising a bunch of flags?

     

    Imagine seeing in the news:  Hitman Corporation Bought by Venture Capital Firm for $20 Million USD.

     

     

    Am I wrong, or does this just seem ... well, wrong?

    ______________________
    Give a man some fun and you entertain him for a day. Teach a man to make fun and you entertain him for a lifetime.

  • paulp146paulp146 londonPosts: 35Member

    internet pixeled items are serious business , obviously...

    Personally i would never pay for anything other than the subscription for the game , even if i was a millionare , but i suppose some need to feel power over others even in a computer game and have the uber sword of greatness +10 no matter what the cost.

  • whisperwyndwhisperwynd montreal, QCPosts: 1,479Member
    Originally posted by demalus


     Wait, if selling gold is illegal...then how is a serious investment of an illegal operation not raising a bunch of flags?
     
    Imagine seeing in the news:  Hitman Corporation Bought by Venture Capital Firm for $20 Million USD.
     
     
    Am I wrong, or does this just seem ... well, wrong?

     

    Just to clarify..it's "Illegal" from the game company's point of view, not the civil or corporate "legal" system.

    The gold selling company isn't doing anything illegal per se, just selling virtual currency. To USE the currency ingame, THAT's illegal, because the gaming company wishes it so, not by law.

    Doesn't make sense, but that's really the truth of it. There are REAL laws against smoking in public establishments, but you can still buy cigarettes.

    The world seldom makes sense when money is involved.

  • Death1942Death1942 CanberraPosts: 2,587Member

    10 million eh?  nice work (insert original owner), you can now go into a far less sketchy business and be happy to know that your retirment is fully funded by gold spam.

     

     

    seriously though good on him for making 10 million off something like that.

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • altairzqaltairzq barcelonaPosts: 3,811Member
    Originally posted by khartokhar3


    Quote:
    Gold Farmer Site Bought for $10 Million

    Investors drop loads of real money on company that sells virtual currency.

    By Dustin Quillen, 01/29/2009

    World of Warcraft

    Despite the best efforts of MMORPG developers like Blizzard, gold farming services continue to rake in serious dough in exchange for virtual currency. There's probably no better example of that than My MMO Shop -- a seller of in-game money that, Yahoo Finance reports, was just purchased for a cool $10 million.


     

    Yeah right.

  • daelnordaelnor Manteca, CAPosts: 1,569Member

    There was an interesting article about IGE (the guys who pretty much started it all) awhile back in WIRED magazine.

    If you recall, as annoying as it was back then, for IGE you went to their website.  The reason you get so much in game spam now, is because IGE basically self destructed and all the little chinese sweatshops they use to buy gold from had to go into business for themselves, so they spam you in game relentlessly. 

    We traded one evil for another, bleh.

    I think devs should make reported spammers accounts flagged red to everyone, so anyone can kill them anywhere, anytime they want.  Let people track them down.  Perhaps drop tokens from their corpse that allows you to access their banks and take all their stuff.  Would be entertaining to say the least.

    image

  • RabenwolfRabenwolf Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,445Member

    They just need to make gold untradable unless acquired through an auction house. Meaning what gold your character earns becomes bound to that character only. IF wealth needs to change hands it can be done through the auction house by buying and selling items, and through this gold is transferred. Or, gold can only be traded and given away with characters on the same account.

     

    This is what will pretty  much hurt gold sellers big time. The NPCs and AH become the middle man and limit what can be done and where the items can go.

    This is the best alternative, you either let gold farms run free or you take away the means at which to farm for others. Its a sacrifice that has to be made.

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by Rabenwolf


    They just need to make gold untradable unless acquired through an auction house. Meaning what gold your character earns becomes bound to that character only. IF wealth needs to change hands it can be done through the auction house by buying and selling items, and through this gold is transferred. Or, gold can only be traded and given away with characters on the same account.
     
    This is what will pretty  much hurt gold sellers big time. The NPCs and AH become the middle man and limit what can be done and where the items can go.
    This is the best alternative, you either let gold farms run free or you take away the means at which to farm for others. Its a sacrifice that has to be made.

     

    Goldseller: "Hello, how much gold would you like to buy today?"

    Goldbuyer: "5 million should do it."

    Goldseller: "Very good. Please place your noob weapon in the auction house for 5 million gold, and we can make the transfer."

  • sketchiesketchie AdelaidePosts: 28Member

    You agree to an End User Agreement when you install the game. Which is a contract... Making gold buying illegal if it is included in the EUA... Don't people have any common sense? So obviously these companies could be found liable if the game company wanted to sue them... Cause people will spend less time playing the game cause they can get things quicker... = Game company loses money + gold farming company agrees to EUA when installing game  = Game company sues gold farming company for loss of income...

  • RabenwolfRabenwolf Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,445Member
    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Originally posted by Rabenwolf


    They just need to make gold untradable unless acquired through an auction house. Meaning what gold your character earns becomes bound to that character only. IF wealth needs to change hands it can be done through the auction house by buying and selling items, and through this gold is transferred. Or, gold can only be traded and given away with characters on the same account.
     
    This is what will pretty  much hurt gold sellers big time. The NPCs and AH become the middle man and limit what can be done and where the items can go.
    This is the best alternative, you either let gold farms run free or you take away the means at which to farm for others. Its a sacrifice that has to be made.

     

    Goldseller: "Hello, how much gold would you like to buy today?"

    Goldbuyer: "5 million should do it."

    Goldseller: "Very good. Please place your noob weapon in the auction house for 5 million gold, and we can make the transfer."

     

    And thats a red flag for the developers. You see, no one in their right mind would pay that much for an item with little to no value. Depending on how the AH is set up, exploitation can be avoided and extreme attempts alert the team, furthermore it makes the process harder for both reciever and seller when trying to exchange any worth while sums of money.

    Didnt think before you posted did you?

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by Rabenwolf

    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Originally posted by Rabenwolf


    They just need to make gold untradable unless acquired through an auction house. Meaning what gold your character earns becomes bound to that character only. IF wealth needs to change hands it can be done through the auction house by buying and selling items, and through this gold is transferred. Or, gold can only be traded and given away with characters on the same account.
     
    This is what will pretty  much hurt gold sellers big time. The NPCs and AH become the middle man and limit what can be done and where the items can go.
    This is the best alternative, you either let gold farms run free or you take away the means at which to farm for others. Its a sacrifice that has to be made.

     

    Goldseller: "Hello, how much gold would you like to buy today?"

    Goldbuyer: "5 million should do it."

    Goldseller: "Very good. Please place your noob weapon in the auction house for 5 million gold, and we can make the transfer."

     

    And thats a red flag for the developers. You see, no one in their right mind would pay that much for an item with little to no value. Depending on how the AH is set up, exploitation can be avoided and extreme attempts alert the team, furthermore it makes the process harder for both reciever and seller when trying to exchange any worth while sums of money.

    Didnt think before you posted did you?

    I did indeed think. There is always a way around things.

    The only way to truly get rid of goldfarmers and sellers is to.........wait for it.........get rid of gold.

    You make people barter and trade consumables.

    Need armor? Volunteer to protect a harvester in exchange for a percentage of the mats, then offer extra mats to a tradeskiller to make your armor.

    You make mats available in multiple locations, with no "rare" mat hidden off in one area where it can be controlled and camped.

    A good example of a game which actually got its economy right as far as blocking out goldfarmers/sellers is Ryzom.

  • SyriSyri nottinghamPosts: 230Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by khartokhar3



    well well. i thought gold sellin is illegal...

     

    i guess u thought wrong. Against company policy != illegal.

    Plus, illegal != enforceable.

    I report my share of gold selling spam to blizzard too .. but i don't think it is going to go away, as long as there is the demand for it.

     

    Here lies the biggest problem with the gold selling market. The fact there's a demand for it.

    No matter how aggressive companies persue the companies selling the gold, no matter how much reporting is done, if there's still demand for it, they'll just shrug it off and come back for another go.

    Unfortunately, there's no way I can see that demand could be eliminated, as there's gold sales even in games like WoW where you can get huge amounts through very little time.

    ------------------------------
    Currently playing: Rift

    former player of: DAoC, Everquest 2, Guild Wars, SWG (pre-NGE), WoW, Warhammer online, LotR:O

  • cujo603cujo603 n, NHPosts: 99Member
    Originally posted by daelnor


     
    I think devs should make reported spammers accounts flagged red to everyone, so anyone can kill them anywhere, anytime they want.  Let people track them down.  Perhaps drop tokens from their corpse that allows you to access their banks and take all their stuff.  Would be entertaining to say the least.



     

    Best idea ever !

  • RabenwolfRabenwolf Los Angeles, CAPosts: 1,445Member
    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Originally posted by Rabenwolf

    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Originally posted by Rabenwolf


    They just need to make gold untradable unless acquired through an auction house. Meaning what gold your character earns becomes bound to that character only. IF wealth needs to change hands it can be done through the auction house by buying and selling items, and through this gold is transferred. Or, gold can only be traded and given away with characters on the same account.
     
    This is what will pretty  much hurt gold sellers big time. The NPCs and AH become the middle man and limit what can be done and where the items can go.
    This is the best alternative, you either let gold farms run free or you take away the means at which to farm for others. Its a sacrifice that has to be made.

     

    Goldseller: "Hello, how much gold would you like to buy today?"

    Goldbuyer: "5 million should do it."

    Goldseller: "Very good. Please place your noob weapon in the auction house for 5 million gold, and we can make the transfer."

     

    And thats a red flag for the developers. You see, no one in their right mind would pay that much for an item with little to no value. Depending on how the AH is set up, exploitation can be avoided and extreme attempts alert the team, furthermore it makes the process harder for both reciever and seller when trying to exchange any worth while sums of money.

    Didnt think before you posted did you?

    I did indeed think. There is always a way around things.

    The only way to truly get rid of goldfarmers and sellers is to.........wait for it.........get rid of gold.

    You make people barter and trade consumables.

    Need armor? Volunteer to protect a harvester in exchange for a percentage of the mats, then offer extra mats to a tradeskiller to make your armor.

    You make mats available in multiple locations, with no "rare" mat hidden off in one area where it can be controlled and camped.

    A good example of a game which actually got its economy right as far as blocking out goldfarmers/sellers is Ryzom.

     

    I have seen a few people try this "no gold" policy for games.... lets drop the word gold and call it Currency. A thriving economy works with a form of currency. Dropping it in favor of a pre-civilization barter system would only hurt the game. Currency as a form of common value is needed and dropping it will not be widely acceptable. Developers can relook at how currency is used in games and complicate it a bit, but its unrealistic that it would be dropped altogether.

     

    The problem is how currency changes hands. There needs to be a middle man in charge of the transaction, that middle man has to be able to be alerted to or prevent farmers from selling their "gold". This can be done through this middle man approach, not literally a man, but a system in place. Giving gold to strangers is prevented, your value is yours only, or your accounts. In order to do business, there has to be a structure in place to regulate that business and prevent gold selling. Essentially, more regulation, like a real business would opperate.

     

     

  • mgarcia85mgarcia85 Dallas, TXPosts: 31Member

    This is actually pretty cool. Shows you just how far gaming has come and I'm glad to see someone making 10 million off anything even if it is gold selling. I would if I could, and I'm sure you would do the same.

    Gold selling/spamming has never 'ruined' my gaming experience as some people have put it in this thread, at the most it's just a minor annoyance, and a simple mod (spam-me-not) can fix that. I could care less if someone bought gold or sells it. I'm more than willing to put up with some spam so the dude in china can have a job (might be his only option) making the dude in the us rich. Who cares? I don't.

    You can throw out the whole my economy is destroyed because of gold selling and buying, but I just don't buy that, there has to be other factors. Unless some rich guy goes out and spends like 100k on gold to control a servers entire economy then it seems unreal.

    When it comes down to it, it's just a game for me and if someone can make some real world cash off it, then kudos to them.

     

     

    Edit - The only thing that bothers me is when they resort to embedding viruses into websites and banners just to rob peoples accounts. That's really messed up and not all people are tech savy and know how to avoid that type of stuff.

  • Calintz333Calintz333 BergenPosts: 1,189Member

    Why is it so hard for mmo companies to do what Monster Hunter did. Make currency BIND on PICKUP don't make money something you can trade, don't make raw materials something you can trade, only gear should be tradable and not all of it just some peaces that are not very important the rest make them bind on equip. I don't understand why they don't just do that. It worked for monster hunter, Everyone made their own gear, and bought their own stuff, they teamed up to take down major bosses and they would decide on skinning chances for the monster based on a number system on ventrillo.

     

    Its not hard to do, and it worked back in 2003, MMOs should look to the past.

  • iamspamicusiamspamicus Phoenix, AZPosts: 83Member

    I wonder if the only way to defeat them would be to bind everything to the player.

    Gold/loot/items/mats. Make it so that every player is able to craft everything as long as they put the effort in raising the skill. Make it so that gold only goes back into the npcs when you buy something.  Just like a single player game.

    I know it takes a lot of fun away in  finding treasures on the auction house or trading for the uber sword, but it does put everyone on an equal footing. Everyone has the ability  to be powerful if they put the effort into it.

     

    I admit to not having thought this through, it was just an idea that popped into my head, but it seems the only way to prevent the need for gold sellers. Yes it will take some enjoyment out of the game but aside from powerleveling services, I cant see any reason a gold famer would want to  play it.

     

    As long as they balance mat/item/gold drops, there wouldnt be a specific area camped out or farmed. The rest of the mmo could be just the same as any other. It might even allow for NPCs selling mats/etc to alleviate the need to farm and concentrate on gameplay.

     

     EDIT: ^ Like Calintz said, I was typing my idea up before he posted. It sounds like it works well. I wonder what the reason is that more games don't do that. I sincerely hope it's not because game companies value the paying farmers' accounts.

     

     

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,731Member Uncommon

         I think in alot of ways most of these companies dont want to get rid of the gold sellers.......Except for the games that have free trials, often they are paying customers......Also if some players couldnt buy gold then they wouldnt play........Combine both of these and you get alot more subs than you would if gold selling was eliminated altogether.......Persona;;y I cant stand them as they ruin my immersion in almost every game and I dont like that the guy that plays one hour a week has better stuff than the guy that plays 20+ hours a week..... I think you should have to earn your stuff in games not buy it with RL cash.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,824Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Syri

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by khartokhar3



    well well. i thought gold sellin is illegal...

     

    i guess u thought wrong. Against company policy != illegal.

    Plus, illegal != enforceable.

    I report my share of gold selling spam to blizzard too .. but i don't think it is going to go away, as long as there is the demand for it.

     

    Here lies the biggest problem with the gold selling market. The fact there's a demand for it.

    No matter how aggressive companies persue the companies selling the gold, no matter how much reporting is done, if there's still demand for it, they'll just shrug it off and come back for another go.

    Unfortunately, there's no way I can see that demand could be eliminated, as there's gold sales even in games like WoW where you can get huge amounts through very little time.

     

    There is a demand for the service, because there is almost zero fear of getting caught by the parties breaking the rules.

    For gold sellers, they make more profit than it costs them in losses from getting caught. 

    For buyers, there is no fear of getting caught, because it is becoming commonplace for people to talk about their success in buying gold.

     

    Game companies can fight with gold sellers all they want.  As long as their revenues outpace their losses/costs they will stay in business.  Mostly at the expense of those not partaking in gold sales through increased customer service for stolen accounts, spam accounts being bought with stolen CC's and things of that nature.

     

    Game companies need to put the fear of losing accounts into the player base.  It will not make the problem go away entirely, but if people are afraid to engage in this then most will stop.  That will hurt the gold sellers more than anything else.  For that to happen, temporary and permanent bannings need to happen in a very visible way so that the entire playerbase knows not to get involved.  The battle should be taken to the players along with the gold sellers.

     

     

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